FileMaker Dev Conference 2007 - Day Three ( 2 of 2 )

From Dwayne Wright - www.dwaynewright.com

Well, I got a little chatty on this one, so I’m going to break this down into two different posts. This is the second of the two.

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

- Pick Up Much Needed Coffee
- Attend Multiple Window Practices (Dawn Heady)
- Attend Reusable Script Design (Jeff Hough)
- Attend Multiple Developer Design (Dawn Heady)
- Attend Modern Design Practices (Andy LeCates)
- Attend Better Tools (Alexei Folger)
- Attend The Closing Session - Under The Hood 2

ABOUT FILEMAKER IN A MULTI-DEVELOPER ENVIRONMENT By Dawn Heady of Scodigo
Best session of the conference as voted on by myself and my boss (that attended the session with me). Dawn gave an open and collaborative workshop session in which she explained many of the successful techniques she has employed in a solution that is over 2 years in development with 5 different full time developers contributing to it. Right off the bat, a person in the audience asked about her giving away her design secrets. She commented (and I agree) that many design secrets have little place in the FileMaker community. By sharing design information to FileMaker peers only makes it a better environment for all FileMaker developers.

She showed a detailed commenting scheme for scripts and a (check in / check out) method for developers to work on files. I’m sure that it always doesn’t go smoothly but you can definitely see a well thought out and executed design process in Dawn’s presentation.

She engaged and managed the audience with skill and the audience was great as well. You know that it’s going well for me when I actually contribute. Usually I just sit there and drink it all in. I said, “I imagine that you have a database in which you track all the action items for a project, who they are assigned to and their status. In your schema comments, do you ever include the the record id from the action item database?” She looked at me for a moment and said “No, we don’t but that is a very good idea.” I don’t know if she has implemented that in her projects but we have now included it in ours, as well as a dozen or so of other techniques from Dawn’s presentation and the audience comments.

ABOUT MODERN DESIGN TECHNIQUES By Andrew LeCates Of FileMaker Inc.
A demonstration slanted towards FileMaker 9 but not totally FileMaker 9 specific. In fact, much of presentation was similar to the one held in a Seattle FileMaker PUG meeting before FileMaker 9 was released. Andrew is a great speaker, very knowledgeable, very funny and stresses demonstration point admirably. If you have a chance to see Andy do a presentation, I would recommend that you do so!

ABOUT BETTER TOOLS FOR MANAGING YOUR APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT By Alexei Folger Of FileMaker Inc.
A FileMaker 9 specific session that I didn’t attend. I had a chance to look at the PowerPoint slides beforehand. I was burned out by this time and wanted to be fresh for the closing “under the hood” session. So I took this session off and headed to the pool for a swim and a shower. Alexei is also a very good speaker and delivers her content in a very warm, friendly and professional manner. As with Andrew mentioned above, If you have a chance to see Alexei do a presentation, I would recommend that you do so!

ABOUT THE UNDER THE HOOD CLOSING SESSION
This was a panel of FileMaker software engineers answering some questions submitted earlier in the conference and then some taken directly from the audience live. Last year, this was my favorite session. This year, I don’t know why but I couldn’t really get into either of the under the hood sessions. I guess it was because they didn’t really apply any of the content to the craft of FileMaker design. It was just a discussion on the manufacturing of the nuts and bolts. By all means, confer with other attendees about their impressions. I’m curious if it was just me or if perhaps others felt this was an anticlimactic way to end the conference.
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© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

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