Flash on the Beach 2011

This was my first ever industry conference – what a shame I waited so long!

I only stayed a day and a half – partly logistics and partly that, being autistic, I find these situations very demanding and I wasn’t sure how much I could absorb before my brain started playing up. I think I found just the right balance for a first-time, but would definitely stay for the whole conference in future.

My only regret is that I was too shy to interact with many of the other speakers. Conrad Winchester is a god send! And Seb Lee-Delisle is a really, really, really sweet person who I instantly felt relaxed with. But I should have pushed myself to talk more with some folk – though partly I was just valuing the interactions I was having with smart people around Robotlegs and so on.

I had the opportunity to talk with Jon Howard, who had the session that clashed with mine, at the speakers dinner. If I wasn’t already doing exciting things I’d have been hitting him up for a job for sure – I’d love to work on his team!

It’s an incredibly well organised conference. I was a little nervous about logistics as nobody had officially said to me “Your session will be in the pavilion, you need to get there x minutes beforehand” – but the number of people who’ve got knowledge of how it all works from previous experience means that my peers were able to gently steer me in the right direction and it was all very smooth and felt like a very collegiate way to do logistics.

Respect to John, and all those who worked hard to deliver Flash on the Beach. A new name is in the pipeline but I won’t hesitate to go back, whatever they call it, as a speaker or as an attendee. It’d be great to see more techy women there in future, but the blissfully empty women’s toilets were a pleasant novelty!

Here’s my take on the sessions I got to attend…
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My FOTB presentation on “Robotlegs 2 and your brain”

Wow. What a blast presenting a session at Flash on the Beach was!

I was lucky to get it out of the way early – and to have plenty of friendly faces in the audience.

It’s somewhat difficult to recreate the session purely as a set of slides, as the interaction (which the attendees were very generous about) was key to the experience, but I’ve produced an extended version of my slide deck which includes the main points that I covered verbally and the instructions for the exercises. Do give them a go.

If you’re brand new to Robotlegs then the slides won’t sufficiently explain the architecture – you’ll need to pick up a copy of our ActionScript Developer’s Guide to Robotlegs for that!

I’m also pondering doing a VO / screencast version, but it would run at over an hour and I’m not sure you’ll want to sit through it.

So – for now, here’s the Slide Share embed, and don’t forget to pick up your “man brain” file from this post.

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> man brain

man brain entry

man brain

I was totally blown away by Flash on the Beach. What a lot of smart, interesting people!

My full slides will follow tomorrow. I’m going to release a flick-through version that includes extra text, and a screen-cast version with voice. Thanks to everybody who made my first FOTB experience so rewarding – I’m very glad that I got out of my comfort zone and did it.

For now – a little something for the lovely people who attended my presentation on “Robotlegs 2 and your brain” – that vital missing ‘man brain’ entry file.

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Why I’m giving away Robotlegs Pomodoro Timers at my Flash on the Beach session

Robotlegs Pomodoro Timer

Robotlegs Pomodoro Timers – even better than a Kinder Surprise Egg!

I’ve been using the Pomodoro Technique for a good few months now.

The pattern I use is:

  1. 25 minutes uninterrupted task-focussed activity (no IM, no twitter, no email, no internet) – this is called a Pomodoro
  2. 5 minute break for checking emails
  3. rinse and repeat

I love it. And here’s why:

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ActionScript Developer’s Guide to Robotlegs – done!

The Robotlegs book I’ve been collaborating with Joel Hooks on is finished! Here’s how it looks from afar:

Thumbnails of the book pages

The Robotlegs Book pages from afar

You can pre-order the print version here, and the e-book should be released very soon – they’re estimating August 9th but I’m hoping it’ll be sooner as we tamed the DocBook beast ourselves and pushed it to production in great shape. There will be a print + ebook deal from O’Reilly shortly.

I just received a message from Yennick Trevels via Twitter, and he asks an important question about the book:

@stray_and_ruby is the book about the basics of Robotlegs, or is it mostly about advanced topics (cookbook style)?

@SlevinBE Jul 16 12:05 PM

So, what kind of book *is* this Robotlegs book? Well, it’s not a cookbook, it’s not an API reference, and it’s not really about the basics of Robotlegs either (though it’s ideal for getting started with Robotlegs).

This book is about architectural decision making in your projects, as expressed through Robotlegs. It has a lot of code samples, plenty of diagrams, thorough coverage of the core Robotlegs API and also deep discussion of why you would take a specific approach, and what the advantages and risks of other approaches might be. Continue reading »

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