I’m leaving for the 360|Flex conference in Indianapolis tomorrow, so as I was getting ready I was looking over the schedule to get a feel for the sessions that I might attend. This list below is my tentative itinerary. It sort of represents the stuff that I personally find most interesting, but it certainly shouldn’t be thought of as a ranking or judgment or anything like that. 360|Flex is sweet because there’s usually a few sessions occurring at the same time that are all interesting, so I tend to jump around a lot. And of course I also tend to just hang out with people instead of going to any sessions at all, so we’ll see how many I actually attend. I’ll be presenting my session, “Cool Shit”, on Wednesday at 10:00 am, so be sure to at least come to that one!
10:00 – Michael Labriola – assertYourself
Michael Labriola is always one of the best speakers at 360|Flex (you hear that Labriola? you got a serious reputation to live up to now). In the past he’s given top-notch presentations that go into crazy amounts of uber-technical detail, and somehow people always walk out of the sessions entertained. Unit testing is a huge weakness of mine, something that I know I need to do and do better. So if Labriola brings his game like usual then this session should be entertaining as well as useful.
1:00 – Leonard Souza – Get Phidgety with Phidgets
I’m really excited for this session. Phidgets are little physical devices that you can connect to your computer and control. Simple things like RFID readers, or little sensors of various kinds, or small motors. You can talk to them from your Flex apps and make them do your bidding. The integration with physical devices is something that has fascinated me for a long time, and I’m really looking forward to seeing some cool stuff.
2:30 – Sean Hess – Creating a Realtime Multiplayer Game with AFCS
I was toying with the idea of using some of Adobe’s realtime services (either AFCS or RTMFP) for some gaming ideas. I haven’t had the time to try out any of my ideas, but maybe this session will reinvigorate me. And I figure I might as well stay on top of whatever Adobe is offering with Cocomo just so I’m aware of what the options are.
4:00 – Joe Berkovitz – Dynamic Audio Synthesis on the Flash/Flex Platform
The audio capabilities of Flash Player 10 are something I really haven’t dug into, but I’d like to get a good grasp of what the possibilities are. I’m torn between trying to go see Labriola’s (second) session in this same time slot, but if I see him present in the morning then I can’t be caught in his other session otherwise I’ll seem like a stalker 🙂
8:30 – Joe Johnston – FLEXperience – Putting the Flex in UX
Honestly, I doubt I’ll make it out this early. I’ve been to enough 360|Flex conferences to know that the chances of getting up early for the second day are almost none (to all the presenters in the morning: I feel for you). But if I can get out of bed, I’ll be checking out Joe Johnston’s preso on User Experience. Joe’s a fellow Universal Mind guy, does some sweet work, and I’ve never seen him present.
10:00 – Ben Stucki or Tom Gonzalez
So here I’m really torn. Ben is a good friend of mine (and former coworker on SpatialKey) and he’s been working on an audio startup for a while now. He’ll be presenting the progress he’s made on his startup, AudioSpike, and I’m sure he’ll be covering some cool Flash Player 10 audio stuff. But at the same time Tom Gonzales (who I’ve also had the pleasure of working with on SpatialKey) will be presenting Axiis, which is a new data visualization library he’s been working on with Michael VanDaniker. I’m big into data vis stuff, so seeing what he’s cooked up would definitely be interesting and probably more useful in everyday life, so I really don’t know which session I’ll end up in (maybe hopping between both).
1:00 – Francisco Inchauste – RIA Mojo – Making Your Flex Application Stand Out with Great UX
Francisco is yet another fellow UM employee and also a member of the SpatialKey team. Universal Mind has really been focusing on building a fantastic UX team over the past year and I’ve had the pleasure of working with Francisco before, so I know he does fantastic work. This session (along with Joe Johnston’s) will sort of give me an additional look behind the curtain at their UX process.
2:30 – Jeremy Saenz – Shedding Skins – Programmatic Skinning of Flex
So I don’t really care all that much about programmatic skinning (not that it’s not a worthwhile topic), but Jeremy is the dude who did the Flex Gangsta video, so I’m looking forward to seeing him present. Half the reason for going to sessions at these conferences for me is to check out how other people present, see how they interact with the audience, etc. I’m hoping Jeremy busts some geeky badass-ness.
4:00 – Laura Arguello – Breaking Down Your Applications with Mate Framework
I’ve heard great things about Laura presenting on Mate. Developers seemed to gush all over Mate the instant it was released, and yet somehow I still haven’t built an app using it. So it’s about time I get a good handle on what they did with the framework and start playing around.
10:00 – Doug McCune – Cool Shit
This session is going to be the bomb! I can’t wait! 🙂 In all seriousness, my session should be a hell of a lot of fun. I’ve got a few fun tricks up my sleeve and as long as I don’t get banned from the hotel by the end of the session we should all have a good time. I’ll be writing a little preview blog post to give some details about what I’ll be covering, but until then you’ll just have to trust that you’ll be entertained. It will be super dorky, hopefully inspirational, and maybe a bit scandalous.
After this I’ll probably pass out for a few hours before my flight out later Wednesday evening. But if I actually make it to any sessions afterward, this is what they’ll be:
1:00 – Paul Robertson or Jun Heider
Again, torn between two sessions. I’ve heard Jun gives a really good presentation (which I’ve never had a chance to see), but I could probably also use the information about AIR encrypted databases and security that Paul will be covering. I’ll probably walk back and forth poking my head into a few sessions during this slot.
2:30 – Ryan Campbell or Adam Flater
I’ll probably duck into both these sessions because I’m curious what kind of examples Ryan is going to show that use OpenFlux, but I’d also like to get the lowdown on Merapi (and heckle Adam from the back of the room). So we’ll see what I end up doing. Will be jumping around again for these sessions.
4:00 – Ryan Phelan – Bending and Flexing
Last slot of the conference, that’s a tough one. God bless you all for holding it up at the end, someone has to do it. I’d love to check out the presentation on Pixel Bender (is this really the only presentation about Pixel Bender??). My flight out of Indianapolis leaves at 6pm, so I assume I’ll have to miss this session, which is a shame because I could really use some Pixel Bender knowledge. I wonder if any of the other sessions will be mentioning Pixel Bender…
So that’s my initial list. Like I said, this is just the stuff that I’m interested in, not an endorsement or ranking or anything like that. If I didn’t put your session down you can feel free to come punch me in the face at the conference.
If you’re going to be at 360|Flex definitely come to my session or stop me walking around and say hi. I will definitely be at any of the parties or bars, so come share a beer 🙂