I attended the second annual acts_as_conference 2009 on February 6th and 7th and had such a great time. The conference was put on by Robert Dempsey and company from Atlantic Dominion Solutions. The venue this year was different than last year, it was the Ramada Orlando Celebration & Convention Center.
The two-day event is packed with a bunch of great speakers filled with great content. I attended last year as well and think this years talks were even better than last year. The single-track event included a variety of topics from Rails (of course) to software engineering and running a successful Rails-based business:
Day 1 – Friday, February 6, 2009
- Gregg Pollack & Jason Seifer, The Rails Envy Guys: Innovation in Rails
- Live Video Q&A with David Heinemeier Hansson
- Jim Weirich: A Critical Look at Fixtures
- Jon Larkowski: Testing as Communication, Real-World Techniques
- Guy Naor: Writing Multi-Tenant Applications in Rails
- Yehuda Katz: Writing Modular Applications Using Merb
- Nathaniel Talbott: Keynote
Day 2 – Saturday, February 7, 2009
- Steven Bristol: How to make a Successful Rails App
- Patrick Peak and Paul Barry: BrowserCMS: From Proprietary Java to Open Source Rails
- Bryan Liles: TATFT, The Layman’s Guide to Getting It Right The First Time
- Tim Rosenblatt: OAuth and APIs: Sharing your data without leaving your zipper down
- Will Leinweber: Relaxing with CouchDB
- Dan Benjamin: Keynote
The room where the sessions were this year had a much better screen to see the session slides and was more comfortable in general. You can see the picture above what I am referring to. The photo isn?t too bad either, considering it was from the back of the room via my iPhone.
One of the great things about conferences these days is the availability of the sessions online after the conference. It?s a great service to those who cannot attend and gets the word out of the speakers even further. Confreaks was on-site and recorded all the sessions and has them available already up on their site.
AAC 2009 was well-worth the time to come down from CT and get to mingle with some really great folks. I had planned on writing up a pro-and-con list for the even but it would be mostly pros and very few cons. The only thing I would change, for me personally, is the venue. I didn?t find anything displeasing with it other than the fact of not being within walking distance of a place to get a cup or coffee or dinner. Last year was really close to so many things. I would be will to pay more for the event if it was centered around a busier area and in a single, modern building. Granted, this is a very minor criticism of the event, which should go to show how good it was.
One other little minor thing would be to have time between sessions for a little more ?hall talk?. The two-days of the event were packed full of content so I don?t know how this would really be possible other than starting the day earlier and/or making it run later.
I really like these single track conferences so much more than the larger ones. Each type has its place but with a single-track you get to take in everything. I find myself gravitating toward talks more geared toward running a business, such as the one from Steven Bristol or more philosophical ones from Dan Benjamin and Nathaniel Talbott, which are truly thought provoking.
I hope there will be an AAC 2010 and I plan on attending if it happens. Maybe next year I will submit a talk proposal but I find it relaxing just to sit back and listen to everyone else.