Note: this was supposed to be posted right after the event that happened on April 15th, but other commitments came up.
Before I go much further I should mention that the conference itself was well organized. The Paramount Theater is a beautiful spot in downtown Austin, there was breakfast provided to attendees at the kickoff which was nice, and the speakers were for the most part interesting, engaging and fun.
The 2013 conference grouped three short talks (around 25 minutes in length) into a one hour and a half time slot group, ending up with these final groups:
* HTML5 & CSS
* Web Applications
Perhaps the real problem was that each talk was restricted to 20-25 minutes, so the speakers didn’t really have much time to do a technical session, but I believe it is possible if the organization behind the event tries hard at choosing good sessions.
I’m concerned that I sound too negative here, and I certainly don’t want to sound like I’m trashing the conference because it’s clear that some real work went into making a good event. Perhaps not being from the Austin tech scene I didn’t know exactly what to expect, and the original conference website didn’t give out a lot of details on what sessions were going to happen.
Maybe that’s a bigger problem these days, where a lot of regional/indie conferences don’t quite list out the sessions that are going to take place, but rather the “all star” speaker line up.
I understand having a small mix of non-technical sessions, or even having technical sessions on other things that are related in some way to a front-end developer, but less than 30% of relevant content seems a bit much (or little?).
It was an interesting conference, but depending on what you want out of it, I would sometimes recommend just using peepcode.com to get your fix for some technical content.