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Virtual Thoughts

September 2011 Previous month Next month

"I don't want to make this a great conference, I want to make this the best conference you have ever been too.". Those were the words of StrangeLoop founder Alex Miller at this year's StrangeLoop conference in St. Louis, MO. I am here to say that, at least for me, Alex reached his goal.  I have been to many conferences over my 17 years working in information technology and none have had such an array of compelling speakers and sessions. The list of speakers read like a "who's who" of software superstars. 


Just to name a few..

Gerald Sussman

Allen Wirfs-Brock

Rich Hickey

David Geary

Howard Lewis Ship




  • Chatting with Gerald Sussman while he was sitting at my table during Allen Wirfs-Brock talk about the post-pc computing era, or the "Ambient Computing Era" as he called it.
  • Mike Lee's talk on Product Engineering. I  want to move to Amsterdam.
  • David Geary's HTML5 presentation. I now know everything I need to know about Canvas. Very powerful stuff and David presented it very well. If you ever get a chance to see him present, do it.
  • The Language Panel
  • Neil Ford's presentation on Functional Thinking. Ok... I get it now. Thanks Neil!
  • Rich Hickey's Simple Made Easy talk.  There is no room for "complect" code in our software!
  • Lance Ball's session on Datamapper - an ORM for Ruby. An impressive suite of technology including TorqueBox and Infinispan.
  • Mingling and exchanging ideas with my peers in the industry. This conference is a draw to some of the finest talent in software development and architecture in our field (over 900 attendees this year)... that speaks volumes to the quality product Alex put together.


The only problem I had with this conference was that there were so many great sessions that I could not attend. I had to pick one and miss out on the others. The good news is all the sessions were recorded and will be posted on within a few weeks.


Looking forward to next year since, by Alex's definition, it will be my new best conference EVER! I have no doubt he will pull it off.