Codefest 2014 - The Web Experience Toolkit

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September 02, 2014
Wetkit LogoI had the opportunity to attend CodeFest 2014 in Ottawa.  This two-day conference was a great chance for anyone who “works in the web” to get together, share their expertise and learn from their peers.

Background

Codefest is a free, volunteer-run conference centered around the Web Experience Toolkit (WET)
 
WET is an open source project led by the Government of Canada that is developed openly on GitHub. The focus of WET is to develop an innovative, user-centered web experience that can be widely deployed through an open and collaborative process of development.

Topical Chats and Technical Talks

The morning talks were topical and informational and provided an excellent introduction to topics of importance to the current and future state of the web. There was a good combination of specific WET talk and topical talks about usability, design, innovation and user research.
 
The afternoon talks were more detailed explanations of topics and techniques at the root of WET. GitHub, one online home of the popular versioning and collaboration tool Git, was extensively covered with several presentations ranging from introduction for true beginners to advanced usage for experienced developers.
 
Mike Gifford from OpenConcept gave two presentations. His first, covering Drupal Governments around the world, was a great case for why Drupal is an experienced and capable content management system for WET implementation. Mike’s second presentation was focused on a core ethic of WET: accessibility.  Mike spoke about ATAG & Drupal 8 in an informative session that gave the group a great overview about the complexity of creating accessible content and how Drupal 8 is going to make creating accessible content easier.
 
CodeFest was a great introduction to an important project. The organizers were careful to provide a solid mix of topical talks and technical explanations. I often, over the two afternoons, had to make a tough choice between two interesting talks.  It was a nice problem to have. I will definitely continue to follow the development of this project, it shows a lot of promise and I am excited to see the progress at Codefest 2015.
 
If you are interested in taking a look at some of the presentation decks or reactions to talks #CodeFest2014 is a good place to start.

About The Author

Chris is a proud generalist who's broad interests have led him to pursue studies in Interactive Media, Semiotics, and Anthropology.  Having previously worked for the Privy Council Office as a Web Designer and Canadian Nurses Association as a Web Assistant, Chris has experience building websites using content management systems and working with clients managing projects.

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