FileMaker Dev Conference 2007 - Day Two

From Dwayne Wright - www.dwaynewright.com

For me, my initial plans for the second day included...

- Pick Up Much Needed Coffee
- Attend Workshop Partnering With Clients (Molly Thorsen Connolly)
- Attend Stored Queries (John Howell)
- Attend Agile Development (Jason Mundok)
- Attend User Interface (Steve Abrahamson)
- Attend Under The Hood / File Maintenance (Joh Thatcher)

Yeah, first sessions do not start until 9 AM!

ABOUT THE PARTNERING WITH CLIENTS FOR SUCESSFUL LONGTERM RELATIONSHIPS By Molly Thorsen Connolly of Soliant Consulting Inc.
I liked this presentation and it helped provide a unique perspective on lessons learned from many years of FileMaker consulting. It started with the view point that communications skills with a client are as important as technical skills. In some cases, communication skills may save a project where technical expertise will fail you.

She also did something that I had not seen in a presentation at the developers conference before. She had small footers on many of her slides regarding reading material to learn more about a particular topic. Perhaps this is a common practice but again I’ve never seen anything like that at DevCon and I thought it was a wonder touch. Overall, Molly did a fantastic job and I would heartily recommend attending one of her sessions in future DevCons.

ABOUT STORED QUERIES: ELIMINATE REPETITIVE TASKS FOR COMMONLY USED SEARCHES - By Jonn Howell of DataExperience
I didn’t stay that long in this session. I thought it was going to be on methods of designing robust user searches for users that have limited access that prevents traditional robust searches. Instead it was about (as long as I stayed) about saving scripted searches in ScriptMaker. Unfortunately, there were no resource files from this session to date, so I cannot even lean on Advisor to jog my memory about what I was missing.

I did catch the final 1/2 or so of Introduction To Custom Functions by Steve Lane. Although I didn’t learn anything new, I liked the presentation and would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about custom functions.

ABOUT AGILE DEVELOPMENT AND FILEMAKER - By Jason Mundok of IT SOLUTIONS
This was the best session I had attended up to this point in the conference. To be honest with you, I don’t remember all the aspects of this session and will need to rely on the supplied documentation. What I retained is that it is a mindset in which you design your solution to be the most flexible in a limited amount of time. In other words, adding agility to your solution for anticipated (and unanticipated) feature requests. I’ve made a note to myself to research this topic more deeply in the future. I also think that Jason is providing classes on this topic and will be presenting it in our Seattle FileMaker User Group in the future. So you can look for a more in depth analysis of Agile from me in the future.

ABOUT USER INTERFACE DESIGN - By Steve Abrahamson Of Ascending Technologies
I had not planned on attending this session initially. However, a technique of putting field labels inside of fields that have no data within them peaked my interest in the opening session of the conference. It was hinted that technique was to be included in this session. It was not however but I didn’t mind. Steve gave a very illuminating presentation with a healthy dose of humor mixed in. I didn’t pick up any interface techniques I wasn’t aware of but I didn’t come away with a new respect on how to present UI to those that do not fully understand it. I had just started listening to an audio book called Blink. It’s about trusting first impressions for decision making as much as those that you deliberate upon for an extended amount of time. This session was much along those lines but from an UI perspective.

ABOUT FILE MAINTENANCE AND RECOVERY BEST PRACTICES (UNDER THE HOOD) - By Jon Thatcher of FileMaker Inc.
I attended last years under the hood sessions and loved them. Evidently FileMaker did as well and blocked out two entire sessions of the conference with only under the hood sessions as the option. I cannot say that I thought this was a good idea, in particular with this session. I didn’t much out of it and Advisor didn’t provide any session notes for this. It was late in the day and all of us were very tired (perhaps in a “my cup runneth over” perspective). In the future, I hope that FileMaker/Advisor try to have more punchy sessions in store in this time slot in the future.

All in all, I didn’t find the information that new or relevant in my day to day FileMaker development and support. Again, it might have been me, because I wasn’t at my sharpest at this time of the day.
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More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

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