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    DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?

    c0nsilience

      Hi All,

       

      I guess if I had to sum up my overall experience with a single world, it would be: inspirational.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to attend, blessed with an amazing developer community and had the opportunity to really soak in this year's sessions, traverse the exhibitor hall, meet some new folks and reacquaint with others.

       

      *disclaimer: this might be a little long*

       

      When I was a teenager, back when Cobain ruled the airwaves, my impressions of Las Vegas were based solely on the movies, especially Leaving Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  Sure, I speculated about mob hits and cold desert dirt naps, just as much as the next guy, but I really had no clue what this 'oasis' in the middle of the desert was all about.  Fast forward to 2016, my fourth trip to Vegas, and I still have no clue what the 'oasis' in the desert is all about...

       

      That being said, I certainly have a clue (or should) of what DevCon is all about...or I thought I did, until I attended this year's conference.  Historically, I've always viewed it as a networking opportunity, a way for FMI to gain devotees and a forum for vendors to shill their goods.  Well, it is all of these things, and so much more.  This year's DevCon left an indelible impression on me about what it really means to have a passion for development and to have a passion for life.  From the opening Keynote to the closing ceremony, there was an overall theme of 'service to others'.  Without too much pathos, this really resonated in me, as I'm sure it did with many others, and opened my eyes to the future possibilities, where development and humanitarianism meet and birth a future that is going to be more worthwhile than the present.  I find it to be a hopeful spark that can really ignite this unique community in ways that transcend the layers of BS in society.

       

      I want to thank everyone involved in making it happen.  It's hard for my wife and I to agree on what to have for lunch, so I can only imagine what it really must take, behind the scenes, to pull DevCon off.

      I'm really looking forward to Phoenix in 2017!

        • 1. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
          mikebeargie

          Shari Martinez and Mark Baum are two of the top names at FMI to thank for pulling off devcon. FMI has responded visibly with the community over the past year much more than in prior years, so naturally this has bled over into Devcon. The theme will continue with FMI throughout the year too, with programs like the FileMaker Champions.

           

          Three years into speaking now, I can say that the "service to others" theme has been there for a long time, especially with the speaker group. The amount of work going into these sessions, especially anything in the Innovation track, is staggering.

           

          It's quite pleasant to hear feedback like this, it inspires people like me to keep contributing to the community. Thank you for posting it.

          • 2. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
            taylorsharpe

            It is good to hear you enjoyed Devcon a lot.  This was my 5th year and its starting to feel a bit routine to me, but I still get excited about it.  Always FileMaker has its usual corporate presentations which are polished and professional and of course everyone salivates over the non-disclosure features they tell us may be coming out in the next version.  But I still seem to get the most out of some of the sessions to see some of the really creative ways people make use of FileMaker. Most recently it has been making use of RESTful APIs.  I always come back inspired to try things and probably what I get out of Devcon more than anything else is seeing how other developers think outside of the box for solutions.  One thing I will point out that worked much better this year was having the vendor booths located around the room we ate in so that we could easily see them while dining and it just made it easy to go over to a vendor after lunch and chat with them.  Much better than last year.  OK, well thanks everyone at FM for a great conference.  I hear we had about 1600 this year.  Maybe we can top that next year in Phoenix, except I hear they only have about 950 rooms there.  Will have to book a room early next year!

            • 3. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
              philmodjunk

              I found the emphasis on service/pro bono work refreshing. It was great to see that some real good is being done with FIleMaker as the tool to make those good works much more effective.

               

              There were also some "coming soon" announcements that look like real game changers for my employer. One windows specific item was a bit disappointing as they showed it as "coming" last year and then again this year. Would really liked to have seen that one major UI improvement on the windows side in FMP 15.

               

              My biggest disappointment was that SeedCode did not make an appearance as a Vendor as I was looking for them in order to ask them some questions and maybe sit in on a tech discussion with one of our contract developers and them. Kinda motivates me to push for switching over to another vendor's tool that can do the same thing.

               

              The hotel was nice once we were checked in, but their methods for processing payments seem positively stone age and unable to adjust when problems occur. A communication snafu between my employer and the employer and the Hotel left me and my wife cooling our heals in the lobby for 3+ hours while my employer and the hotel sorted things out. In an age when you can go to a web site and use a credit card to pay for things, that was simply inexcusable in my book, but they did finally upgrade our room once all was settled. (For a while, it looked like we were going to have to go to a less expensive hotel for one night, reschedule our flights and go home...)

               

              The heat is NOT fun when you have a spouse with chronic health problems that limits her ability to stand the heat, but we managed and had a great time once the conference itself started.

