Seattle Memories

Published 7 years, 10 months ago

It’s been a week since I got back from An Event Apart Seattle 2010, and I’m still aglow about it.

I know it’s something a cliché for conference organizers to say “it was the best show we ever done did!” but damn.  It really was.  That’s down to the speakers, of course.  We’ve done our best to find great speakers with interesting things to say, and I’d like to think we’ve done just that.  This went to a new level, though.

You know how a band can have one of those nights where somehow, everything seems to go just right, where every jam riff builds on the others, where the music hits an indescribable groove, where the energy feeds on and multiplies itself until everyone in the place gets charged with it?  That’s what happened in Seattle, building throughout the whole show.  You could just feel it, buzzing in the room and through everyone there.  Every time a speaker finished I’d say to myself, half in gratitude and half in awe, “That is the best talk I’ve ever seen that person give.”

That was only half the experience, of course.  The other half was the audience itself, our amazing and wonderful attendees, who are as much colleagues as anything else.  They’re whip-smart, professional, veteran members of the industry.  That’s the demographic Jeffrey and I set out to address, and they’ve come to learn from and teach and challenge us to excel at every show.  Several speakers, some of them long practiced at the art of public speaking, have told me that they get uniquely nervous before going onto the stage at An Event Apart.  I absolutely agree.  To return to the band metaphor, it’s like doing a show for your fellow musicians.  While that’s comforting in a collegial way, it’s also nerve-wracking in a way other shows aren’t.

And the conversations!  Over lunch, in the hall between talks, at the party, it was non-stop talk with smart, funny, insightful colleagues who know their stuff through and through and are as keen to learn more as they are to share what they know.

So I can’t thank our speakers and attendees enough.  You are all incredible.  It was an honor and a privilege just to be there in your combined presence.


  1. It was the best concert, er, conference I’ve ever been to as well. The energy is still carrying me forward. All my old code seems clunky and backwards and I’m itching to use what I learned.

    It was a pleasure to attend the conference, make new friends, and to meet you :)

  2. Kudos, Eric! Indeed, another great show. I feel that my mind was stretched in more ways than I ever thought possible. A lot of it has to do with being immersed with like-minded folks and just casually discussing things that we think about in solitude while designing and developing day-to-day.

    Thank you for the whole nuclear bomb conversation, too. That really helped put things into perspective. ;)

  3. AEA Seattle was simply great. I can’t say whether it’s the greatest AEA ever, as it was my first. But I was impressed by the quality of the presentations and the amount of ideas brought forth. I’m still sketching out new ideas and writing new code, particularly CSS3, as a result. I also enjoyed meeting numerous like-minded people at the event, including you and Jeffrey.

    I can safely say I will look forward to attending a future An Event Apart conference!

  4. Not to sound too fawning and obsequious, but yeah, you’re right: it really was something special. You guys have managed to bottle the essence of awesomeness in web conference form.

    Roll on Boston.

  5. Thanks for putting on such a great show. I went planning on learning what I could do in the future, and came back able to use so much of the information in my current sites, even in Internet Explorer!

  6. I feel like I’m still jonesing for more AEA. If I had the funds I’d go to the other cities just to get that feeling again! I loved talking to other people who are as passionate about their careers (and the code) as I am. Something I don’t encounter every day. I took away so much, so much I’m already using and will continue to use as time goes on. I will certainly be going next year!

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