View-first, and you can too.

Short Form


In a world predominantly powered by MVC webapps, view-first web development provides a more designer and front-end developer friendly alternative to the convention. We'll look at how view-first development manifests itself in the Lift Web Framework, some of the benefits we get from it, and how that might translate into other languages and frameworks.


View-first web development has yet to gain the same level popularity as the MVC pattern, but it offers a refreshing alternative to those who are frustrated with MVC’s current answers for how to present information to a user. It’s based on the concept of the view being in charge of what dynamic components get pulled into a particular page, unlike MVC applications where the controller typically owns that responsibility.

In this talk, we’ll take a look at the open source Lift Web Framework, a view-first framework that leverages this design pattern to deliver a significant number of benefits to designers and developers alike. We’ll take a look at how views in Lift work, contrast them to views from other web frameworks, and take a look at how well this paradigm translates to Express-powered Node.js webapps.

Most of the examples for this talk will be HTML and CSS, but prior knowledge of web application development and MVC frameworks will make it most valuable. Knowledge of Scala, Express, or Node.js in general may be beneficial, but is certainly not required.


html, view-first, web-development, node, Scala, Lift

Speaking experience

I'm relatively new to speaking. I've done some tech demos of things I've worked on to AWDG and some user groups. I have delivered a talk on the Lift Framework that included some parts of this talk at the Athens Area Developers Meetup, will deliver one to the Atlanta Scala Users Group in May, and have spoken in online video about our use of open source at Elemica (


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    Matt Farmer



    Matt is a Software Developer at Elemica, working in Scala, Clojure, and the normal assortment of front-end web languages to make supply chains work smoother. He’s involved in a number of open source projects like the Lift Framework and the Georgia Open Data Project, and has contributed individual lines to a few others. He can typically be found with coffee in hand.