Denver Developers and Designers are Awesome!
Back in August, I had the amazing pleasure of volunteering for @ 2014 for the second time, thank you @. Thanks to all the developers and designers I had the distinct pleasure of meeting, my approach to project management and getting sh*t has dramatically changed. For over 12 years I have worked as a project manager using what I call the “old-fashioned” way of getting sh*t done. What I learned though at @ was that value, authenticity, and relationships matter more than credentials and processes. I would argue though processes can be reimagined to be more beautiful and elegant but that will be a separate discussion. In this post, I want to celebrate the Denver design and development community which is awesome. If you are unfamiliar with this fantastic family of friends and organizations, check out this Denver Egotist article about some very impressive wins for some Denver and Boulder agencies.
In this community beer is the preferred currency. What matters most are results. It doesn’t matter where you learned your skills. What matters is when it comes time to perform and create a kick@ss website or web application, you produce results. This is the same community that created OhHeckYeah, courtesy of @ and @.
At the after party, I tried to think of a way to summarize my experience in one word. After a couple of beers and delicious burrito at @, the word “emergence” came to mind. The most beautiful moments of @ revealed themselves through vulnerable and authentic moments. Nick Jones (@) delivered the most vulnerable moment of the event with his “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing” presentation. Right before our eyes, Nick walked us through his creative process. We started out together in a beautiful pasture but quickly fell over the edge of what felt like an abyss but then at the end, Nick pulled us back up to the clouds where the view was incredible. Near the end of the second day, I was fortunate to watch different teams accept the Ballmer Peak challenge where they were required to drink a beer every time they reviewed their code. The requirement was simple, consume an API. It was up to each team to create a cool experience that consumed some API from anywhere they could find it. The @ G-School team developed the most “subtle” experience by flying us through the universe in their “rocket ship”. At the end of entire event Ian Coyle (@) shared 42 lessons he had learned over the course of his career and he fully admitted that list will probably grow. It was a great way to end a conference that celebrates getting sh*t done. These three moments were perfect examples of what I am calling “emergence.” In each moment, folks started out with basic requirements or ambitions, create something cool and amazing, and then we rode the roller coaster with them all the way to the end. More often than not, the solutions and experiences we are searching for are waiting to be discovered not solved. Instead of finding the solution, we are discovering the answer. The simpler the answer the more beautiful it is.
The designers and developers in Denver and Boulder are amazing. I just hope I have the privilege of hanging out with them again next year at @ 2015.
Below is a list of the folks who presented at @. If you have a few moments, I recommend checking out their websites, there is some amazing talent in this list.
Develop Denver Speakers
Amelia Graycen (@) “I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That: A Humane Introduction to Machine Learning”
Chandler Prall (@) “ES6 – What Is It and When Can I Use It”
Jake Gibbons “Atomic Styleguide Driven Development: The Death of Pixel Perfect”
Scott Smith “Beer Locker”
Shaz Sedighzadeh (@) “Workin’ 5 to 9 – “Inspired on Side”
Aaron Ray (@) “Use Your Time, Don’t Spend It”
Kinsey Durham (@) “Ruby for Beginners”
Matt Webb (@) “Turning Coders into Makers”
Chandler Prall (@) “Optimizing Your Site: Tools and Tactics to Give Your Users a Faster Experience”
Mike Pack (@) “Using Ember to Make a Bazillion Dollars”
Nick Jones (@) “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing”
Ryan Eaves “Dynamic Content Loading Without CMS Headaches”
Randy Winch (@) “Switching to Agile: One Year Later”
Talon Poole (@) “KoaJS and the Generator Generation”
Michael Arestad (@) “Sasstronauts”
Devin Reams (@) “The GitHub Flow: Building Software Better Together”
John Gilbert “When Sh*t Hits the Fan”
Tony Felice (@) “Measurements with Meaning”
Justin Gitlin (@) “Building Physical Video Games for Marketing, Entertainment, and Social Good”
Ian Coyle (@) “42 Lessons Learned”