Survey Results from the Angular Community

Back to the Beginning

The ngConf organizers are currently busy planning #ngconf2018, as well as some early-stage planning for #ngconf2019. The 2018 event will be our 5th event! Another way to read that is that we are currently doing some of these planning tasks for the 5th time. Now, because we try to come up with several new and fun ideas each year, this is our first time with those new ideas. At the same time, a great swath of the tasks that go into planning are things we get to repeat each year. Things like:

  • Selecting a venue
  • Selecting dates
  • Choosing swag
  • Planning after parties
  • Selecting talks
  • much, much more

New-found Interest

Of those reoccurring tasks, this year we’ve taken a renewed interest in our talk selection process.

Each year, a significant chunk of our planning time goes into Talk-of-Things planning bucket. By Talk-of-Things, I am referring to all of the tasks that go into getting our talks selected. Things like: planning when to open the Call for Presenters, deciding how long to leave the CFP open, organizing an online hangout (called Office Hours) where potential speakers can come and ask questions about their ideas and get feedback on what they can tweak to improve their submissions, answering endless numbers of emails and tweets with questions about talks submissions, selecting a date when we can sit down and select talks, arranging for members of the community to come to our talk-selection meeting, performing the 9-hour-long processes of selecting the talks, notifying everyone whether their talk was accepted, planning the speakers’ travel, organizing the selected talks into a workable schedule, arranging for speaker coaching for any speaker who would like some additional help getting their presentation ready, getting special “Thank You” gifts for each speaker, arranging for a tech-check and slide-check for each speaker, arranging a speaker dinner, and finally, arranging for speakers to show up on time to get mic’d up to go on stage (believe it or not, SOMEHOW, this is much harder than you would think it is, just ask Dave Geddes). That list is mostly complete, but I am sure there are even more things that could be added. The point here is that we spend a very large amount of time in the Talk-of-Things arena.

Additionally, we try to improve on past ngConf experiences, with the hopes of providing a more rich learning environment for the Angular community. This year, we’ve chosen to focus on the talk selection process and improving it beyond what we already do. Our hope is: to provide the most educational Angular experience that we possibly can.

A New Hope

With that goal in mind, we decided that we would proactively search out topics that people want to hear about. And to that end, a few months ago we released a survey (via email and twitter) to the Angular community, asking you a series of questions. Not unlike the dynamic quintet of Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger, and Posh, we wanted you to tell us what you want…. what you really, really want. The thought behind the survey was that perhaps we could sync up with the global Angular community to get a better understanding of what talks you would put on the stage if you could plan ngConf. My co-organizers and I were gobsmacked by some of your answers.

We’ve taken some time to process your responses. The ideas that you shared with us have been marinating in our minds, and have been soaking in for the last little while. And we can confidently say that thanks to you, we are more prepared to select the talks you want to hear than we’ve ever been in the past.

Please don’t mistake what we mean by that. We’ve never selected anything less than a superb lineup of speakers to put on stage. Each talk from years past contain lessons that have helped thousands (if not more) of developers. #ngconf2018 will be no different with regards to the quality of the talks. For those of you asking “Then what good did the survey do?”, let me say that for #ngconf2018, these superb talk submissions will be filtered through the lens of your responses to our survey.

Just Tell Us Already!!

While our talk selection date is still a few months down the road, let me show you the answers to our survey. Let us know which answers surprise you the most!

Before you read these questions, know that while some of these sound extremely similar, they are different. And while we expected the same answers to many of these, we were surprised to get many different answers to very similar questions.

How much experience do you have with Angular?

One huge piece of info that we realized is that over 45.6% of people who responded have less than 12 months experience with Angular2+.

Top things people wish they had known before starting w/ Angular

In order of popularity, here are the most common answers:

  1. TypeScript
  2. RxJS/ngrx
  3. Project layouts and best practices
  4. Angular CLI
  5. Component Architecture
  6. Forms

Top things that people still struggle with

In order of popularity, here are the most common answers:

  1. RxJS/ngrx/State Management (by far, by far, by far… these three in different combinations were the top answer)
  2. Routing
  3. Universal Angular
  4. Testing
  5. Component Hierarchy
  6. AOT/Builds
  7. Animations
  8. App Architecture/Layout
  9. Best Practices
  10. Forms

Top things that people think most others are still not understanding

We asked the community to tell us what they think are the things that most others are still struggling with. This helped us play into the whole I’m-Asking-For-My-Friend responses that sometimes people are afraid to say about themselves. Here are the most popular answers in order:

  1. Observables
  2. Best Practices and where to find them
  3. Documentation
  4. Projects Layout
  5. Component Architecture
  6. TypeScript
  7. Complexity of Angular
  8. Tooling
  9. Errors are hard to read
  10. Builds
  11. Getting started manually (w/o the CLI)
  12. Forms

What Angular topics have you mastered?

