I got back late Wednesday night from Flash On The Beach and want to share my experiences before it’s old news. Firstly, it was an awesome conference (okay so that probably is old news), definitely a huge improvement on last year which was already a great conference. Thanks alot to John Davey and the team for putting the conference together and will definitely be there next year. Thanks also to Aral for letting us stay with him and also happy birthday to him.

Anyway, thought rather than just say how great the speakers, sessions, crowd etc it all was I thought I’d list the sessions I attended and my intended actions as a result of those sessions. It’s proven that you’re far more likely to go through with something if you write it down so I figure i’ll do that here and I can get publicly ridiculed for anything I don’t get round to doing before FOTB 08:

Day One
Keynote
I intend to find out more about Thermo as info is available and I also must poke fun next time I see Holmes & Homes :D.

Grant Skinner – 50 Reasons AS3 Kicks Ass
I’ve played around with AS3 but haven’t yet done very much with it, Grant’s session was a great whistle stop tour for a refresher and highlighting some new stuff to me. I will be grabbing his slides as they become available and will be doing some AS3.

Mike Chambers – Understanding Adobe AIR
Anyone that’s read my blog frequently knows I was a bit of an Apollo fanboy when it first came about. I’ve actually not had too much chance to actually develop anything with it yet. I also have some reservations about AIR. As a result of Mike’s session I am going to give AIR a fair go and develop something and I’m also going to ‘air’ (barf) my opinions and concerns with it on this blog.

Keith Peters – Make Flash Games. Retire Early
Great session where Keith shared his game developing experiences. Very much has triggered my desire to create a game and release it to the world. I do now have a much better appreciation for what will be involved and hope to at least have a bare-bones game of some-sort by this time next year.

Hoss Gifford – The rest of the iceberg
Hoss’s presentation was brilliant and made alot of people feel better about their own trials and tribulations of delivering projects. Knowing that he has gone through the mill and how he’s come out of it stinking of roses puts me at ease. He also planted a seed that’s inspired me to give 3D a go as what he acheived with limited experience was very impressive.

Ted Patrick – Flex and Actionscript 3 worst practices
Ted’s session was a very useful tech session and as I’ve been planning some Flex learning material for my team gave me some great notes and advice. I’ll be using his slides and advice he shared with me after in the training docs I’m putting together.

Aral Balkan – Let’s talk about SWX baby
Despite a couple of technical issues which he handled well and more than made up for in his impromtu session with Mario and Branden, Aral’s presentation has totally motivated me to open Flash and slap some code on the timeline and create something using SWX. Even if it’s just enough code “to fit on a moo-card” :P. I’m also very keen to get involved in the .Net port of SWX.

Carlos Ulloa – Next Generation Websites with Papervision 3D
This stuff is simply insane. I will be giving PV3D a try, end of.

Tink – Flashing Flex
Tink has a great conversational presentation style and his presentation was massively useful on creating custom-looking Flex applications. Even if you didn’t attend his session I highly recommend checking out his slides and source code when he makes them available (hint hint tink ;)) (I think he actually posted it before i’d finished this, thanks Tink!) .Andre-Michelle – Klangfabrik
Whilst I don’t think I’ll actually use any of this in the near future, this was one of my favourite sessions of the conference. Andre is a top bloke and oozed fun and friendliness throughout his presentation. He is also very intelligent and his work with sound in Flash has to be seen/heard to be believed. His session overran into lunchtime and I don’t think a single person gave a damn, sooo much fun and energy, thanks Andre! He was also very funny check out the best quote of the conference here :P.

Brandan hall – The Nooks and Crannies of ActionScript 3
Brandon is one hell of an Actionscript geek, to the point of pretty much reading the docs start to finish! However he also highlighted some great tips and I will definitely be getting hold of his slides and putting his tips into practice.

Joshua Davies, Brendan Dawes, Craig Swann, Robert Hodgin, Erik Natzke, Jared Tarbell
All of these guys have totally inspired me to give up, down tools and just watch the incredible stuff they come up with! If you ever get to see any of the above present then I highly recommend it. Specifically Robert Hodgin’s experiments with Processing have to be seen to be believed. Despite not planning on achiving anything like what these guys can come up with, they have inspired me to occaisionally stop fretting over RIAs, best practices and “proper” programming and just come up with some fun stuff.

Overall, well worth the visit to Flash On The Beach and I highly recommend going next year.