Review of An Event Apart DC

Thursday September 16, 2010 Reviews

Banner for An Event Apart

First and foremost, huge thanks to Jefferey Zeldman for arranging the opportunity for myself, and two awesome web students, Kyle Cotter and Dan Philibin, to attend the conference.  On day one we made sure to arrive early and were excited to walk through and meet Mr. Zeldman himself standing around the breakfast buffet.  A few plates of food later we made our way to the front row of the conference room to get ready for the speakers. 

Picture of Kyle sitting up front

The speakers brought historical context, statistics about access to the web, ideas for writing better code, and how to use CSS3 with taste and style.  As a teacher I appreciated that everyone took time to produce quality presentations.

Luke W. has had a lot of influence on the Advanced Web Class I teach at MC.  We read his book, listen to podcasts from him, and take more time building, designing, and behaviorizing forms.  I think he might be an alien.  Luke performed to par for what I expected.  I learned a lot about the current state of the mobile world, heard support for building lite sites first, and how about to design for touch.

I had two great fan boy moments when I met Luke W. and Jared Spool.  I felt bad because I interrupted Jason Santa Maria, but he didn't look too mad :)  Although, I did interrupt him again when he was chatting with Kristina Halverson.   

We read Kristina's book in the summer CMS course and everyone who read it raved about.  If you haven't picked it up yet, you should.  She talked about consistency across your content and thinking about what the user was looking for.  I realigned the new homepage and the keeping current in class section based on her talk so that it is (hopefully) more friendly to students.  

The special invitations we handed out to VIP guests to the web conference

(The special VIP passes we handed out for the student web conference)

In day two, we geared back up for more great presentations and realigned our seats to sit in the second row with all the Viget people behind Zeldman and a few other speakers and web celebrities. Of particular interest, Meyers got specific on media queries, and Jeremy Keith warned that with AJAX, you, the front end developer, take on the responsibility for giving the user feedback about what is happening with updates on the page.

Andy Clark got hard boiled in his unique fashion and demoed a cool site with some great CSS3 UI.  Finally, in that Jeffrey Veen is even more interesting and amazing than I previously knew based on blogs and interviews.

Overall, we all learned a lot of things that we can immediately apply to our projects.  On a social note, there's nothing I love more than introducing my students to their professional heros in the field.  Special shout out to the great folks at Nclud for giving us a spot to hang out during breaks and for their up to par after party.

Alex from Nclud with Kyle - that's Talbs in the background

(Alex from Nclud awarding Kyle Cotter with the iPod shuffle he won.  Viget's Brain Talbet with the big thumbs up behind them)