conference 2008

So I attended the <head> conference a couple weekends ago and I’m glad I did.  There were a ton of knowledgeable speakers covering many interesting topics. The following are the sessions I enjoyed the most so far:

Building Personal Brand with Social Media (Gary Vaynerchuk)
I really enjoyed this session. It was all about why personal branding is so important and various ways to get a person started. A lot of this was stuff I’ve been hearing for years (specially from my friend Moses) but I never did anything about. Gary said things that made sense and put things on a different perspective for me. As you call tell, it worked. I now have a blog and even a twitter account!

Google App Engine: An Overview (Pete Koomen)
This was a good introduction to Google App Engine for me. I first learned about Google App Engine from Aral Balkans blog but I never did much research on it to find out what it’s all about. After this session I have a better understanding on what this does and how I could use it at some point.

Beyond Web Standards: Crafting Design and Development Standards (Kimberly Blessing)
This was another good one. All about trying to create/use standards. This should be common sense but the reality is I haven’t worked anywhere yet were we had any kind of standards. I’m going to make it a personal goal to create some sort of standards to implement at my current company. We do so much and all our documentation, code, naming conventions, folder structures, everything is different. Every project seems to be completely different from the next. Things would be much more efficient at least for us (the developers) if we all followed some sort of standards.

Architecting Human Behaviour (Andy Budd)
This was one of my favorite.  Andy did a great job on making a very fun and interesting presentation. I was 100% engaged the entire time wanting to hear more on what he had to say. It was very interesting to hear the tricks being used out there in the way buildings are structured to guide customers through certain paths increasing the amount of time customers stay in the building and increasing the chances the customers will purchase more items. The coolest example was all the levels of details put on how things are laid out on a grocery store and why they are built the way they are. There was a ton of neat info that I now have to think about how I can put these ideas into practice on my own projects. Looking forward to hearing more on what Andy has to say.

Building Pyramids out of Bits: How can we build software that lasts? (Cliff Hall)
This was an interesting one too. Cliff shared his experiences on how over time, things change and the code you were so proud off can eventually fade away. Technologies change, new languages surface and old languages sometimes stop being used. It’s important to develop code in a way that will be easily transferable from one application to the next. He talked about PureMVC and I’m definately going to look more into it. The idea behind it is having a single framework that is platform independent based on MVC. If you code in AS3 using PureMVC, you should be able to transfer the same code to Java or PHP without too many problems since the structure is the same.

Now I need to look at some of the recordings for the sessions I missed. I’m sure there are a few other great ones out there.

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