QueTwo's Blog

thouoghts on telecommunications, programming, education and technology

360|Flex Conference Review

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Well, the conference is done and over, and I’m on my way back to Lansing.  Man was it a fun time!

Day 0:

Sunday was the ‘pre-conference day’, and was free and open to everyone. While i didn’t sit in with either of the sessions, I did get to hang out with Tom and John, and help them make copies of the USB drives they were handing out.  Got to meet up with a lot of old friends, and meet some ‘celebrities’ while they were walking in and registering.

Day 0 – Party:

The Sunday party was defiantly the best.  Smaller group of people, lots of food, free drinks, and one of the neatest “hang out rooms” I’ve been in, in quite a while.  Lots of chairs, TV’s, and beer taps in the wall.  I got to meet the other speakers, and just chill. Later in the evening, they opened up the party to all conference attendees.  Got to meet some really cool people who work at pretty much every tech company I could think of.

Day 1:

Monday started off with a bang, and included a keynote from Adobe announcing Flex 3, AIR, a revamped Adobe Developer Connection (now being headed by Ed Sullivan!), and Adobe’s new Opensource platforms.  Matt Chotlin ended the keynote with a ‘home video’ that he created entitled ‘in the life of a Flex Framework developer’, which pretty much followed him through a ‘typical day’.  i don’t think he missed anybody from the Flex team that I knew of.

It seems I ended up sticking in the Custom Components sessions for most of Monday, not really on purpose, but the topics just seemed to call out to me.  I learned lots, from many of the sessions, epically Axel Jensen’s “Understanding the component LifeCycle”.  I thought I knew the material for that one, but it really started making sense up in the noggin when he was presenting  it.

Christophe Coenraets had an excellent presentation on the future of Data Services, and included lots of BlazeDS info. I don’t know if it is the product for me, simply because I have found the magic of Data Sync to be so seductive.

Day 1 – Party :

The party on the second day was at the same location as Sunday, but had a much better attendance.  Unfortunately, the better attendance also boiled down to the food disappearing much, much quicker.  Some of the people put up a fund to buy RockBand; the Flex Team lined right up to show us ‘punks’ how its done 🙂

Day 2:

Tuesday started off without a keynote, but still early in the morning.  I decided to go to a session on using Licensing within AIR.  The company that presented actually wrote a new sales tool for Avaya (I had heard of a rumor of the application from some of my contacts at the company).  It looks really cool, and in my opinion, is a really good example of an AIR application if I have seen one.

After that, I attended a session from Pete Farland, from the Flex Team talking about the opensouce projects (Flex 3 Framework).  He explained how to check out the source, and at the very least, bringing in the debugging information, so you can see what is happening under the hood in many of the weird, formerly closed portions of the Flex framework (AMF debugging!)

Deepa gave a great update on the future of Flex, including some of the themes of the Flex 4 Framework. Things like a true MVC model for all components, a defarga style graphics library, and much more.  Mobile is also a huge theme for the future releases too.

My session went as expected.  Nobody booed me off the stage, there was no food thrown, and most of the people stayed. The room ended up being mostly full, with about a dozen chairs left unsat.  I got some really good reviews, and lots of people coming up to me after words asking questions.  I think I even answered most of the questions correctly too!  Damn I hoodwinked them!

Day 2 – Party:

The Party the second day was at the same bar, but a different room.  RockBand was in the house, and seemed to entertain lots.  I didn’t get to stay very long, but had a good time while I was there.  I ended up hanging out with some Silicon Valley people, such as Clint Modien and Chuck Freedman and going to dinner at the bar at the CNN Center.  Good discussion were had by all.

Day 3:

Day 3’s Keynote started a bit late, but still had some great info.  Some excellent community projects such as Defarga, the Yahoo Maps AS3 component, OpenFlux, etc were introduced and demoed. 

Day 3’s sessions were excellent.  Scott Talsma with SQLite, Ben Stucki with his 3D Glasses demo, and Clint Modien were excellent presenters (although I had to leave early from Clint’s session to catch my ride to the airport). 

Now I’m all tied out, and looking to go back home! Well, maybe some AIR programming on the plane!

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