              • 4. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                mark_baum

                Thanks for the kind words! I want to jump in and thank the speakers as well. When we changed up the closing session this year, we neglected to include a slide acknowledging all the speakers. I want to apologize for that oversight and emphasize how much we value what the speakers do. They are the core -- and the heart -- of DevCon.

                 

                Yesterday I posted our thanks to many of the community members who make DevCon happen. If you click on the banner on the home page, you'll see it:

                 

                https://community.filemaker.com/community/devcon_2016/pages/thank-you

                 

                Cheers --

                 

                Mark

                • 5. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                  mikebeargie

                  Running a booth is expensive both for the cost of the booth, and staffing it with people that can answer questions throughout the week.

                   

                  Jason Young from Seedcode was at devcon though (unless my eyes were seeing ghosts).

                  • 6. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                    beverly

                    As a previous DevCon "Vendor", I concur. Add to that, the staff cannot attend the sessions.

                    It is a tough gig!

                     

                    The Visionary Bar is a way to "appear" for a short time for questions. But we love those vendors!! Many still have discounts (until the end of the month).

                     

                    beverly

                    • 7. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                      planteg

                      One windows specific item was a bit disappointing as they showed it as "coming" last year and then again this year. Would really liked to have seen that one major UI improvement on the windows side in FMP 15.

                       

                      This is mouthy watering, except others like me don't know what you are talking about . Are you talking about the Windows OS ? That looks big. If only we would know . . .

                      • 8. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                        AnnMonroe

                        I would like to echo your kudos to the speakers.  The speakers really put a lot of work into their sessions.  A big thanks to all the speakers.  The knowledge they share with others is very much appreciated.

                        • 9. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                          muddylanding

                          I'm guessing the comments on FM User interface improvements relate to the very primitive way that window are controlled in a non Mac environment.   Very "20 Century" in MS Windows of any vintage.

                           

                          This isn't a result of any short comings in MS Windows - there are plenty of products which allow flexible control of the UI. Come on FM, make the leap to a 21st century UI

                          • 10. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                            bigtom

                            Taylor Sharpe wrote:

                             

                            I hear we had about 1600 this year. Maybe we can top that next year in Phoenix, except I hear they only have about 950 rooms there. Will have to book a room early next year!

                            I tried to book for next year just now and looks like it might not be available for another couple weeks. Is there a Promo Code for the J.W. DevCon2017 yet?

                             

                            This was my first year and it was interesting.

                            • 11. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                              c0nsilience

                              bigtom: I'm glad that you found it interesting!

                               

                              This was my second year, DevCon 2015 being my first, and I altogether enjoyed it!

                              • 12. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                                jdevans

                                It was my second DevCon. I was hoping for a bit more "how-to" but got more "inspiration" instead. Having gone once before, I knew a bit more of what to expect. I went to several "Core" sessions, but a few of them were sort of so-so. I was so hoping that the announcement for next year's DevCon would be somewhere more centrally located, or maybe somewhere in the East (Atlanta would be AWESOME- hnt, hint). But if the desert is where FileMaker Inc wants to be in July, I suppose that's their choice.

                                 

                                I did meet a few very nice, and down to earth people, had a good time networking with other developers, enjoyed the sessions overall, had an incredible view from the hotel room balcony, however I just am a little less enthused about the bang-for-the-buck I really got. More specifically, how much my employer can expect as a result of them paying for my trip.

                                • 13. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                                  Mike_Mitchell

                                  Mike Beargie wrote:

                                   

                                  Jason Young from Seedcode was at devcon though (unless my eyes were seeing ghosts).

                                   

                                  He was there. I had a couple of independent sightings.  

                                  • 14. Re: DevCon 2016 - now that the dust has settled...reflection?
                                    velistar

                                    Hi all,

                                     

                                    It was my very 1st DevCon and very first in-person interaction with other FM developers as well. I must say it was a phenomenal experience from my end!! Well done to the speakers and FMI for a great DevCon. The venue was also great I must say.

                                     

                                    I have learned so much and I just can't wait for the videos to be released to watch the rest of the sessions as well over the next couple of months.

                                     

                                    Last year I was considering dropping the FM platform and moving to another one but I was holding off my plans until DevCon this year. After the Keynote however everything is clear to me on what FMI is trying to achieve in the long run and their vision. This way I am in a better position to promote the platform to clients and build my business even better. Now I am really excited about the platform once more and going full throttle with it now and in the future. FMP 15 now makes sense to me as a stable version and business model for things to come.

                                     

                                    I am already looking forward to my next DevCon in a few years time and hopefully on the East coast this time to save some money on travelling costs as well. Maybe Miami once again???

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