Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Condiment Conference Redux

Back in May, I spoke at the first AJAX Experience, and it was a blast. It has been years since I've been to a conference with so much enthusiasm. It is unusual for a conference to focus on what I called a "condiment" technology. You can't write a web application in just Ajax (although TiddlyWiki may prove me wrong on that). Generally, you write the web application in Java, .NET, Ruby, PHP, Python, Perl, or some other "main course" technology. Ajax provides the icing, both visually and via usability polish. Most conferences focus on main courses, but The Ajax Experience focuses on the icing.

This means that this conference has an eclectic mix of developers. Hallway conversations lack the implicit assumptions you can generally make at main course conferences. For example, all Java developers have an implicit context. At The Ajax Experience, you have to throw away your base assumptions, both in sessions and conversations. Just like travel broadens you because you meet people with different contexts and experiences, attending the Ajax Experience does the same for technologists. Instead of the usual low-level animosity that each technology tribe exhibits for the non-tribe members, everyone focuses on common ground. It happens again in October, in Boston. You owe it to yourself to be an ex-patriot for your main course technology and come to the United Nations of web development, The Ajax Experience.

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