For years I’ve heard that SXSW is the place to be for anyone interested in web design, development or just making connections with like-minded folks. I decided 2010 was the year I would finally head to Austin and see what all the hype was about.
The amount of available panels to check out on any given day is absolutely overwhelming. The mobile web application, Sitby.us, that was created by Naz Hamid of Weightshift was a huge help. I was able to sift through the available panels for every time block of every day and mark anything of interest to my personal schedule. This was especially handy for figuring out where to go at 9:30am after retiring from a Hampton Inn second floor balcony whiskeython™ at 5:00am.
Of all the panels I attended at SXSW this year, there was one in particular that really excited me; HTML5: Tales From the Development Trenches by Bruce Lawson. Bruce gave a great broad stroke review on the events that led up to the creation of HTML5, what exactly HTML5 aims to achieve and who is making it happen. For anyone involved in any aspect of creating anything for the internet, you really should read up on what Mr. Lawson has been writing about. A powerful and truly device agnostic internet really is just around the corner and we should all get busy with making this happen!
Outside of taking in presentations, I spent a fair amount of time exploring the city, meeting up with old friends and making a few new ones as well. I’m normally rather shy when it comes to meeting new people. If I don’t have a friend to make an introduction, I will generally stick to the sidelines and then spend the rest of the night regretting a missed opportunity to share a pint with a personal design hero. This year I made a conscious effort to break out of my shell and get social. I was pleasantly surprised that everyone I spoke with was extremely friendly and welcoming to conversation; even those snooty, elitist rock star designers everyone’s always complaining about.
The ExpressionEngine community was out in full force as well. I was blown away with how engaging everyone was at the EECI party. It seemed everyone there was hellbent on making connections, sharing advice on EE, business and methods to succeed with running an agency. I met a ton of really nice and talented folks and it really made me appreciate being a part of the ExpressionEngine community.
Speaking of nice and talented folks, I would like to call out one individual who takes the cake: Mathew Hoy. I had the pleasure of meeting Mathew for the first time this year and he is an absolute machine! I’m certain he is capable of transcending space and time because he attended just about every panel, conducted multiple interviews for his podcast on a daily basis; and still managed to find time to attend parties and then blog about everything, every day! I should also point out that Mr. Hoy is a Canadian and likes to give ‘er!
I would say that SXSW met my expectations and definitely lived up to the hype. I made it back home with a renewed excitement for getting back to work and focusing on being a better designer and developer. Thanks to all of you responsible for making this trip to Austin so much fun!