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WDCNZ 2012

Kiwi developer Hamish Friedlander is CTO at SilverStripe, and therefore Lead Developer of the SilverStripe...

by Hamish Friedlander

Posted 10 August 2012

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Kiwi developer Hamish Friedlander is CTO at SilverStripe, and therefore Lead Developer of the SilverStripe CMS. He decides what features and functions get built in the upcoming CMS edition and knows the SilverStripe Suite inside out. He says the key to keeping development innovative is openness. Hamish lives a fast pace lifestyle on his motorbike, has a heartfelt connection with the Indonesian island of Bali, and is really bad at telling jokes.

Last week I spoke at WDCNZ. Some of you know this because you were there. The rest of you know this because I won't shut up about it.

I flew to Wellington from Auckland the day before (and boy are my arms tired) to meet up with the other speakers, run through AV checks, and so on. Popped into the office first. Naomi told me I looked like a banker in my new clothes. At least I think that was a B.

I got to the venue right on time - but there were no signs or indications of where to go. I asked staff - no, no conference today. Excellent.

"So, where is the speaker's meeting happening?". It was Douglas Crockford (Doug to his friends) asking me a question. And, worst nightmare, I didn't know the answer. Pretty soon after that the organisers and the other speakers showed up. Everyone introduced everyone else. I plugged my laptop in, it worked. Then we had dinner. I asked Doug about semicolons, and he didn't explode. It was nice. The other speakers were friendly. I didn't mortally insult anyone.

During the dinner, one of the Xero guys asked me "so you're the guy that has code in his slides?". What do you mean, "the guy"? I was told this was a tech heavy conference - all my slides are code. "Code can be hard to see on the projector". Awesome. Time to stay up till 1AM editing my slides.

Next day, turned up at the venue. People were there this time. There wasn't too much of a queue at registration, so I couldn't blow past saying "'scuse me, official speaker coming through", then go out a back exit, loop around and do it again.

Watched the first two presentations. First was Divya Manian talking about web standards. Given it was a talk about standards bodies, it was pretty interesting. Big takeaway: if you don't like HTML5 you can only blame yourself (or the massive corporations who are the only ones that have any real power, but ignore the man behind the curtain).

Then Malcolm Sheridan gave a presentation about Less and Coffeescript. He was using Visual Studio. Oh no! I'd just edited my slides to have less code, and here was a guy giving his whole presentation in an IDE. My slides were all wrong! ALL WRONG!

Spent the next two presentations furiously editing my slides. Glanced up to see Aaron Morton building Twitter with Cassandra in 30 minutes (more code editors) and Lea Verou doing cool CSS3 animations (which would have been awesome if I didn't know about them, but of course I did).

Finished in time for lunch (nice sandwiches, bit on the carb heavy side) and the javascript panel. JavaScript panel was interesting, nothing earthshaking. Microsoft sucks, JavaScript is the future, Mobile apps can eat it. Doug said he liked CoffeeScript but you're crazy to use it in production.

Then it was my turn. Blacked out for 30 minutes. Came to for the applause. People liked it I guess? Laughed at the jokes. Here's everything relevant from Twitter (in standard, annoying, start from the bottom order):

  • Phillip ‏@sitharus
    @andrewtokeley I feel that xhibit is needed here #WDCNZ
  • Andrew Tokeley ‏@andrewtokeley
    #wdcnz I think I've learnt that #entwine is a language that extends another language the make another language more readable ;0)
  • widged ‏@widged
    Checking out entwine tutorials -- Neat idea! #WDCNZ
  • Rowena Joe ‏@MiniGuineaBakes
    "You might as well eat that cake fatty" - new slogan for #xerocakeclub #wdcnz
  • Daniel ‏@djmc
    People, stop using jQuery for your mobile web projects #wdcnz
  • Michael Birks ‏@michaelbirks
    #WDCNZ oh, for the days when an entire page, including images, was under 30k
  • Phillip ‏@sitharus
    Specificity! #wdcnz
  • ConceptFusion ‏@conceptfusion
    Hamish friedlander talks really REALLY fast! #wdcnz
  • Jon Waghorn ‏@jonwaghorn
    Silverstripe seems to have Rails chip on shoulder #wdcnz #phpness
  • Lynn ‏@dryglue
    #wdcnz I want a super yacht!

So, some Rails people are still hypersensitive, but some people paid attention, noticed my jokes and one person actually enjoyed it enough to check out Entwine. Victory? Fortunately the SilverStripe attendees were there to give me helpful critiques, like that I'd mis-spelled Entwine on my last slide. Awesome.

Speaker following me was Alla Boglaeva. First time speaker, seemed nervous, some interesting underlying points but talked about SharePoint a lot. It went down about as well as you'd expect.

Final break followed by Vaughan Rowsell (hey, he's being funnier than me AND he's got cool demos. Stop it!) who talked about all the cool things you can do in HTML5 and said "fuck", and then the speaker everyone came to see, Douglas Crockford, who was awesome, clever, insightful, and disagrees with me about one thing so he can bugger off.

Then drinks.

It was fun. You should go next year. I won't be speaking, but it'll probably be alright anyway.