I am back from 360Flex... what a great week! I am a little slow getting rolling again and almost afraid to get back into the office routine since I am heading out again on Wednesday. Finally got home at 10pm last night as the Sherpa and I were bumped from our original flight. (It's all good - now I have an airline ticket that will get me to MAX 2007, 360Flex 2008... or somewhere sunny!)
Shout out's... It was fun to see familiar faces (Sim, Tom, Becky, Jared, Jennifer, Ben) and put faces to names (John, Ryan Stewart (yes, he has TWO blogs), Jesse, Mary, Drew, "the" polyGeek, Philip, Matt). I missed a couple of people I was trying to meet up with (Ann, Curt, Laura)... but I guess that is just how things go!
As far as conferences go... this had to be one of the best I have attended. The sessions were great, the attendees were there to work & play hard, and the food was AMAZING (gimme some more of those meatballs, please!). There are always hitches when you invite 400 of your closest friends to come to a party... and there were hitches... but our hosts and our venue (the eBay Town Hall Conference Center) were great and I will definitely be watching for the next event!
Play time is almost equally important at these events - and 360Flex was good for that as well. San Jose's night life scene is a little questionable, but we did manage to find some good hangouts. On Sunday night the Sherpa and I caught the CAKE show at Bimbo's in San Francisco. Monday night was the social at eBay (beer and snacks... yummm) followed by sushi at Sushi Zen. Tuesday was another social (Sim and I suggested Rogue Dead Guy Ale... and it magically appeared on tap!) followed by a fabulous "Swirled Margarita" at Aqui, then watching the boys be boys at the Blue Monkey. I confiscated laptops, Flash-enabled cell phones, PDA's, and blacklisted words including: "Flex" "Coldfusion" "FlashLite" "compile" and "API". I was holding strong with a one-drink-per-night maximum so I also became the cab driver (which was my pleasure). Everyone made it safely to the conference (if not the 8:30am keynote) on Wednesday morning, which made me proud! Wednesday was a little more low key - a lot of folks had left already or were hitting the sack early - so the Sherpa let me tag along to meet up with an old friend of his.
So... what did I get out of this experience? Got the word out about COWPU (check that spelling, John!). Came home with my backpack, laptop, brain fully loaded with books, information, software, more information, sneak peeks (not necessarily in that order)... And best of all made some new friends.
Most definitely worth the price of admission. I can't wait for next year!