DEVCON 2009: Friday Session 3:15 PM Breakdown

From Dwayne Wright - Certified FileMaker 9 Developer
TWITTER: dwaynewright

This is a post in an ongoing series in which I look at a particular session of the 2009 FileMaker Developer Conference and review which presentation I’m most interested in attending. I’ll post an overall set of links when I’ve covered them all. For more information about this annual conference, please visit .


Well, I dreaded this but the time has come. Although each mentioned presentation has a lot of merit to a lot of developers ... personally ... I cannot get jazzed up about any of them. I’ve been to a lot of FileMaker Developer Conferences and I can tell you there is always a “sleeper” presentation. One that never looked good to you on paper but either ...

- blew you away when you wandered in
- had you kicking yourself when someone else explained how great it was

there is always, at least, one presentation like that. I can see three of these sessions being possible sleepers for me.

Real World In-House Development Challenges and Solutions is not a sequel to last years popular Fantasy Based In-House Development Challenges and Solutions. I always think things like that when someone uses a title such as “Real World” this or that. In this case, my mind down an avenue where in house FileMaker development is more like scenes from the movies such as “Who Shot Roger Rabbit” or “Cool World”.

This content is given by Jeff Benjamin and I’ve always enjoyed his presentations in the past. He is a wonderful talent and I’m sure this is a great presentation. I do have to say that I’ve read the presentation description a few times and I just cannot get a bead it. I spent about five years of my career as an in-house FileMaker developer for the Apple Technical Support Center in Austin Texas. Most of the items Jeff mentions as talking points ... in my situation ... were handled (or not handled, as the case may be) by the middle management meat. As an independent developer, the items he mentions come into play all the time. Weird eh?

Virtualization 1: FileMaker Server is listed as a “beginner” level and may end up being the presentation I attend. Now, it is true that I couldn’t care less about virtualization. I’m more into the craftsmanship of FileMaker design and not hardware / software configurations of servers. Virtualization seems to be a blending of the two and I get why some folks get jazzed about it. As FileMaker developers, we likely need to have some exposure to these technologies.

The Empowering Users with FileMaker Pro 10 Features sounds like an interesting presentation for a user group slanted more towards beginning users/developers. I don’t understand it being slotted into a $1,000 a day developer conference. Perhaps I don’t understand the audience of a developers conference (thought I did) but spending time talking about the toolbar? I mean really? The Ins and Outs of Saved Finds ... really?

Advanced ESS Hands-On
is another topic that doesn’t interest me in the slightest but this may be where you find me. The technology looks great but I’ve never had a client that wanted to use it. I’ve done many of the tutorials, played with the technology and found it ... well ... boring. Each time I thought ... I went to all this trouble to setup a SQL Server to test this?

Now to be fair, I love working with small to medium sized workgroups. This has been a sweet spot for FileMaker developers for years and not so much for SQL programmers. So I’m totally not the kind of guy ESS content is focused towards ... but ... perhaps ... this is the time in which someone sets me straight on the topic and tells me what I’ve been missing.

Advanced ESS Hands-On is a workshop session and those do tend to get crowded. I didn’t go to last years DevCon but signing up for workshops used to be a little difficult. It used to be that you had to find a piece of paper, sometime before the first session of the day of the workshop. Then sign your name to the sheet, if it wasn’t fully signed up already. If you got sidetracked in the morning, you could be denied attendance to a workshop you were really jazzed about ... because it was filled to capacity before you found that slip of paper. Does anyone know if the process for signing up for workshops has changed? (how so?)
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© 2009 - Dwayne Wright -

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.

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