Speaker Spotlight: Ire Aderinokun

Welcome back to Pixel Pioneers! What have you been up to since you last spoke at the conference in 2018?

Thank you! 😊 I’m really excited to be back speaking at Pixel Pioneers, especially in Bristol! It’s been a pretty wild five years since I spoke in Belfast. I’ve spent that time mostly focused on a startup I co-founded, Helicarrier, which has taken me out of my comfort zone as I’ve had to delve into the world of blockchain and develop my non-technical skills as a manager. This year, I’m really looking forward to being able to focus on front-end development again!

You’re no stranger to Bristol. How did you get into front-end development after studying psychology and law at the University of Bristol?

Front-end development is something I’ve been interested in since before I knew it was called “front-end development”. 😅 I started making websites as a teenager after being introduced to web technologies through the online game, Neopets. At the time, I had no idea it was something I could make a career out of, so I decided to study psychology (and then law). I enjoyed both of these courses a lot, but I somehow always found my way back to programming. So after I graduated, I decided to give it a real try and (luckily) it worked out!

What excites you most about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript at the moment?

I think what’s really exciting is the way new features have been launched with more cross-browser support. It’s so much less likely nowadays that a new CSS/HTML/JS API is launched and only supported by one browser. This makes developing websites so much more fun because we’re able to use new features sooner. For example, the :has CSS pseudo-class already has 84 percent global support! As always, progressive enhancement is still best practice, but it’s fun to know that the new features will be usable by a lot of end users.

What can we expect to take away from your talk?

My talk this year is all about how CSS and JavaScript contribute towards the accessibility of web pages. When it comes to accessibility, we typically hear a lot about HTML because that’s the core of what makes websites accessible. Generally speaking, what’s in your HTML is what a user of assistive technology will interface with. But what we do (or don’t do) with CSS/JS can also have a huge effect, and that’s what this talk is all about!

Tell us about your annual Udacity Nanodegree scholarship program and why you launched it?

For five years now, I’ve been running a scholarship program to sponsor Nigerian women to complete a Udacity Nanodegree program of their choice in order to help them break into or level up within the tech industry. I started this because I found that I was frequently the only black/Nigerian woman in many tech spaces, and I had the capability to do something to try and change that. Now, I’m really happy to have sponsored over 50 women with the help of donors, and hoping I’ll be able to continue doing this for the foreseeable future!

At Pixel Pioneers Bristol, Ire Aderinokun will be talking about how CSS and JavaScript can contribute, negatively or positively, to accessibility. The conference will also cover design systems, web animation, declarative design, and more. Get your ticket today!