Earlier this month I attended An Event Apart in Austin, Texas. It was a great conference, the content, organization, and fellow attendees were all wonderful. I really enjoyed myself and learned a lot while there. A few highlights come to mind:
- Jeffrey Zeldman’s talk was very timely for me. It was about how to build a career and spoke in a straightforward way about a lot of the non-task oriented challenges in working in our industry (or any probably).
- Jen Simmon’s talk about modern layouts on the web was very entertaining. I use that word deliberately because although the techniques and technologies she was highlighting were informative, her presentation style was just great.
- Cameron Moll’s talk on Cohesive UX was really great because it really demonstrated how the web can and should be thought of as a single touchpoint that should seemlessly interact with other platforms. He used some real world examples that really effectively drove his point home.
- Karen McGrane’s talk about content stood out to me because of her focus on decoupling content from its rendering. Headless CMSs seem like a clear step forward for managing content in a world where more and more people will need to support multiple platforms.
- The sessions were broad enough in their content to appeal to anyone, which was great. This isn’t a conference that will go over newbies heads. There’s something in every session I heard that would appeal to anyone.
- The speakers were all very accessible and it was fun to get to meet some people that can be seen as minor celebrities in the techno-centric world.
- I loved the fact that the conference was single track. The stress of choosing sessions at a conference and the loss-aversion it entails should not be overestimated. The program was intentional and tight. I loved it.
An Event Apart was great. I would recommend it to anyone who works on the web.