Dinner with legends
I’ve never had more fun and learned less at a 360Flex conference before. I had a great, GREAT, time because there were so many amazing people there. I had dinner with Jessy Warden, Ben Stucki, and Doug McCune. That alone is worth the price of admission. :) I know these guys are legends in the community but in person they are just like everyone else working their way through life. So more than hanging out and talking about code and frameworks it was great to talk about things like religion. ( What happens at 360Flex stays at 360Flex. )

I may be synthetic but I’m not stupid
I think the reason didn’t learn much – at the sessions anyway – is that I’m a much more mature developer now than I was at the first three 360Flex conferences that I attended. And I’ve been working with Flex 4 now for 5-6 months solid so there wasn’t anything there I didn’t already know. I didn’t even learn anything new in Deepa’s session which I didn’t think possible. I feel pretty good about myself in that respect.

Best sessions
There were two sessions that I learned a lot from. Matt Guest talked about the new Flash Text Engine for the Flash Player. I’ve messed with TextLayoutFormat ( TLF ) a bit but haven’t touched the FTE at all. I think the best way to describe FTE is that it is like PixelBender for text. We now have access and control of text on a resolution never drempt of before.

The other eye popping session was Nate Beck’s Push Button Engine presentation. I think PBE is going to be at least as important to the Flash Platform as PaperVision3D was/is. You better strap yourself in because Flash games are about to go off the charts.

Speaking virgin
I got to speak for the first time ever at a conference. There weren’t very many people in my session but I was very happy to make them all laugh more than once and I got a very resounding applause at the end. All the feedback was very┬ápositive. I think my speaking and presentation skills have lots of room for improvement but I’m happy with my first attempt.

My best friend from high school – Tom Driggers/@EyeOfTheOwl – was there. One of the cool moments for me was in the lobby after the keynote address by Deepa. I walked past her in the lobby. She called me by name and said she wanted to talk to me later. Tom looked at me with a bit of amazement and said, “Wow, she knows who you are?” My response, “Well, Duh!” :)

By the way Deepa: Be thankful that I was late getting to your session. But you won’t be so lucky next time I promise . :)

( Getting lost )2
It was an adventure staying at the Marriott in downtown San Jose. On Monday morning me @DavidOrtinau and @EyeOfTheOwl got a little lost. Correction. My passengers were lost. I knew we were going in the wrong direction but they had GPS on their side so I mistakenly followed their directions. Seems that brilliant Mr. Ortinau didn’t realize that there was more than one eBay in town. Long story short we ended up at the wrong one. I was careful to point that out to my navigators on numerous occasions throughout the rest of our stay.

Then, to top it off, I got just slightly lost on the way to drop @DavidOrtinau @AllysonOrtiz and @Oztune off at the airport. I got off the interstate at the wrong exit and then they kept giving me directions on how to fix it. But no one was consulting their GPS. Again, here we are in the middle of SJ and there are three GPS devices in the car and no one is using them. Brilliance!

Kudos to Nick Kwiatkowski/@Quetwo. We never got lost with him working the GPS.

Summer Camp
As a speaker I get a free room so I shared it with @DavidOrtinau and @Quetwo. I normally like to sleep on the floor so it was no big deal. Then with less that a week before the conference we managed to swing a free ticked for my best friend Tom. So he got piled into the mix as well. Four geeks in one room. It was like summer camp.

Lets do it again
I don’t know when the next 360Flex will be but I plan on being there. It’s just too much fun to miss. Hanging out with old friends. Making new friends. Great times. Great conversations and getting to learn a few new things. Yeah, that’s worth the time and money. No question.

Lego Vagina
If you’re interested in what the most wowing new thing at 360Flex was then read about who gets the Lego Vagina award.

What do you think?