Organization – Thumbs Up
Everything seemed to run on schedule, speakers knew where to be and when to be there. Attendees had an army of volunteers to help them out. For some this may not seem like much, but from my experience the organization of an event can be crucial to it’s success. NCDevCon was very well run.
Local Only – False
I had heard some people mention that the conference might be ‘local’ to the Raleigh area. NCDevCon had presenters from all over the country, and I met quite a few attendees from DC, Atlanta, NY, Chicago, and Minneapolis, to name a few places. This was not some locals-only event.
Presentations – Thumbs Up
At first I was a little bummed that I would be missing some of the presenters because I had partnered up with Ben Farrell to run a Flex 4 hands on session, and I had a Grails/Flex presentation later in the day. But again, NCDevCon had it covered. Not only was the conference free, but they recorded all of the sessions and have posted them through NC State. You can find them here. Believe me, I am watching all of the presentations, there was some serious knowledge being kicked around by the presenters.
Some of my favorites, of the ones I have seen so far:
- Chris Scott – Swiz Framework (the dude started the whole thing..I think he’s got this down)
- Jason Dean – Understanding Air Security and his Ajax Security presos (eye opening reminders, security is his thing)
- Ben Farrell – Audio Manipulation (I do nothing with audio but I went to learn about something new, and learn I did. Ben is in deep)
- Dee Sadler – Wireframing With Fireworks – (awesome presenter/teacher, I learned so many little things in 50 minutes that are going to save me so much time. Thank you Dee).
- Brad Murphy – Memory Management in Flex – (this should be required viewing for all Flex developers)
- Jim Leether – VW History during Pecha Kucha (DON’T try and say it) – I am so looking into getting a VW.
On Sunday morning there was a Pecha Kucha (STOP! – don’t say it, you’ll only be wrong), which is a series of lightning/rapid fire talks. It was really interesting and I learned all about the history of VW, how to handle stress, and $5 is Change. I really hope to see more things like this in the future.
Facility – Thumbs Up
The conference was held at NC State’s School of Textiles. Each room had stadium seating with tables, a great wifi network (read no slowdown even when everyone was on), and all of the audio and video equipment worked. If you have done a few conferences then you know that none of these are a given. Kudos to NC State.
Networking Event – Thumbs Up
The Saturday night networking event was held at the Flying Saucer in downtown. Tremendous beer selection, plenty of space, and everyone was really relaxed (read NO EGOS – which is another huge plus). I got a chance to meet some great folks and talk tech as well as any other random topic that came along.
Weather – Thumbs Down
Okay, so not everything was perfect. Sunday it poured like crazy, so being at the conference was better than being outside. Hey, if I had to put a negative about the conference then this is the only thing I can come up with.
I can’t stress enough the gratitude a lot of us have for the NCDevCon staff and all of their efforts. Your efforts have really made this feel like a true community event that allows us all to celebrate what we love doing!