When we asked the community to state things that they have mastered… we definitely did not expect to get the answers that we got. The first answer on this list accounts for over 80% of all responses.

  1. None
  2. Routing
  3. ngUpgrade
  4. Reactive Forms

Isn’t that insane? Over 80% of the people who responded didn’t feel like they had mastered anything in Angular. We thought this was interesting. This means that as a community, we need to get a lot better at sharing and teaching.

What topics do you WISH you could see at #ngconf2018?

In order of popularity, here are the most common answers:

  1. Testing
  2. ngrx
  3. Custom Builds
  4. Universal
  5. PWA
  6. Building Large Apps
  7. Animations
  8. More Advanced Topics

None of us expected to see Testing as the #1 response to this question.

What topics are covered too often at Angular conferences?

The response to this question was also EXTREMELY lopsided. Almost every single answer contained a reference to “beginner talks”. Check out these answers:

  1. Getting start with X (by far #1)
  2. 3rd Party Tools (people don’t like to hear about 3rd party things that aren’t core to Angular)
  3. Upgrade
  4. Basics
  5. Talks about basic things
  6. TypeScript is Good (because we already know it is Awesome. stop telling us we should try it)
  7. CLI basics
  8. Routing basics
  9. Intro to X

After these responses, we can’t recommend that anyone submit beginner talks.

Whats the #1 thing you want to hear about at #ngconf2018?

The #1 answer here was by far the #1 answer. #2 was a distant second.

  1. ngrx & stores
  2. PWA
  3. AOT & Better Builds
  4. Universal
  5. Testing
  6. Complex Forms
  7. Real-world Upgrade (long-lived Upgrade)
  8. Building Libraries for Angular

Whats the #2 thing you want to hear about at #ngconf2018?

TBH, we expected that the answer to this question would be the same answers as the last question, but in different orders. We were surprised to see that the answers were distinct.

  1. Advanced Angular CLI & Custom Builds
  2. Advanced Routing
  3. ngrx
  4. Scaling large Angular apps
  5. Write once, run anywhere
  6. Best Practices

Whats the #3 thing you want to hear about at #ngconf2018?

Again, we expected the responses to this question to be the same as the previous two, only changing in order. It was surprising again to see a different list of topics. We think that combining the results to these questions really changes our idea of what people want to see at a premier Angular conference.

  1. Performance (by far the top answer here)
  2. Universal Angular
  3. Actual Animations (as opposed to overly simplified examples of animations)
  4. Testing
  5. ngrx

Notice that ngrx appeared in all three of these lists. That was a common theme that we noticed. ngrx and all things RxJS are extremely popular topics this year.

Would you rather see Advanced, Intermediate, or Beginner level talks?

Again, the answer to this question was unexpected. The distribution of answers here was much different from what we would have guessed.

Only 1.8% of people who responded want to see Beginner talks. 40.4% of people want to see Intermediate talks. And an astonishing 57.9% of respondents want to see Advanced talks. This answer, coupled with a few of the others, indicates to us that people want to see talks that are deeper than our talks from the past.

What topics are on your short list of things to learn about?

  1. ngrx/RxJS (by far the top answer)
  2. PWA
  3. Animations
  4. Universal
  5. Angular CLI / AOT / Builds

What was your favorite talk from past ngConf events?

We asked this question to get a gauge of which speakers from the past people may want to hear again. The answers, in order of popularity, are:

  1. John Papa (all of his talks: 1, 2, 3, 4)
  2. Andres Lozano (1)
  3. Shai Reznik (all of his talks: 1, 2, 3, 4)
  4. Tero Parviainen (1)
  5. Kara Erickson (all of her talks: 1, 2, 3)


We had a lot of fun writing these questions, but even more, fun reading your responses and learning from them. The ngConf organizing team feels more prepared to select the talks that you want to hear than we ever have before. If we had one thing to ask of you, the Angular community, it would be that you submit your best ideas as a talk submission for the 2018 conference. Working together on the schedule and the talks, we know that we can create the most educational and fun Angular event the universe has ever seen.

Special thanks to all who participated in the survey. You are our partners in this year’s talk selection process. Our sincerest thanks for trusting us with your responses, and for continuing to allow us to prepare a premier Angular event for everyone.

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