SourceDevCon 2011 - an awesome conference

The inaugural SouceDevCon just wrapped up in Split, Croatia so I'd like to share a few thoughts on the last few days. The conference was an enormous success, featuring some great speakers, inspiring presentations and a fantastic group of attendees. Split itself is beautiful, and the weather was equally equitable. More than a few of us are returning a lot browner/redder than we came.

Photo of the Adriatic

Day 1

The conference was spread across 3 days - the first two were spent listening and learning across the three concurrent tracks, the third on a boat sailing around the Adriatic Sea. Day one kicked off with my colleagues Aditya and James setting out a little of what to expect from Sencha in 2011 in the opening keynote.

Straight after that I took to the stage to introduce a few of the features of Ext JS 4. My session started a little late and I forgot what I was talking about a couple of times (sorry guys :) ) but I think it turned out well enough. I spliced together the deadly combination of sleep deprivation and live coding but with a little help from the audience we were able to stumble through. I think it would make for a good screencast.

Aditya came on next and introduced our new Sencha.IO services, which seem to have garnered a lot of interest. James showed off the new Ext JS 4 theming support using SASS and Compass and Nils Dehl did a great job explaining the and packages. Jay Garcia gave a well-received talk on creating extensions and plugins, during which I think a lot of people learned a great deal about how classes work in Ext JS 4. I also very much enjoyed Tomislav Car's investigation into getting Sencha Touch to run on phones other than Androids and iPhones.

Day 1 ended with a long party (I counted at least 8 hours) with inordinate amounts of Croatian beer, which went down very well. It was great meeting so many new people and hearing how much people are getting out of Ext JS and Sencha Touch, as well as what we can improve.

Day 2

Day 2 started in a somewhat hungover fashion with some awesome material from our very own Brian Moeskau, who demonstrated how to use the 3.x -> 4.x compatibility file, upgrading an application from 3.3.1 to 4.0.0 in front of our eyes. Nige (Animal) White demonstrated several of Ext JS's layout managers before giving one of the highlights of the conference in his debugging JavaScript presentation (by contrast he calls the introduction of errors into code "bebugging").

Tobias Uhlig showed off FieldManager, a sports centre management management application with a Sencha Touch mobile app, while Matz Bryntse and Brian Moeskau demoed their awesome Scheduler and Calendar components. Josef Sakalos (Saki) spent the afternoon teaching people to use Ext JS 4's new MVC package, which makes writing apps a faster and more enjoyable experience. He is an excellent teacher.

Our host the inimitable Grgur finished things off with a typically heartfelt ending keynote to wrap up the business end of the conference. The evening was a great opportunity to see some of Split and spend an enjoyable meal with Croatian locals Tomislav, Miro and the ever-logical Lucia. Unfortunately their attempts to teach me Croatian did not yield much success.

Day 3

Day 3 was a stroke of genius by Grgur. We took a chartered boat down to the town and looked around the old Roman-era palace. The boat was well stocked with beer and with so many community members in one place the conversation was pretty lively. All of this relaxing was great but with a head full of ideas I'm anxious to get back to California and better tune our products based on all the feedback I received this week.

All of the sessions were recorded on video and I believe they'll be made available in around a month's time. If you can't wait until then we have a meetup schedule for May 23rd hosted at Sencha HQ in northern California, to which you're all invited. Just in case you've never been to Split before perhaps the sight that greeted us when we arrived will prompt you to get yourself on a flight.

Photo of the Adriatic

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