That web-geek conference in Brighton

d.Construct 2006

I don’t know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s successfully messed up my body clock but I don’t think I can blame anyone but myself for that…

So, I arrived in Brighton on Thursday night after a surprisingly trouble-free train journey. After checking into the hotel, I wandered up the road to Heist for the pre-conference social gathering. I met some new people, caught up with the usual suspects and generally had a good time. We finished up at a random pub on the sea-front at about 3 a.m.

Just under five hours later, my alarm went off. I staggered downstairs where I self-served myself the biggest breakfast of all time, before wandering up to the Corn Exchange, venue for the conference. A bit of fresh air did me the world of good, so I was feeling surprisingly wide awake by the time I got there. I grabbed the freebies, downed some coffee and got chatting to some more of the peeps before we were called into the auditorium.

The conference itself was ace. We had talks from Jeff Barr, Simon Willison & Paul Hammond, Jeremy Keith (twice!), Aral Balkan, Derek Featherstone, Thomas Vander Wal and Jeff Veen. Various other attendees around the internet have dissected each of the sessions so I won’t go into detail.

Obviously it wasn’t all perfect. Biggest problem for me was the lack of leg-room in the auditorium. Maybe it’s just my bad knees?

The good stuff made up for that though. Aral’s “Mash my Flex up” presented Flash to me in a whole new light. Derek Featherstone came up with a series of gotchas and examples of deeply inaccessible coding on some very high profile sites (hello Google Calendar). Finally, Jeff Veen stole the show (as per usual). It was one of his inspirational tour-de-force talks, leaving most of the audience thinking “Yeah, this stuff is ace! Let’s go and build it, right now!”

Which of course we didn’t. After running off to drop off various laptops, bags and miscellaneous freebies off at numerous hotels around Brighton, we all congregated at The Terraces for the Snipperoo sponsored after-party. Alas, I missed out on the free-bar (which ran out in about ten minutes flat). That place closed somewhat earlier than billed, so a bunch of us went-a-wandering, eventually ending up in Sidewinder. Again, I finally crawled into bed shortly after 3 a.m.

Just under five hours later, my alarm went off. I staggered downstairs where I self-served myself the second-biggest breakfast of all time, before checking out and wandering up to the station. After a surprisingly trouble-free train journey, I got home to find that I’d lost my house-keys and ended up climbing in a window. Utter genius. Where did they turn up? Bottom of my wash-bag. Go figure…

Of course one of the best things about the whole conference was the backnetwork. I didn’t have to collect business cards from everybody I met. Instead I logged on, added them to my network (all done with XFN) et voila! I have their contact details. What’s more, it picks up people’s blog posts that mention , along with any Flickr photos tagged with dconstruct06. Madgex, that was an inspired idea!

12 Responses to “That web-geek conference in Brighton”

1. matt

I don’t get to go to conferences. :(

2. Olly

Bah, I bet you could if you really wanted to.

3. matt

Bah, I bet not.

4. SimonB

You’d hate conferences Matt, you’d have to meet real people and drink beer and stuff.

5. matt

True.. but it would be nice to be offered the chance.

6. Olly

Offered? Heh, I booked it first, then asked work to pay later ;-)

7. Simon

I’d go but i’d have to pretend I dont have any websites in fear of abuse :p

8. matt

“Offered? Heh, I booked it first, then asked work to pay later ;-) ”

Well, that would leave me out of pocket and TBH I see most conferences as a bit of a waste of time, I’d rather be getting stuff done than talking about getting stuff done.. oh and I hate the internet.. have I said that this week? ;)

9. Ross Bruniges

You had to climb in through a window to get into your house!!! Thats sucs – even worse that you had the keys in your bag all the time, argh!

Personally I say there is NO waste in playing crazy golf semi-drunk on the seafront, none at all!

10. Caz Mockett

Too right, Ross, AND we have the photos to prove it… plus pie eating, I mean, who would want to miss that?

11. Sara

Sounds like a good time to me. Now that I’m on this side of the pond..I’l have to keep my eyes open for various tech/geek conferences.

12. Len McGrane

Wow, those speakers sound like FIRST CLASS! No wonder you could overlok the conference venue in Brighton — when are organisers going to get updated on UK conference centers? (Or am I being too harsh on the famous old town?)