J.D. Hillen

J.D. Hillen

Software Engineer II @ Garmin

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Hailing from the heart of Kansas City’s Silicon Prairie, J.D. Hillen is a Software Engineer II at GPS and wearables company, Garmin. Since the age of 15, he's been fascinated with the connection between creativity and code. His love for all things tech has allowed him to work for a wide variety of advertising agencies, marketing firms and even the craft beer industry. When he’s not coding, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and two boys or in the pit of a metal show.

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • JavaScript
  • Vue Js
  • Django
  • SCSS
  • CSS3
  • HTML5

Composing Composables in Vue

With Vue 3's Composition API comes a new way of writing reusable code across your application called Composables. In this session, I will go over what is a Composable, how to write your own Composable and even dive into the VueUse library, a collection of essential Vue Composition Utilities.

the point of this session is to educate people on how to write more reusable code in their Vue 3 application.

Building Desktop Apps with JavaScript

We all know that Vue.js is great for building out web applications. With services like Netlify, Azure and Firebase, going from idea to finished product is now faster than ever. But what about desktop applications? Is there a way to build out applications that just work everywhere? Enter Electron. With Electron you can easily build out those cross-platform desktop apps with Vue, Vite and Vitest. You'll have access to native system API's such as the filesystem, network and user interfaces. All while building with the tech stack that we all know and love.

In this session, I will be discussing what Electron is and why it's a great solution for building out desktop apps. We will go over how to add Electron to your project, the gotcha’s with working in a desktop environment and how to take your project to the next level by building a desktop application with Electron.

Key Takeaways
- Able to add Electron to an existing repo
- Utilize native system API's to extend our apps functionality
- Give the attendees the confidence that they can build their own desktop apps

This is a new talk but I have been working with Electron for the last 5 years, building apps in Vue, Vite and Vitest.

The Art of Technical Decision Making

Developers are bombarded with technical decisions every day. What language should I learn? What framework should I use? What software will make my life easier? The list goes on and on. A simple decision can have rippling effects in your organization, both good and bad. Technical decision making isn’t so much about which tool to pick, rather what problem to solve. In this presentation, we explore various approaches to technical decision making, including techniques for gathering and evaluating information, strategies for managing uncertainty and risk, and methods for involving and engaging team members. We also discuss best practices for evaluating the success and effectiveness of technical decisions. The aim is to provide a practical guide for technical leaders looking to improve their decision making skills and make more effective technical decisions.

Take Aways
- Learning how to make the right decisions for your project / team.
- Techniques for gathering and evaluating information.
- Strategies for managing risk.
- We all make wrong decisions despite our best effort.

This talk has been given at THAT Conference TX 2023.

Animating Vue.js with GSAP

Animations are an easy way to add depth and dimension to an application. There are a lot of animation platforms out there, but in my opinion, GSAP is head and shoulders above the rest. In this presentation we will be discussing adding the Greensock Animation Platform to your Vue.js application and how using it can bring your application to life. Specific demos will be given on how to integrate GSAP into lifecycle hooks, router guards, page transitions, and list generation while using Vue.js.

Presented this at Connect.Tech 2021, VueConf 2022 and Modern Frontends Live 2022

dev up 2023

August 2023 St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Beer City Code 2023

August 2023 Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

KCDC 2023

June 2023 Kansas City, Missouri, United States

J.D. Hillen

Software Engineer II @ Garmin

Kansas City, Missouri, United States