I made it home last night with little trouble, although it was close at one point.
We wrapped up the conference yesterday at mid-day. My last presentation went well, and then we bailed, heading for the airport early figuring the sooner we got to O’Hare, the better. We got stuck in traffic just at the entrance to the airport; there was something going on at one of the terminals — we never did hear what, although at one point we heard something on the shuttle driver’s radio that they had the terminal completely closed. After sitting literally motionless for close to an hour in traffic — and thinking how glad we were we had decided to leave early, and watching people walk with their luggage past the stopped traffic as they took matters into their own hands, presumably with the intent of making flights — traffic began creeping forward and eventually loosened up so that we made it to the right terminal in plenty of time. Got a bite to eat, took a nap, and boarded for SLC pretty close to on-time… only to get stuck in pretty much another traffic jam. At one point the pilot indicated we were number 20 in line for take off (weather off to one side of the airport had the place down to a single runway for departures).
We ended up leaving Chicago more than an hour after our scheduled departure, and were faced with a 100+ knot headwind (more info from our ever-helpful crew on the flight deck). I figured that our already relatively tight connection in SLC was history… and it nearly was. We came in on the far end of one concourse and had to get to the other end of another; by the time we got to our gate, they had already closed the door. We were pleasantly surprised, though, that they called down to the ramp, held the plane and sent us dashing through… and somehow they got our bags on board.
Home again, safe and sound. And it feels good to be back. Deb, Li, and Ian were glad to see me. Li was pretty excited to see me this morning when she woke up, and it was fun to get to snuggle a little with her this morning. I went in to work for a couple hours to take care of a couple loose ends, and now I’m off for a couple days of vacation (not counting the weekend) to try to refuel and reconnect with life. I came home to something unexpected: we bought a white 1986 manual Subaru GL wagon for Ian to use. One more step as he grows up; this one feels bigger than most.
I’ve got a couple pix on my phone that I will pull down and post from one of my early morning runs out to Navy Pier.
I head for home later today, and with any luck will be back in my own bed this evening…
It’s been a really full week here in Chicago. Three of the four presentations we’re involved in are now past — I Â have one left that I am leading today — and one of them went well, the others not so much. That’s fodder for another post (or not). At any rate, it has been a good week here in Chicago:
- We’ve been able to connect (or re-connect in some cases) with people we work with and rarely get to talk to face-to-face
- A couple of very interesting sessions at the conference itself
- Great weather, good food (had good deep-dish pizza at Gino’s East on Superior on Tuesday, and a pretty good filet at Shula’s steakhouse last night), and a pretty decent conference facility
Now if we can just make it out of O’Hare on time this afternoon. I was amazed at how quickly we got out of O’Hare when we came in Sunday evening (under 15 minutes between when we stepped off the plane and when the shuttle pulled away from the curb), but I think this will likely be a different story.
I am missing Deb, Li, and Ian. This post from Jeffrey Zeldman’s blog yesterday hit home; I just wonder if the postscript is a noun, a verb, or just an exclamation…
A quick recap of the final day of Adobe MAX…
- Started the day in an excellent hands-on lab session led by Simon Slooten on building CF-powered Flex applications. He did a great job moving through an appropriate amount of material to introduce those of us who haven’t yet had a chance to play with Flex and using it as the front-end for Web-based, data-driven apps.
- Sat in on a fairly interesting panel discussion on what might lie ahead for the next year or so within the RIA area for developers. This one could have (and probably should have) been at least half an hour longer.
- Finished the conference with a session with Sean Corfield on event-driven programming within CF. Kind of a mind-bending concept, focused on using a similar paradigm within the server side of the Web app world as you would use on the client side with a Flex- or AJAX-based front end. Very interesting. It might have been easier to get my head around more completely had it (my head) not just plain been full at this point in the week.
- Spent a couple hours wandering around downtown SF and Chinatown with the guys. It was good to just wander and watch people. Had a great dinner at a place called Santorini Mediterranean Cuisine: dolmos, saganaki, hummus, babbaganoush, souvlakia…
And it’s a wrap. I head for home and family this morning.
All in all, not a bad conference. I’d come hoping for a better feel for what Flex is/does/might help us with and hoping for some general nuggets as far as CF and Web app development in general. I got both of those, along with a chance to talk to fellow developers and get a read on where Adobe is taking CF. Adobe, generally speaking, did a decent job with the conference: decent broad coverage, decent venue, good end-of-day events, decent stuff in the exhibit hall. Thumbs up for those. Thumbs down for not providing a decent bag to the conference attendees, nor for even including a pen with the shopping bag full of throw-away product literature when you check in, and for not ensuring decent WiFi in the convention center (Opera Mini and Google Talk on my Blackberry were lifesavers this week). And a big “Thank you!” for Kristen Schofield of Adobe’s CF team for the CF t-shirts for me and Jeff on the last conference day!
It will be interesting to see where the new Bolt CF IDE goes, and how it compares to existing alternatives like CFEclipse, etc. Mark Drew has indicated that Bolt by no means signals the end of life for CFEclipse. Given that IDE’s tend to be a religious thing with some (most?) devs, I’m sure there will be some interesting turns ahead.
A quick recap of day 1 of the MAX conference:
- Kevin Lynch’s keynote was impressive and earth-shaking but there wasn’t much really earthshaking there for me as a CF developer. Maria Shriver stole the show, as far as I was concerned with her appearance and talk on the work — supported by Adobe — in conjunction with California’s Legends Trails project.
- Good presentations by George Neill and Jerome Doran on the role of laziness in innovation and by Stephanie Sullivan on solving some common “design problems” (from the talk title; I’d call them more layout challenges) with CSS. Both suffered a little — particularly the session on laziness — from trying to cram way too much content into a 1-hour timeslot.
- Excellent presentations — introductory level, for the most part, but that’s how they were advertised and what I needed — on Flex and ColdFusion by Jeff Tapper and Mike Nimer.
- Probably the best piece of schwag I’ve gotten so far is a House of Fusion Library Volume 1 CD with all of the past issues of the Fusion Authority Quarterly and Flex Authority Quarterly magazines in PDF format. Kudos and thanks to the HoF folks for making these available! Both are good pubs.
- The venue is decent, but suffers the common temperature problems (read: too cold!) of most conference centers, particularly in the rooms where the sessions are held. I’m not packing my laptop or anything else that needs WiFi coverage to work, but Jeff indicated (and this was backed up in a couple of blog posts I read as well as what I saw during presos) that the wireless coverage is spotty and slow.
- Decent evening meal of Indian food at a place called Naan-n-Curry on O’Farrell a block or so from the hotel with Jeff, Marco, and Blaine. We’re only a couple blocks from Union Square, so we wandered a bit after dinner. I saw a family there in the square by the ice skating rink with a little girl who looked a lot like Li and had to be very close to the same age, and it made me realize how much I miss her; that’s the one real downside to traveling, especially being gone two weeks in a row.