June meetup: Accessibility and GraphQL

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This meetup will be held on Tuesday the 13th of June at Skills Matter CodeNode. Please remember to RSVP also at the Skills Matter site for this meetup (



Please let us know if you would like to speak at this event (https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dEkwV3BsbWhEalJvSHlfd1dhMElXbGc6MQ#gid=0).


18:00: Meet and greet

18:30: Accessibility in Single Page Applications, by Callum Macrae

19:15: Getting to know GraphQL! , by Mark Drew

20:00: Pub and dinner?

Speakers and Session details:

Accessibility in Single Page Applications, by Callum Macrae

As developers, we have a responsibility to make sure that as many people as possible can use the websites and applications that we create. But with a new generation of websites—single page applications—come a new set of challenges for users with disabilities, and the assistive technology they use to browse the web. Client-side routing, custom input elements, and shiny animated content: all things that screen readers can struggle with if the developer who implemented it didn't consider accessibility. During this talk, I'll explain what we as developers can do to ensure that our single page applications are usable by everyone, including people who might not use a keyboard, mouse and screen like the majority of us do. I'll show how some assistive technology is used, and demonstrate how some common mistakes we make affect people using that assistive technology.

Callum Macrae is a JavaScript developer and occasional musician based in London, UK, working at SamKnows to make the internet faster for everyone. He regularly contributes to open source projects including gulp and his own projects and is the author of Learning from jQuery, a book about writing JavaScript without using jQuery. He can be found on Twitter and GitHub as @callumacrae.

Getting to know GraphQL! , by Mark Drew

In a world where APIs and REST are the way that we can communicate with services, it can become an arduous task to get to the information you need.

For example if you look at a single tweet, obtained from Twitter’s API, you will so a stack of information that you don’t need! If only there was a way to query this data to get just what you need. Enter Facebook’s GraphQL language. A language specification that solves the same problem that SQL did for Relational Databases.

In this presentation, Mark Drew will go through the fundamentals of the Query Language, structure, use cases and how we can get started with consuming and creating GraphQL endpoints.

Mark Drew has been programming CFML since 1996, and even though he has had forays into Perl, ASP and PHP he is still loving every line of code he has crafted with CFML. Aside from commercial projects, Mark has contributed to a number of Open Source projects such as the CFEclipse Project (developing a CFML IDE), Reactor ORM, ColdSpring, ColdBox and the Model-Glue framework. Because of this background, Mark has also become a well known speaker at various conferences on subjects close to his heart such as ORM's, Frameworks, Development Tooling and Development Process. He runs CMD a London based consultancy that provides training, development services, architectural consulting and performance tuning.

HalfStack Conf 2017

Save the date for the third annual HalfStack Conf, 17th of November 2017! A limited number of Early Early Bird tickets are now available at https://ti.to/halfstack/halfstack-2017/

Other events of note

FullStack (https://skillsmatter.com/conferences/8264-fullstack-2017-the-conference-on-javascript-node-and-internet-of-things), 12-14 July, a five-track, 3-day JavaScript conference