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Jenn Lukas on having fun with responsive design

Multi-talented front-end consultant, freelance developer and ex-Happy Cogger Jenn Lukas tells us about her upcoming Generate talk and why web work is so much fun.

net magazine's Generate conference is coming to New York on 20 June and will return to London in September. The magazine, the world's leading print and digital publication for web designers, has assembled a truly stellar lineup of speakers for the occasion, including front-end developer Jenn Lukas. Here, she tells us about her upcoming talk, some big ideas and more...

What are you going to speak about at Generate?

I’m excited to be talking about how we use interactions within our websites and how they affect our visitors. I’ll be looking at how the behaviors we use can help (or hurt) the experiences we create. We’ll be covering ways to create meaningful and useful interactions with CSS animations and transitions.

Of course, we’ll also have to look at how to handle these enhancements on desktop/mobile, touch/non-touch devices. Often there’s a sigh of defeat when we talk about the endless possibilities of the devices our sites can viewed on, but we can find ways to make sure we optimize our site experience for the majority of our users without sacrificing our vision.

What do you think makes a good conference?

I love a conference with a wide diversity of speakers. I think it’s so neat to have designers, developers, UX-ers, content strategists all sharing the stage and talking all things web. There’s so much information on the web about our practices, it’s really easy to spend all your time learning in your specific focus.

I think it’s super cool to attend a conference where we can get exposure to topics of web experiences from different angles and expertise. When the topics and speakers are diverse, it will often lend itself to having a diverse audience as well and that’s super fun! Of course, I also love highly focused conferences on things like CSS and doing super specialized needing out, so maybe I like all conferences!

What do you get out of speaking at conferences?

So many things! First, I love having the chance to share the things I love with others. It’s so awesome to give a talk about something I’m passionate about and then after getting to talk in more detail with others that also are into the subject. Or to hear that something I talked about helped an individual or team with their projects or process.

I love the openness of the web and speaking at conferences is a way to contribute to our community. It’s also great to be able to hang out with everyone in person! The web is so cool in that we can all hang through SkypeMessagesHangs, but it’s awesome when we get to be in the same room.

Are there any speakers you're particularly looking forward to seeing at Generate?

Yes! All! We recently had Karen McGrane on the Ladies in Tech podcast and I was bummed that I would be missing crossing paths with her in South Dakota by one week, but then saw we’d both be in New York! Also I haven’t seen Nicole Sullivan in forever and she’s so freaking brilliant! And I’ve never seen Jen Simmons speak at a conference before so I can’t wait!

What have you been working on recently?

I’ve been having a blast doing front-end work for freelance clients. Responsive design is so fun to work with these days! I just finished teaching my first class for Skillshare! It’s an Introduction to HTML course and is perfect for anyone wanting to learn how to start coding.

I’ve also been working on Ladies in Tech! Val Head has joined me as my co-host for our new podcast, in which we talk to public speakers in the tech field about their experiences while taking the stage. It’s a fun, under twenty minute show where our guests share advice on things like getting started in public speaking, dealing with nerves, and what happens when things don’t go 100 per cent according to plan (spoiler alert: it’s okay!).

We also just announced our first meetup! It’s taking place in Philadelphia and we are excited to have Sara Wachter-Boettcher join us to talk about creating talk abstracts out of initial ideas.

What are the big ideas you're thinking about at the moment?

Responsive design has really sparked new movement in the web world. I’ve been totally jazzed on implementing design patterns that help all the new changes to how we view the web more manageable. It’s been fun to see how we can make our content accessible to everyone in smart new ways!

What's it like being a teacher for Girl Develop It

Totally awesome! I’ve been teaching the Intro to HTML and CSS class since our inaugural GDI class in Philly and it’s one of my favorite things to do! Learning new things is super empowering! I love helping women learn new things! We’ve also had great results with women who have taken GDI classes moving into tech jobs! So cool!

Yasmine Mustafa, Corrine Warnshuis, and Lisa Burgess have done an amazing job with the Philly branch and the ladies in New York who founded GDI Sara Chipps and Vanessa Hurst are just the bees knees!

Jenn Lukas will be speaking at net magazine's Generate conference, held in New York on 20 June 2014. Tickets are on sale now!

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