webDU 2007 Post Mortem

I figured it was about time I made some comments on
webDU now that the dust has
settled (and I'm finally over the gastro I've had all week, including at the
conference).

Overall, I have to say I have an absolute blast, and it was
brilliant to put some real faces to people who were just names on a mail list,
IM or irc chat room.

There is a huge amount of kudos that needs to go to Geoff, Julie and the rest of
the Daemon team for
putting on webDU, it was well organised, professional, and not to mention a
whole lot of fun.

The only criticism on the conference was that with the Flex heavy presentations,
there seemed to be a fair amount of overlap in terms of content covered.  I
went to a few Flex presentations, and many of them covered that very beginning
level of introduction into Flex.  While I am not a Flex user by any means,
I like to keep my eye on the Flex space, and was often looking for something
more than just another 'here is how to say 'Hello World' in Flex', especially
when the title of the presentation lends itself to make you believe it is
something more.

Otherwise, the presentations where very good, and on the whole insightful.  My favourites included the
Keynote:
Flash Bang, Apollo
, FarCry 4.0: The Application Framework,
Seeding,
Developing and Growing an online Community
, and Using the IM gateway in ColdFusion .

I felt that my Transfer presentation went very well, although I'm still not sure how I managed to get through all 39 slides in just over half an hour without someone telling me to speak slower ;o).  I did have to laugh when I got the webDU booklet and my presentation slides took up something like 4 or 5 pages, compared to other presenters usual 2 or 3.

Speaking
to people after the session, the feedback was generally positive, and
people seemed to have walked away feeling like they had learnt
something.  Mind you, if anyone has any extra feedback they wish to
give me on the presentation, I'm all ears, so fire away. I'm always
looking to do a better job.

Charlie Arehart and I did a BOF: ColdFusion Componentry
session together, which, in all honestly, I didn't think anyone would
show up to, being 8am after the night of the banquet.  But people did,
and we had a good chat about Object Oriented development, from a
variety of angles.  I apologise if I wasn't making any sense, as I may
have possibly had my fair share of the Microsoft tab at the bar the
night before.

Speaking of which, the Banquet was great as well,
including the Kath and Kim impersonators.  I think the most enjoyable
part was watching the American visitors try and work out who Kath and
Kim were. ;o)

The drinks at the bar after the banquet were also
lots of fun, but I am wondering where everyone went around 11pm.  It
seemed like the place was packed, and then suddenly it was empty.  Go
figure.  I did get a definite giggle out of a Microsoft representative
asking me why I didn't program in .Net.  All I know is that at around
2am they kicked us out, so I ended up going back to my room to crash.

The
definite highlight of the whole thing, I have to say, was the people. 
It was such a good opportunity to run around and actually physically
talk to a variety of people who worked with Adobe technologies. 
(Especially to one guy who couldn't quite believe that I thought
manipulating a huge amount of financial data was really cool… I
didn't really care about the Flex part).  To those of you I talked to,
and there were way to many to mention, was great to chat to you all,
and I'm glad to have (finally?) met you.

A brilliant conference,
and I hope that those of you who didn't come, will show up next year,
and those that I met this year, I will see again.

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Comments

  • Lucas Sherwood | March 27, 2007

    Hey Mark, glad to hear you liked my session! I know how you feel about the slide rush and speaking too fast, i always have far to much content and run through it way to fast.

    Hopefully it will not be a year before we catch up again! maybe a trip to NZ for http://www.webonthepiste.com/

  • Sherif Mansour | March 28, 2007

    "The only criticism on the conference was that with the Flex heavy presentations, there seemed to be a fair amount of overlap in terms of content covered."
    Completely agree with you

  • Toby Tremayne | March 29, 2007

    Was great to meet you Mark, I’m sure we’ll see more of each other at the user group – and btw thanks for the chair 🙂