Lea Verou and art of demo in conference talks

O’Reilly held Fluent Conference this week in San Francisco and the videos started popping up on my Youtube feed. I love conference talks and am especially happy to see them on Youtube when I cannot attend the conferences myself. So I started with Lea Verou’s Conference Talk of the Year nominated talk about CSS attribute border-radius. What amazed me once again was her demo that she showed. And it was not the first time.

During the Fluent 2012, she talked about regular expressions and amazed me with her Regex Playground. She has real good eye for combining talk slides with awesome design and interactive demos. The combination of the three makes it smooth to follow the presentation since she doesn’t have to jump between slides and demos and she doesn’t change between code editor and web browser to show changes but has everything build in to the slides.

CSS is not even one my biggest passions but her talks are always interesting and fun to watch. In 2013 W3C conference she talked about CSS Secrets and at one point she modifies a notebook-like text background without jumping between consoles or editors and browser. Simply brilliant. You should watch the entire talk, it reveals cool stuff that most CSS resources don’t usually cover.

I hope more people would try and adopt her style of smoothness on presentation demos. She shows that it is possible to create well-designed, properly working and educating demos instead of bit crumpy editor-browser-console jumping which introduces more cognitive context switching than is usually needed in tech presentations.


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