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The Ajax Experience Wrapup

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The Ajax Experience
Well another conference is in the can. My conference swag-bag is stuffed to the gills and I’m still trying to figure out why I’ve got a lime-green AOL shirt. As always, let’s take a quick glance back over the shoulder before heading to the next registration table.

p. The sessions I attended at “The Ajax Experience”:http://www.theajaxexperience.com were almost all top quality. I sat down last night to fill out my evaluation sheet and realized that there was only one session and one keynote that I really did not think were up to snuff. Everything else was very good.

p. The best session I attended was by John Resig, author of “jQuery”:http://jquery.com/. John did a session called “Choosing a JavaScript Library”:http://www.theajaxexperience.com/speaker_topic_view.jsp?topicId=333 that looked at 4 different libraries, including his own. Like my “favorite news source”:http://www.foxnews.com/, John didn’t draw any conclusions for his attendees, he simply laid out the facts of the four and let each person decide which was best for their situation.

p. I did not get to attend IBM’s QEDWiki session as it was up against a session on “Scriptaculious”:http://script.aculo.us/ that was a must see for me. “Justin Gehtland”:http://www.theajaxexperience.com/speaker_view.jsp?speakerId=5 did a great job of showing the basics of this great effects library built on “prototype”, my favorite library.

p. Yesterday’s highlight had to be “Douglas Crockford’s”:http://www.theajaxexperience.com/speaker_view.jsp?speakerId=794 session on JSON. Since JSON isn’t all that complicated, Douglass talked a lot about the work that went into creating this notation scheme. He talked about proposals he is putting forth at “www.json.org”:http://www.json.org to extend the JavaScript String and Object to allow them to natively work with JSON encoded data. if you use JSON (and I highly recommend it for any developer moving data between the back-end and the front-end)you will want to keep up with Douglas and his ideas.

p. That’s about it. Oh wait, I almost forgot, I have to update the “SQId”:http://devzone.zend.com/article/1101 score and correct an inaccuracy in my previous post. First, there was a vendor handing out T-Shirts here at the conference. AOL was handing out brightly colored T-Shirts with things like 2.0, AOL, and Geek on them. The orange with blue “Geek” shirts were by far the most popular. So that upps the T-Shirt Index to 2. Also, I have to update the SQId score. It seems that since Northwest conspired against me and I missed the Speakers Dinner, I didn’t get my “Speaker’s Swag” until last night. (Props to Jay Zimmerman for help on this) I received a very nice dress shirt, a fleece pull-over and an iPod Shuffle. That brings the SQId score the an all-time record of 9!

p. I really can’t convey how impressed I am with the professionalism with which this conference was run. if there were any problems during the week, they weren’t apparent to the attendees. I talk more about the conference experience on my “personal blog”:http://blog.calevans.com/2006/10/24/the-ajax-experience/. The best analogy I can come up with is that it was like being at Disney World before Eisner. Before Eisner, Disney World was about the experience. When I worked there (many, MANY moons ago) great lengths were taken not to ruin the illusion for the guests. That was the atmosphere here this week. The attendees were free to immerse themselves in the conference without being privy to the problems that undoubtedly cropped up. Jay, Ben, Dion, good job guys.

p. =C=

p.s. I think my slides were the only set at the conference that did not have a “We are hiring” slide. Everybody at the conference was hiring.

Many moons ago, at the tender age of 14, Cal touched his first computer. (We're using the term "computer" loosely here, it was a TRS-80 Model 1) Since then his life has never been the same. He graduated from TRS-80s to Commodores and eventually to IBM PC's. For the past 10 years Cal has worked with PHP and MySQL on Linux OSX, and when necessary, Windows. He has built on a variety of projects ranging in size from simple web pages to multi-million dollar web applications. When not banging his head on his monitor, attempting a blood sacrifice to get a particular piece of code working, he enjoys building and managing development teams using his widely imitated but never patented management style of "management by wandering around". Cal is happily married to wife 1.31, the lovely and talented Kathy. Together they have 2 kids who were both bright enough not to pursue a career in IT. Cal blogs at http://blog.calevans.com and is the founder and host of Nomad PHP