I am finally home after my first Devcon and can say I really had a great time. There are more sessions than I can even begin to mention that I learned from, but I think my favorite one was Oleg Zaydman's presentation on container fields. Not only was the technical aspects educational, but he has this really dry sense of humor that came out in his slides. It was quite entertaining! I didn't go to Bob Bowers' Advanced Reporting Techniques, but several people told me his was their favorte session. I'll have to make sure and go to his next year if he does it again. Heather Winkle and Matt Petrowski (sp?) just are the best when learning how to make better layouts…. if I only had 1/10th of their layout design abilities!!!! And Alexei Folger had a great session on File Maintenance and Recovery - thanks!
The conference was held at the Fontainbleau hotel in Miami Beach right on the ocean and it was quite the hotel. The service was excellent and the cost of just about everything was through the roof. When we got there, we had a couple of quick drinks at the Blue Bar (or some such name) and two drinks cost $53. Someone ordered a hamburger meal and that cost $43. It looked like a really good hamburger, but $43???? OK, well, I guess I'm just not used to schmooozing at such fancy places. Lets just say it was OK for one time a year and I did have fun even with the sticker shock.
There was the LIV bar at this huge hotel that all the richest people around come to, but I don't know any of our group that went there. I'm used to things like a $5 cover charge, but this bar was like $1500 for a little table. All the rich guys come and all of these ladies (is that the right term?) show up to be escorted in with them wearing, well, my oh my. One of the FileMaker speakers just called it the "parade" watching them coming and going from that bar and it was quite a watching experience. I really have only seen people dressed like that in magazines.
And while I had a great time there, I stayed at another hotel a couple blocks down (Grand Beach). My first night walking home, I'm pretty sure this cabby was trying to sell me pot and a prostitute hit me up too. So it was a bit of a culture shock for this Texan not used to such things going on around him. And, no, I didn't partake of either offer.
Thursday night was the big Devcon party in the evening and it was a lot of fun. There was fake gambling and actors playing the Rat Pack and Marilyn Monroe came out and performed along with a live band. The actors were great, especially when Marilyn sang Happy Birthday to Rick <haha>. You can see a few of us at the party in the picture below (LtoR: Taylor, Martin, Ben, Mark, Lucy). Afterwards, the party spilled out to the Blue bar and also an interesting group showed up to party in front of the hotel to drink Sam Adams (purchased from a cabby who made a bee run) and smoking. It was quite the international group too with Belgians and UK and Aussies. We had fun talking and laughing and watching the evening "Parade" from the LIV bar.
OK, shouts out to David Jandeau, John Gaudio, Martin Williams (don't drink anything he gives you), Yoichi Kawagauchi (quite the FileMaker salesman!!!!), Mike O'Neil (keep us safe!), the InData guys (Justin Jones and Mason Stenquist), Ben Hutson (quite the party guy who knows more about drinks than I do!!! <grin>), Mike Hackett, shy Ms. Lucy Kaplan, Matt England, Shawn Outerbridge, Donovan Chandler, Kengo Kyuragi, Goro Kyuzen, Yurika Murakami, Tohru Hibino, Janice Roviera (fellow Texan!!!), Ning Xu (also Texan!), Darrin Quick, Rosemary Tietge, Karrie Evitt, Stephen Galagher (sp?), Scott (whatever your last name is, aka "Men in Black"), Dennis Burnham (from the Dallas FMPUG too!), Anthony the Aussie, Kirk Bowman (he won TWO awards and is from Texas too!!!), Jesse Barnum (smartest guy I know), and Peter from Troi (thanks for the serial port plugin!!!), Joe from World Cloud, and many more I can't even think of right now.