webDU 2012

I was in Sydney earlier this week to speak at webDU. This year marked the 10th anniversary of this conference and I admit that I walked away impressed by the quality of the presentations that were delivered along with the professionalism of the organising staff.

Initially, I had planned to deliver a talk on responsive design. However, I was asked to cover for a missing speaker due to illness. My first talk entitled, “Make Awesome Web” covered a top 25 list of sites and tools I had curated on Make Awesome Web.

This talk went very well. In retrospect, I probably should have given the presentation a better title. Something like “Johnny’s Crazy-Ass Brain-Dump of Awesome Sites and Tools” would have been much more appropriate.

Later in the night, I was a panelist in a BOF entitled, Building Native Apps with Web Frameworks, which featured a lively discussion about building applications for mobile devices with web development technologies. Of course, I spoke at-length about how we (at Telerik) approach this problem with Kendo UI. Our view is that many developers and companies want to build applications that look and feel native without having to resort to differing frameworks and unfamiliar languages. During our discussion, I made the point that of all the viable mobile platforms in existence (and soon-to-be-in existence), the Metro UX metaphor presented by Microsoft is the one that certainly disrupts the in-and-out push-button experience you see across iOS, Android, and Blackberry today. This certainly got a few questions raised. Of course, the reality is somewhat interesting this days with Apple and Google owning a great deal of developer and consumer mindshare in this space. Nevertheless, it’s one that a lot of folks are watching with great interest.

As I stated earlier, I had planned to deliver a talk on responsive design on the following day of the conference. Unfortunately, my son back in Melbourne was very sick and I received word from my wife that I needed to come home immediately. I was (therefore) unable to deliver my talk but I suppose that’s life as a parent.

On a side note, I was great to meet a number of the speakers and attendees at webDU. I was quite impressed by the level of expertise and experience at this conference. I truly hope to be invited back to speak next year and I look forward to seeing the list of talks on-offer at that time.