The Caleres front end dev team hosted another edition of CodePen St. Louis on January 24, 2019. It was a great way to kick off a new year and get inspired to make cool stuff. We enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends too!

Great turnout for CodepenSTL

As developers, we love to iterate and innovate – so this time we tried out some new stuff:

  • We live streamed the event using Google Hangouts so friends out of state could join in the fun. It was a good learning experience – perhaps someday we'll have a virtual meetup with more remote attendees.

  • We also made a CodePen to assist in giving away swag throughout the evening. We asked everyone to sign in to a Google form when they arrived, then fetched that data using the Sheets API. With some fun cocktail shaker animation, we randomly selected winners of awesome CodePen water bottles. You can check out the pen below (attendee names have been replaced with dummy data 😉).

See the Pen Codepen giveaway w/google sheets - recap post by Star 5 Star Web (@bwswebdev) on CodePen.

Henry selects a CodePen swag winner


Once again, we had some really fantastic presentations.

Jacob White

Jacob's talk about bookmarklets

“h0w to be a :L33T: hAx0r using bo0km4rkl3t$”

Jacob showed us the power of building bookmarklets for instant browser extensions – and how easily they can be created and customized using CodePen templates.

He took us through some of his creative uses for custom bookmarklets, these are just a few:

James Crain

James talking about the pain points of building an MVP app

“Building an MVP with React Native and Firebase”

James shared some of the lessons he's learned while building an MVP mobile app with React Native and Firebase. He provided a great overview for those of us mostly focused on building for the web, who haven't yet taken the plunge into native app development. His slides (linked above) serve as a great reference point for anyone interested in working with React Native.

Ehren Coker

Ehren presenting about event driven architecture

“Event Driven Architecture (or how the back end is starting to look a lot like the front end)”

Ehren gave an engaging talk about event driven architecture and how the back end is starting to look more like the front end.

We’re familiar with browser events driving visual experiences on the front end, but through colorful examples, including a fictitious e-commerce site called Eagle Depot and a cardboard rocket that simulated a space mission for his 4-year-old son, Ehren made a compelling case that an event-based approach is a great way to handle state changes on the client, server and even our homes.


A big thank you to everyone who helped with the planning and execution of the event, as well as our presenters and attendees. We're having a lot of fun putting these on and are already thinking of ideas for the next meetup.

If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know!

#CodePenSTL at Caleres

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