It is now over for another year, but was Adobe Max worth the money. A simple answer is Yes but maybe not for the reasons which become immediately apparent.
Having coded flex for the last three years, mainly in companies where I was the only developer and being self taught I went to Max to consume, my itinerary was set accordingly. I had signed up for lots of hands on labs and specific technology talks.
But first came the Community summit. A day and evening for the UGM’s and ACP’s, the day itself was good with lots of content, well prepared and presented. Shame I was suffering Jet lag from the day before. The announcements started the theme of what was to come.
Monday was soon upon us and we found ourselves in the reserved seats in a good place in the theatre, as a UGM we even had our own entrance. The keynote was very carefully prepared and presented it managed to keep my attention for the whole two hours (a rarity). It contained lots of announcements, I have seen others posting about the specific’s relating to the individual products.
The main theme of the whole event is Adobe products for multiple device development. It was a very much code once deploy many adventure, with the emphasis on Mobile development. The device and applications which were showcased were exceptional with platforms ranging from the Ipad to Google TV, it looks a very exciting time to be involved in the Adobe community.
And so onto the sessions, the amount and diversity of these were impressive with additional unconference labs it was sometimes hard to decide what to go into. I had set my schedule before arrival and used the Max Companion mobile app to coordinate my time. I found the sessions and especially the BYOL labs to be very well prepared and presented, the only critcism I may have is that not all sessions advertised the level required, some were basic introductions which sounded more advanced. I know a lot more for next time of how to plan what to attend.
I was incredibly impressed with the overall organisation and presentation of the conference with a few exceptions … COFFEE It was really difficult to get coffee during the day, without a trek to Starbucks. The community pavillion was excellent with the device lab, sponsors stands, it was great to meet RJ from Effective UI. and the unconference talks, which were really good. I found all the staff at the event to not only be helpful but friendly, polite and easy to approach. So a big thumbs up to the organisation. I may have gone on a bit about the content but that was not the conference at fault more myself for scheduling the wrong itinary.
So what was the really good, and the bad, well the BAD, each attendee was given a Droid 2 and Google TV, fantastic. yep, but you only get the TV to be delivered to a US address and the Droid 2 can only be used as a phone in the US. It will make a great development device though.
The GOOD well, incredible venue, excellent facilities the way they catered for 4500 people for lunch was superb. The biggy for me though was the meeting of people I had maybe emailed or followed on twitter. James Ward, RJ Owen, Jon Campos, Doug Winnie, Lee Brimelow, Kevin Hoyt , Christian Cantrell to name just a few also the community team and evagelists and lots of attendees. All of these people were great to talk to and all willing to share their experiences and knowledge.
Will I go next year, well that depends on two things, if I can afford it and there being no European event. It is well worth going and the experience way exceeds the cost in time and money.