February 6th, 2011 | Filed under: events | Tags: , , , , ,

What a blast! gotoAndSki(‘Switzerland’); was simply the best conference I ever been. And I’m not exaggerating.

Right in the middle of the swiss alps, a bunch of geeks joined together for 3 days of pure inspiration, networking and, above all, friendship. If you want to get jealous, here are some great photos.

It was the first time I met Fernando (the organizer), and i can only say good things about him :). Although he deserves all the props for having the will to organize almost alone the event, he had the magnificent help of David. Well done guys!

the concept

It was really simple. Spend the days in the middle of the slopes with all the guys and gals and at night hear the talks. Beers included.

You’re thinking: “Yeah right. Talks…”. You can not imagine how effective it was. We were like 30 persons hanging around all together or in small groups. All day. You can’t get more networking that that. Personal relationships were build and others were reinforced. And the talks? Simply great. I learned A LOT and brought some really good s**t to work on. And there’s always the inspiration. And man, I got inspired… 🙂

But I think Fernando resumes everything in a tweet:

the talks

There were 9 talks, 3 per day. You may think it’s not enough. It was. All of them revealed an impressive knowledge about what they were talking about. Almost all talks were about Flash or any kind of related content. Another proove that Flash isn’t dead, i guess… But let’s hit the button and talk about it.

MIHAI CORLAN ( @mcorlan )
Building mobile apps with Adobe AIR, Flash Builder & Flex Hero
Mihai, an Adobe Evangelist, really gave some nice tips concerning the use of Flash/Air/Flex as a tool for mobile apps. Personally, I still think that it’s a work in progress. There are a lot of features than you can only reach when using the native OS languages. But I think Flash has a place in the game. The concept of “Build once, deploy for all” is, in my opinion, the most correct. Can you imagine having to build an app for 4, 5 or 6 OS in the future? I don’t.

PETER MASEIDE ( @petermaseide )
Making Flash Games: Case studies, tips & tricks
First framework of the event :). Peter brought us some neat tricks of how he built some games. Desktop or mobile. And he also presented Fun Grid, “a lightweight Open Source Flash AS3 game API for 2D/parallax scrolling games”. If you build games, go and check it out.

MIHAI CORLAN ( @mcorlan )
Building mobile apps with Adobe AIR, Flash Builder & Flex Hero
Another Mihai talk about the performance of mobile apps with Flash. A lot of advices and tips so you can build better applications.

DENNIS IPPEL ( @masdennis )
Messing with Actionscript and the Kinect
Dennis is a great guy. He’s a Senior Creative Developer at AKQA, London.
He spent an hour showing us how he plays with Kinect and a computer. For those who don’t know, yes it’s possible. You have a lot of open-source communities, like OpenKinect or KinectHacks, were you can go for inspiration and to get some libraries.

MICHEL WACKER ( @starnut )
Hot wireless data fudge
Do you want to connect mobile devices to computers through your local network? Does sockets or peer2peer means anything to you? If so, you should have come to attend Michael’s talk. He’s also preparing a framework, so stay tuned.

TIAGO DIAS ( @funkysoul )
Developing for TV with AIR
Tiago showed us the possibilities of AIR for TV. Running a FullHD movie in a pen and use like 2% CPU is an amazing view… Only possible because of the new Flash API called Stage Video that will ship with the next Flash Player (10.2). These kind of features will of course be available for desktop, so be prepared for another video revolution. Another prove that Flash will still be the best way of deploy video on the web.

TRINE FALBE ( @trinefalbe )
Taking a step back: Cognitive Psychology in Interaction Design
Finally a non-tech talk :). As a designer, I got very interested in Trine’s talk. And it was a really really good talk. It really helped to refocus and it showed to some guys what’s on the other side of the end side of development. Loved it.

RICARDO CASTELHANO ( @riccastelhano )
Flash+Arduino: a connection with feelings
Ricardo was nervous. It was his first time presenting in english. And for me it was one of the best. He showed us how you can control physical elements (like camera rotations) with the computer or, on the other side, how can you control your app with physical elements (like zippers). Really crazy stuff. But you know what? It’s not that hard. The code is simple and clean and the end result is simply amazing. Well done Ricardo 😉

Advanced Flash Accessibility
Last talk of the event, last framework being presented.
Sandro is what I call a hardcore-developer. “Oh, it’s not documented? No worries mate, I’ll find a way to override de native classes and do some crazy magic”. Yes, that’s Sandro.
But he wasn’t alone. With him came JAcc, an accessibility framework that he launched that night. Believe me, Flash with this is without any doubt the best accessibility tool. And yes, I have some experience building websites with AAA, both html and flash. The difference is that with JAcc you can control everything! Just have to write JAcc.say(“Hello World”); and your screen-reader will say it to you. But this is just a small example of the library capabilities. If your going to build a website were accessibility is a priority, use JAcc please.

in conclusion

This is what a conference should be. There was place for everything.

For the last 5 years I went to OFFF, but after lasts year conference in Paris I said to myself “it’s enough”. Every year was the same and there was simply no networking. Everyone with their small groups and don’t giving a s**t for everyone else. I got tired.

So to me it’s simple. Next year: gotoAndSki(‘Switzerland’);. And if you’re a Flash developer it should be simple for you too.

There’s a portuguese version of this article in the Active Media blog.

2 Comments on “gotoAndSki(‘Switzerland’);”

  1. 1 » I’ll be speaking at gotoAndSki(‘Switzerland’); / hello, i'm hugo said at 09:42 on September 26th, 2011:

    […] spending some amazing days in last year conference, like I told in this post, it was with great joy that I got Fernando invitation to present the “non-geek” talk of […]

  2. 2 » gotoAndSki(‘Switzerland’); 2012 / hello, i'm hugo said at 15:11 on February 6th, 2012:

    […] fun, snow, friendship, geekness, talks, all of that was present in this great conference. Like in last year’s edition, everything went smoothly and we all ended up enjoying […]