Stackoverflow Devdays in Austin

I was able to attend the Stackoverflow Devdays conference in Austin today and came away with a positive impression. 

Stackoverflow Devdays Austin Wrist Band

This was, surprisingly, my first software conference and so I have nothing else to compare it to.  However, I did learn a few things, had some laughs, and would do it again.

In one sentence, I’ll try to recap the various presentations during the event:

  1. Joel gave a keynote presentation on the tradeoff between Simple Software vs. Power (featureful) software and that only user focused features should be considered to achieve the best of both worlds.
  2. Eric Jones demonstrated Python’s elegance by way of this 21 loc Python spell checker written by Google Director of Research Peter Norvig.
  3. Jonathan Johnson of appcubby.com built a simple iPhone application to demonstrate how that worked.
  4. Joel demonstrated the new Fogbugz 7 along with a new hosted solution named Kiln which integrates mercurial, code reviews, and Fogbugz.
  5. Peter Mourfield walked through a “nerd dinner like” example of what ASP.NET MVC can do for you.
  6. Jonathan Sharp, of outwestmedia.com, walked us through a wicked tutorial on the wonders of jQuery… oh, and he has a horse. :)
  7. After lunch, we watched a trailer of the fogcreek training series which covers how Fogcreek writes software.
  8. Damien “dude, where’s my car” Katz gave probably the most attention getting presentation on CouchDB.  Seriously, put this project on your radar.
  9. Finally, Jason Cohen, of Austin owned Smartbear software, taught us a lot about peer code review secrets while keeping us laughing.  Make no mistake, he wasn’t pitching his companies product!

We covered a lot of ground for a 1 day conference but I liked the breadth of topics.

Last, I want to thank the sponsors, Calacanis style:

  • Smartbear Software
  • Codero
  • BuildASign.com