Not only was it great to meet up and network with all the great people in the community but for me
the obvious highlight was to participate in this years elevator pitches.
The Conference was kicked off by Adobe delivering the Keynote with a bang by introducing a new feature that will make its way to the next Flash Player iteration. This feature will dramatically improve video playback in the flash player and thereby keep flash relevant in delivering high quality videos. You can read up on it over at Thibault Imberts Blog.
Of course Adobe will be keeping quiet until MAX to reveil more breathtaking features but the future for flash sure looks promising.
I next headed to Grant Skinners Session, which he titled: “ADHD FTW, LOL!!!” . A great session that reminds us to set some time aside to play and experiment which can lead to fantastic (and of course fun) results like Androideroids or the Android Wireless Slot Car Gas Pedal.
Next up was Andre Michelles great audio session “Pulsatile Crackle” in which he presented us great ways to use physics for sound sequencing. As expected his session was incredibly inspiring to me as an audiophile myself. He also announced the Tonfall Framework which i personally look forward to using.
The last session i had a chance to catch for that day – because i had to continue preparation for my elevator pitch – was of course Mario Klingemanns last talk before he takes a break from the speaker circuit, which he entitled: “So Long, and Thanks for All the Flash”. Marios talk was a great mix of code snippets that will allow you to easily spice bitmaps and about his current obsession of creating a jigsaw puzzle solver written in flash. Absolutely stunning and i can’t wait to see the end product :).
This wraps up my first day since afterwards i had to invest my time to actually finish my preparations for my elevator pitch and John and his awesome crew took us in, to go through a first rehearsal of our pitches.
For most people the day started at 9am with the elevator pitches. But for me the day started nearly 2 hours earlier as we (the elevator pitchers) had to do a final rehearsal before actually doing it live.
First of, we all had two rehearsal of which both went horribly wrong for me. During the first try-out my pitch was too long so i had to cut it by half and on the morning before we actually had to do it live, my pitch went horribly wrong because of technical difficulties. But then when it counted, everything worked as expected and i had an absolutely amazing time. Here is the video of my pitch in which i presented the Flash Open Source Desktop Runtime for the first time to the public:
I highly recommend this experience to anyone who wants to carry some project of his out to the public. Doing the elevator pitch was incredibly scary but also highly rewarding. It is quite an emotional joyride between sheer panic and incredibly joy once you get your applause at the end of your talk. I also have to admit that doing a 3 minutes presentation had to be the hardest thing i have ever done. The incredibly tight timeframe leaves no room for any errors or second guesses. A terrifying yet incredibly adrenaline pumping experience. And do not underestimate the psychological pressure that talking infront of 800+ people gives you :). Eventhough funny enough, rehearsing infront of John was way harder than actually presenting infront of the entire crowd :)
At this point i would like to extend my thanks to John Davey for giving us this great opportunity and the stage to express ourselfs and of course for organizing this fantasic event. My thanks go also to the entire crew who oversaw it all: Andy, Chris and Tal, and the crew Rich and Neil. They made sure that us pitchers got thrown to the wolves and got dragged back out without any technical hiccups or passing out of sheer panic :)
I also would like to extend my thanks to underbelly for sketching us elevator pitchers. I got a really good laugh at the fact that they managed to catch my anti-apple essence in that picture perfectly :)
The rest of the day kinda flew by on me after the elevator pitches and all the great feedback i have gotten from people. At this point THANK YOU ALL for the kind words, i appreciate it highly.
Of course i couldn’t miss out on Joa Eberts session which he entitled: “1 1 7 11 21″ – A great session about his work on Apparat, JITB and all the other nice little tools that Joa has been working on. I probably should mention that the highlight definitely was Joa showing his OpenGL implementation within JITB which inspired me to consider bringing OpenGL functionality to the Flash Open Source Desktop Runtime in the foreseable future.
I ended the second day by attending the “Inspired Session” held by Brendan Dawes, entitled: “Makers of Things”. Which essentially can be summarized in this picture:
The third day sadly went by too quickly. First of all we kinda slept in because we partied a wee bit too much and we sat down with the guys of the Milan User Group to discuss some projects. But there were two session i definitely did not want to miss out on. The first one i wanted to attend was Ralph Hauwerts awesome session which he entitled: “UnitZeroOne :: The Discontinuity” . Ralph astonished the audience once more with awesome visuals and great approaches. I especially loved that he mentioned the awesomness that is the Amiga Demoscene. He once again showed us his oh so yummy Distance Field Demo and his recent work into auto-generating volumetric clouds which looks absolutely astonishing.
Last but not least i attended the ending session which was given by Jared Tarbell who is an incredibly inspirational person and has done great visual work in processing as well as actionscript. One of my all time favorite has to be Substrate. Jared definitely underlined the general vibe of the conference that you should absolutely follow your ideas and put them out there, because only good things can come from it (at worst, nobody can get hurt :P ).
I was very fortunate to have had the joy and pleasure to get to know / hang out / discuss / have a drink with many talented people, of which i admire many like, Marc Thiele, Jens C Brynildsen, Chris Pelsor, Thibault Imbert, Ralph Hauwert, Andre Michelle, Mario Klingemann and Jared Tarbell only to name a few but great names within the grand melting pot that we call the flash community. I also got the chance to meet many new people, forge new friendships and i am looking forward to see you all again at one of the next conferences.
It was an absolute delight to have attended FOTB for the first time and i’m looking forward to attending it again next year. Brighton you have been a great host and thanks for all the Flash.
A big shout out also to the Italian Crew representing at FOTB, you guys were awesome! Here’s a picture of me proudly wearing the FlashPlatformGeeks Glasses after attending Peter Elsts Session about the Litl Webbook.
Last but definitely not least, i would like to extend my outmost gratitude to my employer Liip for letting me attend FOTB and infact paying for all the traveling costs and accommodations. How awesome is that?! They even went so far as paying extra just so i would travel eco friendly by using the train. Much respect for this effort!