One of the joys and frustrations of FileMaker DevCon is having to select from the smorgasbord of session options (though it’s a dilemma whose pain has been eased by the fact that many sessions are now recorded).
A shortlist of sessions one plans to attend is bound to be as unique as the individual DevCon participant, but I thought I’d share mine – with some background discussion for why those sessions speak to me.
This will be my 5th DevCon, I think – I haven’t really been keeping close track. I’ve gone in different capacities – as a longtime solo developer newly exposed to the larger community, then as a DevCon Speaker, and finally as a Project Manager representing my employer of the past eight years: IT Solutions Consulting (an FBA Platinum Partner and completely employee owned through an ESOP. Yes, our business has 50 owners. It’s pretty freaking awesome.).
As my role has changed, so have my objectives for attending DevCon. In the beginning I attended purely coding and design sessions; then I began to be more interested in the networking opportunities DevCon afforded. This year I’m mostly going to be attending Business Track sessions with a few forays into UI, and my Shortlist reflects that.
Have your own favorites? Add them in comments.
9:00 AM The Elephant in the Room – Yousaf Shah (DataTherapy)
At ITS we are increasingly seeing business workflows that involve mobile – clients are either coming to us requesting it directly or we’re observing the need and offering it. This is a business space that we see growing, so I’m going to sit in on this session focusing on the changing landscape of mobile.
10:45 AM How to Create a Professional Development Plan for FileMaker Developers of all Skill Levels – Molly Connolly (Thorsen Consulting, Inc.)
For this one I’m interested in the general topic more than the particular resources Molly may talk about – we have .NET and Salesforce developers too, not just FileMaker developers, and the topic’s germane for all of them. Molly’s a fantastic speaker and I’m looking forward to this one.
1:00 PM Grow your Development Business by Joining the FileMaker Business Alliance – Julie Sigfrinius (FMI)
IT Solutions is already an FBA Platinum member but I may sit in on this as a refresher.
2:00 PM Be a Consultant Not Just a Developer – Kristy Lapidus (Soliant Consulting)
My main interest with this one is from a SLDC perspective – all things PM are like crack to me.
3:45 PM – NO IDEA!
FileMaker Inc. has apparently chosen to torture me with no less than 6 sessions and a Feedzon Vendor Demo in this time slot, so I refuse to give FMI the satisfaction of informing them of my choice in advance.
Take THAT, FileMaker DevCon Planners!
I’m going to wing this one…or attend all 7 for 5 minutes each, learn nothing in the process and kick myself for it later.
9:00 AM The FileMaker Platform, What’s Next? – Company Staff (FMI).
The most interesting (and only) game in town in this time slot. A must-attend.
10:45 AM Project Management Techniques – Building Solid Client Relationships – Jason Mundok (Jason Mundok LLC)
Did I mention PM stuff for me is crack? I think I did, but if I didn’t…crack. Crack!
Besides, Jason is a former colleague at ITS and my predecessor in a PM role here. Very much looking forward to this.
2:00 PM Grow your Business: Building and Leveraging a Closer Relationship with FileMaker, Inc – Phil Smith (FMI)
I’ll be going to this as a refresher, but if you don’t currently interact much with FMI this is likely going to be an eye opener for you and you should put it on your calendar. It’s going to be an enlightening window into how FMI’s Sales, Marketing, Developer Relations and Support departments work, and how to build relationships with each.
3:45 PM Create Your Own Starter Template, Before it is too Late! – Jonathan Mickelson (Thought Development Corp.)
I’ll be lurking this one to see if there are any ideas I can pass on to our team. Sometimes with sessions you go in with expectations but hoping for surprises – the half dozen things that you or your team never considered – so you always enter with an open ear, in listening mode.
9:00 AM Marketing Your FileMaker Solution or Products – Beth Nagengast (FMI)
I’ll be bringing back anything I glean from this to our marketing team at ITS, Jim and Andrea.
10:45 AM Making the Case for FileMaker – Jason Fiske (FMI)
Jason did an early run-through of this for the Philly FileMaker User Group, and it was fantastic. He’s got some seriously thoughtful insights on using ROI and value propositions in a very direct way to prove you (and your work’s) worth to clients. Unless he’s dropped us on the cutting floor an IT Solutions project should be one of the case studies reviewed.
2:00 PM Best Practices for Software Development: The Agile Development Process – Jason Mundok (Jason Mundok LLC)
ITS has been practicing Agile for seven years now – since Jason was with us – and I’ve lived it from both a developer and PM perspective. Iterative development – with coherent and consistent processes built around it – really produces success. Obviously I’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid here, but seriously, if you don’t have any process in place for managing your projects, come to this session for an eye-opener.
3:45 PM Great Interface Design Patterns for FileMaker Go – Ernest Koe (The Proof Group)
Ernest always delivers, and this session fits my interest in mobile.