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Future Frontend - A new conference to reimagine the future of the frontend - Interview with Juho Vepsäläinen


For a conference organizer, one of the hardest things to do is to keep your conference relevant. That is exactly the problem we faced with React Finland. As a result, we decided to pivot from React into frontend. Future Frontend conference was born as a result.

Can you tell a bit about yourself?

Juho Vepsäläinen

I’m Juho, the founder of this site and also the founder of the organization behind React Finland and Future Frontend. Lately I’ve been working on a new tool called Gustwind to enable rapid creation of websites but that’s another story.

How would you describe Future Frontend to someone who has never heard of it?

Future Frontend is a new frontend focused conference that aims to imagine the future of the space by bringing together authors of contemporary tools and services such as Astro, Qwik, Solid.js, and jsDelivr. That’s not all of course and we run with the tried and true format of React Finland where we organize the conference week into workshop days (6-7.6) and single track conference (8-9.6).

Through experience we found out that it makes a lot of sense to compose conference days out of themed sessions as that allows the speakers to build cohesive wholes and make sure their content fits together. This time around, we went with two speakers per session to allow interaction with the audience in the 1.5 hour sessions.

What does Future Frontend offer?

When we had to make a decision whether to run React Finland one more time or not, we realized that although it would have made sense business-wise, it was not a conference we would like to participate anymore. As a topic, React has become stable and mature meaning there is less space for radical innovation in terms of topics and content. It is from this background that the idea for the Future Frontend conference was born.

We have chosen both workshops and speakers from emerging topics that are shaping the field. You’ll learn about topics such as green and edge computing, universal design systems, audio, and security to mention some.

In case you cannot make it to Finland, we’ll make sure to stream the content online so you have access to it. That is missing a big part of the experience, though, as often the real conference happens between the talks and outside of the official program. Given the event is held at Summer, you’ll have a great chance to experience Finland at its best.

How does Future Frontend differ from other events?

Future Frontend is one the few developer conferences held in Finland. We also want to keep the conference relatively small and this time around our aim is to reach 200-250 developers as that would make it viable to run the event again next year. Going with a new brand and concept is always a risky so I can only hope the new approach resonates with both the local and global market.

This time around, one of our differentiating factors has to do with the focus on future themes and speakers that represent the top of the field. We went with fewer speakers than usually but I believe this is a good thing as it is giving more space for the speakers that join our event.

I believe single track is a good way to run events as it gives everyone a consistent experience. The benefit of having multiple tracks is that you have more to choose from as an attendee but at the same time I think I may be able to surprise you a couple of times even in this model.

Our themed sessions have proven successful in the past and talks fitting to each other can illuminate a topic more than an individual talk ever could.

Why did you decide to arrange Future Frontend?

As mentioned, we had to decide whether or not to keep on running React Finland. The topic of frontend is close to my personal interests and after I drafted an initial plan for the event, the rest of the organizer group resonated with the idea. That sealed the deal as we decided to go forward with the new concept.

What next?

We announced the conference recently and now our target is to sell the early bird tickets and some of the workshop ones. We have tried to keep the pricing reasonable even with the ongoing inflation. To get most of the value from the event, I suggest participating in a workshop or two if you can fit it to your schedule. Also, if you are coming from abroad, take a couple of days to enjoy the Summer magic of Finland.

I think frontend has a bright future as there is plenty of room for innovation. I expect the next generation frameworks to address issues, such as page size and JavaScript loading. We can do the same we do today but in a far more optimized manner. I expect artificial intelligence to be a part of the development as it will allow faster development of variants. It is only a matter of time until we see assisted tooling leveraging the latest breakthroughs of the field.

What advice would you give to programmers getting into web development?

Focus on the basics. Even as frameworks and tools change, basic ideas behind HTML, JavaScript, and CSS remain roughly the same. There are subtle changes each year but that does not change the fundamentals and the value of understanding those.

Any last remarks?

I hope you consider joining the conference or at least check out the content online later. One easy way to keep in touch with it is to follow Future Frontend at Twitter.


I can only hope Future Frontend is a success. The formula we discovered with React Finland keeps on going with the new event and it is definitely a conference I would enjoy visiting as an attendee or a speaker.