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!