Jesann and I spent the last couple of days at the beautiful Dolce Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington. She went to relax and enjoy the amenities; I went to attend the conference often referred to as SellsCon.
I really can't do justice to all of the content that was provided for the two days... at least no more than has already been done. Chris Sells has compiled an amazingly complete list of blogs about his conference. There are around forty separate persons listed as SellsCon bloggers. Wow! There are three bloggers that stand out to me:
Particularly remarkable, though, was the article by Esther Schindler on Ziff-Davis' DevSource site. It really captured the feeling of the conference well.
As you read through these blogs, you might see the point made about the first day being somewhat 'dark' or 'gloomy'. I suppose that I could understand that view, but I don't really share it. The one thing that I took away from this conference is that we've reached a new level of abstraction and with the new possibilities come a whole new set of problems.
As Rebecca Dias pointed out during the panel discussion, there are problems that need to be resolved, but there are people out in the world solving real problems with XML related technologies today; problems that seemed rather intractable just a few short years ago.
To that end, there were several demonstrations of that fact in the conference:
- Patrick Cauldwell and Scott Hanselman: Bringing Strongly Typed Business Objects to Legacy Financial Systems with XML Schema. This presentation focused on how Corillian has improved their banking systems through the use of XML. I've seen Scott and Patrick present several times and had both as instructors at OIT so I always know that I will enjoy what they have to say. Commentary here, here, here, and here.
- Whitney Kemmey: Using XML for Navy Missile Systems. Wow! This was a great presentation! This was the surprise of the conference. Here's the only person in attendance wearing a suit; He even has a rather “Department of Defense” somber look about him. Boy, was I wrong. His presentation was very funny (Internationalization is not really a problem for the Navy) and very relevant. Read more here, here, here, and here.
- Jeff Barr: Amazon Web Services - A Year in Review. I'll rank this as the most inspiring presentation of the lot. By the end of it, you find yourself saying, “Yeah, I could hook into the Amazon Web Services and start making money tomorrow!” It was like going to one of those MLM deals where they convince you that with just this small investment, you could be making thousands of dollars monthly without any work. Except, this really can work! (Oh, and I finally realized that this is the same guy that runs Syndic8! Duh!) Find more detail here, here, here, and here.
- Blair Schneider McKay: Using XML to Take the Headaches Out of EDI Processing. I think Blair's presentation showed the greatest possibility of pain relief. I'd never really seen what goes on inside EDI and I pray I never do again. The value of moving to a more verbose platform was very evident. Also read here, here, here, and here.
If you want to see the lighter side of XML, you need to visit Doug Purdy's blog and specifically view his picture of Don Box. Also, Jay Kimble's Nuclear Missile Sub is worth a gander. Of course, no blogged event is complete without the wonderful and entertaining commentary by our hero, Rory Blyth. Especially enjoyable (because I'm in one of the pix ) is his summary blog entry, XML Hangover.
To Chris, Rebecca, et al: Thanks for putting on a wonderful conference right here in our backyard.
To the numerous presenters: Kudos and thanks for crafting such interesting bits for us to consume.
To my fellow attendees and bloggers: It was wonderful to meet all of you and I look forward to seeing you all at future tech events wherever they may occur!