So the final day of the Ajax Experience came and went. I’m still not entirely sure how I dragged myself out of bed for my 9:45am talk this morning (Enterprise JavaScript Error Handling), but I did and it went off well. The crowd was fun and actually laughed at my jokes, which is more than I case for most girls I meet. There were a lot of great questions and good conversation after the fact as well. Sadly, Nicole Sullivan and Stoyan Stefanov‘s talk was at the same time, so I couldn’t see how they did.

During the break, I finally met Peter-Paul Koch and had a rousing conversation with him, Nicole, and Chris Heilmann. Anne van Kesteren then joined the conversation, which was the first time I had met him (I admit, I thought Anne was a woman before I met him….sorry dude!). It’s really amazing how many interesting conversations can sprout up with that many smart people involved. Ultimately, we all decided to bash Nicole’s Smush.It domain because it looks like smu-shit. That led to PPK proclaiming that the “smu” would be the official mascot of the tool, which led to a slew of suggestions such as t-shirts. Yes, we’re crazy.

After lunch, I went to Ted Husted‘s talk on Ajax testing tools which included YUI Test. I was glad to see the comparison to JSUnit and how to integrate YUI Test with Selenium. It’s good to see someone else’s perspective on unit testing and how YUI Test can fit into an overall strategy. I’m hoping to keep in touch with Ted to get some feedback to help shape the next generation of YUI Test.

I ran into Brad Neuberg for a few minutes in between talks. I haven’t seen him in at least a year, so we caught up. He told me about his current project: trying to get SVG into Internet Explorer. He’s looking for help, so if you’re interested, pop on over to his site and drop him a line.

Nicole convinced me to sit in on an entertaining talk by Neil Mix of Pandora that was all about creating interesting user interfaces. I have to say, he was one of the more interesting speakers I saw. I liked the presentation and explanation of their unique challenges and approaches. Lots of good information there.

On my way out, I ran into Alex Russell in the hallway. I’ve also not seen him in a while so it was good to catch up (last time I saw him he was still a single troublemaker not unlike myself). It was interesting to hear how he’s been splitting his time and some of his thoughts on YUI as a whole. He and I agree on a lot of things, especially the need for pragmatism, so it’s always good to catch up with him.

Overall, the Ajax Experience was a lot of fun. It was great to be back in my old stomping grounds and to run into smart industry folks. Part of me was wondering if conferences like this will start going away as Ajax has become more popular, talked about, and written about. A couple years ago, all of this was new and everyone wanted to learn. With so many more resources out there, and corporations clamping down on unnecessary expenses, I wonder if this might be the last we see of such conferences. I certainly hope not because I enjoy them thoroughly, but time will tell.

Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.

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