Webdu 2010

by Diane on 11/05/2010

I’ve just returned from Sydney, where I attended my favorite conference – webDU. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the conference in general here – others (such as Dale Fraser or Michael Plank) have done that in great way already. But I thought I’d quickly share my main personal take-aways from some of the sessions. Since most of the attendees were hardcore developers, I guess I’ll have a different view on some of the topics covered. Here are my thoughts about selected events/sessions:

On the night before the official conference we were entertained by a game of Code Wars. New Zealand sent its very own team, and the main lesson from this was: Knowing Regular Expressions helps.

Software Requirements without Tears by Robin Hillard

Define your requirements by asking the right questions. A mini-manual to get those requirements right before starting the design/development. Robin finished his presentations with a little quiz, and I teamed up with a friendly chap next to me. Although I paid attention during the talk, we really sucked at identifying some requirements. Certainly something I need to follow up on.

Usability: Thinking about the user, not for them by Richard Turner-Jones

Richard was around when I had the second-scariest experience of my life. Only 3 people witnessed me freaking out on the horrible ferris wheel at Disneyland during the conference party at MAX in Anaheim a couple of years ago. Surely I had to attend his session, especially since it wasn’t solely development focussed. The main take-away for me was the link to www.guimagnets.com for some sort of a prototyping on a fridge (or whiteboard), which I wasn’t aware of before. The talk covered some of the basics only, which was ok since it was advertised for general audience and it was my own choice to still go there…

Wireframes – From Screen Concepts to User Interaction by Mia Horrigan

Mia presented a case study and shared her experience with a project that went wrong in several areas, and she explained how she brought it back on track. I always appreciate a speaker’s personal experience – you can read about the theory behind a topic in books, blogs and magazines. But if someone tells me “That’s what I did and that’s why it worked or didn’t work”, that’s when it gets useful for me.

The Hotness of Agile Software Development by Matthew Hodgson

My favorite of webDU. I fell in love with Matt’s presentation style at last year’s webDU, and he didn’t disappoint me this year either. Unfortunately he gave some insight into how his team works, and that totally made me want to work for them. Look for yourself.

The Mobile User Experience by Rod Farmer

I now have a deep respect for all the designers/developers out there, who manage to deliver a consistent user experience across different mobile platforms, screen sizes, networks, carriers, etc, etc, etc.

The Value of a Ruber Chicken: better team development through shame… and tools by Tim Buntel

Tim just recently moved to Sydney from the US, and it was great so see that he and his family seem to have fully adjusted to life in the southern hemisphere. His talks are always fun and enjoyable – it doesn’t really matter what he’s talking about. I would probably even go and listen to him speaking even if it was about some alien hardcore coding language, but this time I was lucky and I learnt more about different approaches of version control.

For a full list of sessions, please see www.webdu.com.au/agenda.

After a Round Table session with some of the key speakers (highly entertaining, but no women on the panel) sadly the conference came to an end. On the day after the conference, us Adobe user group managers from New Zealand and Australia held a mini UGM summit (including a surf lesson), and in the evening I interviewed Peter Bell (which is available on createordie.de or interpreted by a robot via Google Translate). The legendary Aftershow-Party at Deamon HQ brought the whole conference experience to an end.

The slogan of the conference is”Like a Rock Concert for Geeks”, and I can totally relate to this statement. And for me it was a “Beach Party with Friends” as well!

* Photos from the webdu2010 Flickr stream

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Matthew Hodgson May 11, 2010 at 10:25 pm

‘Fell in love’ … what a beautiful comment on my presentation style. Thanks for the thumbs up and I’ll try and continue to keep up the entertaining and engaging presentations.

M :)

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