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360Flex / Overall Wrap-up

Hopefully this wrap-up falls under the "better late than never" heading, because it has been almost two weeks since the conference and I am just now getting up my notes from days two and three, as well as this wrap-up. This is by no means a reflection on the conference (which was extremely well run), but more a reflection on how insane my schedule has been lately.

That said, this conference was the best value for a conference that I have attended to date. And, I'm not sure the value aspect of the conference could be improved upon. For example, the $360 attendance fee included breakfast, lunch and dinner/parties every day. The welcome kits included great polo shirts (as opposed to regular t-shirts) and beta invites for projects such as Buzzword. And the speakers and their sessions were generally great - I've written reviews/recaps of all the ones I attended here.

But, as is usually the case with conferences, you don't attend just to see the speakers - you attend for the community aspects. To meet like-minded people and to inspire and be inspired. So here's a list of some inspiring people and projects from the conference:

+ Buzzword Beta: For me, this is _the_ example of how Flex and AS3 can be used to build an application. Adobe contributed some money to this project to enable them to bring on additional developers and really make this a showcase for the Flex platform. And, showcase it is. I highly suggest trying to get your hands on a beta invite if you can. If you'd like one leave a comment on my blog and I'll add you as a collaborator on a document, which forces you to create an account and is a sort-of "back door" to a beta invite (Dave or anyone else from Virtual Ubiquity, let me know if this is going to cause a problem for you...). More on Buzzword can be found here.

+ Ribbit: VOIP (voice over IP) in Flex. The example I saw at the conference was where Charles Freedman used Ribbit to call a cell phone of someone in the audience. Being able to place and receive phone calls through Flex is truly cool stuff. Imagine the uses - tech support, fax capabilities... More info at Ribbit's developer site (now taking applications for the beta) and on Charles' blog. There is also a writeup at RIApedia and on Ryan Stewart's blog.

+ Charity Code Jam: As part of the conference there was also a charity code jam which benefited the local food bank, Northwest Harvest. Developers were encouraged to give whatever time they felt comfortable donating toward building an online portal for the charity. According to the project's website, over $158,225 worth of time was spent for the cause, writing a total of 5681 lines of code. That's a lot of work. All in all this appears to have been a very large success, even gathering some press from around the blogosphere. Hopefully other conferences will take this idea and help out a good cause by enabling the collective minds in attendance to work together for charity.

A few sessions I didn't mention in my daily wrap-up posts that are worth mention include:

+ Programmatic Visualizations - Andrew Trice
Andrew has a nice write-up along with his slides and links to some other resources on his blog.

+ Deep Linking Flex Applications - Simeon
Since I have been involved with the SWFAddress project, I have become much more aware of the options available for deep-linking, and how the included scheme with Flex isn't really all it is cracked up to be. Slides and commentary can be found on Simeon's blog.

+ Flex and PHP for Rich Internet Application Development - Charles Bihis
Seeing as how I use PHP for all of my server-side development, this probably should have been at the top of my list of sessions to attend. Now I'm sorry I missed out on it! Code samples, slides and notes on Charles' blog.

All in all 360|Flex was a wonderful conference. Here's hoping the guys from 360 Conferences keep delivering wonderful experiences and maybe even expand out into other interactive development subject matter for future conferences. Well done, guys!

David Coletta said,

August 26, 2007 @ 5:44 pm

Hey, just wanted to say, no problem inviting other people to Buzzword by sharing documents. That’s all part of the plan! Just one thing to keep in mind: the people you invite will not be able to invite new people themselves that way. They’ll have to come back to you for more invites. That’s because we’re trying to limit the viral spread for now, until we’re ready to open the doors wide. Good luck and thanks for spreading the word.

-David Coletta
Virtual Ubiquity, Inc.
Flex blog: http://www.colettas.org

jonnymac said,

August 26, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

Awesome! Thanks for the confirmation, David!

John W said,

August 27, 2007 @ 8:05 am

Glad you enjoyed!

We aim to please and we aim to make the ROI for our events well into the positive, so we’re glad to read such great reviews!

Thanks for attendees!

jonnymac blog » Have you attended a 360|Flex conference? said,

October 19, 2007 @ 9:39 am

[…] attended 360|Flex Seattle and posted my feelings on Tom and John’s massive efforts, you may know that I feel strongly that this is one of the best […]

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