Pittsburgh Techfest 2012

I’m home and settled after a great Pittsburgh Tech Fest 2012, and I’ve had time to let my initial thoughts percolate a bit. Here is what I ultimately think:

Job well done by the event organizers; great venue, great breadth of topics, good lunch and perfect atmosphere for bringing home new ways of thinking. Given the preciousness of my Saturdays, this event easily earns a spot on my permanent calendar.

It was very nice to see people like @ekepes, @AnthonyMastrean, @seejee, @jeremyjarrell, @jamesmikesell, @cwinters and the one and only @geek. Great to finally put a face with @chrisumbel, @DavidHoerster, and @akinsgre. Also great to meet new people like @johnkpaul who just make me want to do more in javascript. The fact that I never opened the MBP and finally relegated her to the car, speaks to the amount of good hallway talks at this conference; perhaps the best of any I’ve ever seen.

The presenters were overall quite good and the wide choice of topics covered made for a very interesting day. There was even a SQL class. If it weren’t 100 level, I certainly would have checked in.

The keynote by @docondev was energizing. The final presentation I attended by @steveklabnik was informative. I’ll save my thoughts on these for a different post, coming soon; both topics and speakers were great, but for different reasons.

Many thanks to Doc for energizing me on my return to work Monday, and for giving me the wherewithal to fight the good fight to do things correctly.

Lastly, the subject of next year’s keynote came up in the hall afterwards. I have three people that immediately spring to mind:

Because his “Does Your Code Tell a Story?: Lessons from prose writing applied to writing code” was so invigorating, so beyond the realm of just writing software, and so entertaining. Think @hotdogsladies + @tedneward - (all the cuss).

Gary’s topics are always entertaining, never focused on one technology and his slide shows are visual master class caliber. He certainly deserves a grand keynote and what better polyglot can you propose?

Admittedly, I’m a long time fan because I think at the heart, @rubybuddha focuses on people in everything he does. Lest we forget that in the end, we build software with teams of people for other people to consume. If you don’t understand people, you can’t understand software. Leon just loves people, and people love Leon.