I started to write a long blog post about the last day of the conference, but with a flight back to the UK early tomorrow, and a bunch of video title editing work still to be done before I leave, I didn't have time to finish it, and you probably don't have time to read it anyway!
In brief, it's been an awesome (I know! I know! That word is ridiculously over-used) conference. The phrase 'passionate community' is the last resort of a lazy marketing department wanting to create smoke and mirrors around their own inadequacies, but I've seen it in evidence for real here each and every hour of every day. The conference, and indeed AngularJS itself, is a testament to what passionate community can achieve when it's real and not just a cut-and-paste marketing cliche.
Bottom line: If I was enthusiastic about AngularJS before the conference, I'm even more enthusiastic about it now. The commitment, hard work, passion and focussed determination to succeed and do the best job possible from all those around me is quite intoxicating.
After several third rate, over-priced, poor value Microsoft conferences that meant I assumed my conference days were over, this one has come as a very pleasant surprise, and it's astonishing to think that this is the first conference the organisers (all volunteers) have put together for the developer community. They've done themselves and all their attendees proud. We really couldn't have asked for more!
I really can't find anything to criticise (Long time readers will know how hard that must be for me
- The hotel has been superb and great value-for-money.
- The sponsors have been generous, friendly, helpful and not at all pushy.
- The organisation has been excellent.
- The speakers have universally been excellent, as have the topics chosen for them to present.
- The swag, the party, the vibe... all brilliant!
Judging from the conversations I've had over the last few days, I'd say the vast majority of attendees hail from the Java rather than the Microsoft .NET world. I've seen resistance to do anything other than cling to the sinking 'Windows Store' ship amongst friends who can't face yet another huge learning curve after years of huge learning curves from one failed 'strategic' product after another at Microsoft.
It's a more awesome language than you (or I) probably realised, with a fantastically supportive community, and an elegant, powerful, productivity enhancing framework called AngularJS to boot!
I decided to bring my DSLR, pro lens and audio recorder over here, and rented a tripod (from the wonderful folk at PictureLine, just around the corner from the hotel) hoping to get a video of a panel discussion with some of the .NET thought leaders, who I knew were attending, on the whole Silverlight fallout story, and the correct way to approach Angular if you're from that world, particularly for those of us having to work with large enterprises building large apps.
Thanks to Dan Wahlin that panel discussion happened, with developers I've long admired, like Jeremy Likness, John Papa, Ward Bell and Dan Wahlin himself engaging in honest, thoughtful, open debate in a discussion that went on for an hour, but could easily have gone on for several hours more.
It was a privilege to listen to (and video) these guys talking for an hour yesterday, and I can't wait for people to hear and see the results themselves when Dan publishes the results after I've edited them for him on my return to the UK.
As well as that panel discussion, I got to witness Dan talking with AngularJS team lead Brad Green (Google's AngularJS team manager), John Lindquist (founder of Egghead.io and full time employee at JetBrains) and Ari Lerner (author of ng-book and co-founder of ng-newsletter).
Having seen a rough cut of his first video panel with Brad, John and Ward, Dan says he's 'excited' to see these videos published, and I am too (although, unfortunately, it's unlikely to be before the end of next week given current travel and work schedules).
ng-conf 2014 may be physically over for now, but the repercussions of meetings and events that happened here will be ongoing for months to come.
Thank you Joe Eames and your team of organisers for having the dream of putting on this event and exceeding all expectations. Thank you Dan Wahlin for your constant enthusiasm, encouragement and support. Thank you to the AngularJS development team who inspired everyone with their framework, and continue to inspire everyone with their determination to do the right thing and engage with developers. Thank you to all the new friends I made this trip.
In his talk with Dan, John and Ward, Brad dropped the tantalising suggestion that the next ng-conf should be held in Europe or Asia. Fingers crossed, but even if it's not held somewhere closer to home than Salt Lake City, I'll try and be there. You should too!