October 23, 2004 conference

Sells on the SellsCon

125 attendees and speakers from 6 countries (US, Canada, England, Malaysia, Netherlands and Peru), 21 states and 60 companies, ranging from vendors to expert practitioners and even a few poor souls trying to learn XML. 24 hours of talks and events spread over two days. 44 bloggers and 247 blog entries about the event itself (not including warm-up to the event or my own blog entries), nearly all of which were over-whelmingly positive, including one eWeek piece and one entry from Tim Bray of Sun Microsystems that called me a charming, welcoming, amusing guy.” (I didn’t pay him a cent, I swear! : )


In general, day 1 was dark and brooding, shouldering the brunt of the vendors who knew the technology inside and out and were feeling the pain of the downsides that they felt were holding them back. Day 2 was filled with hopeful stories of practitioners able to take what the vendors have given them, mix it with for their own secret sauce and really make it shine.


My very most favorite talk was Whitney Kemmey from the DOD with his unexpectedly captivating look at mixing XML with 10-year old technology and his endless submarine pictures, although Jeff Barr from Amazon continues to mesmerize me every time he takes the podium. Also, I really dug Doug Purdy’s enthusiasm and forthrightness. Oh, and when Neetu Rajpal shut down Don for derailing her talk, I fell in love.


Inexplicably, the DevCon seems to just get better and better. I blame it on the community willing to listen to a variety of sources to hear what’s really going on, some of it good and some of it that needs some work, whether it’s from professional speakers or nervous amateurs, for-profit vendors or seasoned practitioners. Thanks for letting me participate.