Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Ajax Experience, a web technology conference held in everyone’s favorite technology hub, San Francisco. The conference website describes the event as “the first ever two day conference exclusively for the Ajax community” and I must say it is by far the best conference I’ve been too. The content was right on target and focused on the past, present and future of Ajax technology, as well as the technical challenges that remain to be solved (i.e. Accessibility, Mobile Device Support, Memory Issues, Debugging, Testing & more).
I went to the conference with a few goals in mind. First, I wanted to broaden my understanding of all the top Ajax frameworks on the market, both commercial and open source. I’ve had varying levels of experience with many of them in the past, but over the last couple years I’ve mainly been focused on building the ThinWire Ajax framework so I thought this would be a good opportunity to see what others have done. Second, I wanted to meet both the people behind these frameworks and also the people looking to apply Ajax techniques so that I could get a solid picture of the perceived deficiencies and some of the solutions that the frameworks were working on. Finally, I wanted to see how some of the other frameworks have solved the same issues that we encountered while building ThinWire.
Truthfully, there was so much information conveyed in such a short period of time that it would take pages upon pages to describe everything that I saw or heard. To give you an idea, the event had 35 break out sessions running 5 parallel tracks over two days and a half days. The last two days ran more or less from 8am till 10pm and then I hung around speaking with people until 11:30pm. Additionally, there were 5 keynotes, 3 expert discussion panels and numerous breaks for mingling with other attendees.
As you might imagine, with 35 sessions I only got to attend about a fourth of them. However, we were provided a CD containing almost all of the slide show presentations used in each session as well as the slide shows from the keynotes. And from what I heard, all of the conference attendees are going to get online access to video recordings of the keynotes and a number of interviews sometime soon. Overall I really can’t complain though… there was a lot of content, but I found it mostly thought provoking and interesting. As things start settling into my mind and as I go back through my notes, I’ll be posting more about the conference. But for now, I just thought I’d let everyone know the basics.
And finally, here’s some pics of the swag from the conference. Sorry for the terrible picture quality, my camera phone bites and its all I had with me. The only thing I don’t have a picture of yet is the iPod shuffle that we got, which was branded with conference title. I’ll post a picture of it when I get a chance to snap a pic.