‘New Adventures in…Code!’

Last week, I, along with many others in the web community, braved the snow and ventured north for the final New Adventures conference. I was excited by the mix of speakers, and especially intrigued to see one talk in particular; Seb Lee-Delisle’s talk on ‘New Adventures in…Code!’

Having seen Seb speak at a number of events in the past, I knew to set my expectations high. A very interactive speaker, he engages the audience with the technology he showcases at each event; if you want some idea of the type of visual craziness he dreams up, check out Pixel Phones or PixelPyros, an interactive fireworks display controlled by an infra-red motion detection system.

Such is his work, Seb is used to delivering more tech focused talks to developers like myself – or as he put it, “his people”. Watching him on stage at New Adventures he seemed just as comfortable. His stated aim was to show that it takes very little code to create some beautifully visual effects and to convince those in attendance to think twice about coding themselves, if they hadn’t already done so.

As is Seb’s trademark, it didn’t take long for the live coding to begin; watching him code a Commodore 64 to create some cool graphical effects made me want to dig around in my attic so that I could do the same! He moved on to show some simple canvas effects using JavaScript. In no time at all, he had created an amazing effect simply by animating multiple rectangles at randomly generated speeds and positions across the canvas.

Among all the visual wizardry, one thing Seb spoke about really resonated with me. He talked about how he had come to realise when writing this talk that when he has previously claimed that he ‘loves learning new stuff’ he has in fact been lying. What he actually should have said is that he ‘loves having learned new stuff’; it’s not the process of learning something new that he loves, which can be immensely difficult at times, but the feeling of having created something after all that effort that is so rewarding.

As a developer, it was reassuring to hear someone as talented as Seb lamenting the struggle coding can sometimes throw your way and I think this is something we can all relate to. Starting out from zero on something can be frustrating, but when you finally have something to show for all the effort, it’s easier to forget some of the pain involved in getting to that point and it all becomes worthwhile.

To get the full visual effect of Seb’s talk, I highly recommend you check out the video when it is put online. Or better still, go and watch one of the finest creative coders in our industry yourself; you won’t be disappointed.

Published by AshleyN

Ash is Ubelly’s token Welshman, and an avid fan of all things visual. He is an absolute games nerd, especially when it comes to retro gaming, and has recently been getting very excited about the possibilities with HTML5 and the various APIs out there, and what this means to gaming. He works at TMW in London as a front end web monkey, and has worked for folks including Ford, RSPCA, Xbox and DL Records in the past. In his spare time he tinkers about with the web, creating awesome things like ‘Media Query Mario‘.

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