DevCon 2013 was the fourth FileMaker Developer's Conference that I've attended, and seeing as to how I've been using FileMaker for more than 20 years, that just seems silly.
Regardless, I think this year's conference was the best yet. Here's why...
I learned a lot, including how FileMaker works "under the hood," and several very cool techniques that I hadn't seen or heard of before. FileMaker 12 has been out for awhile, and the community has had time to come up with techniques, tips, and best practices to make full use of it. There's nothing more exciting than learning new FileMaker techniques, and I'm anxious to apply what I learned.
I got a glimpse of the future of FileMaker, and got it from the FileMaker management and developer team itself. I'm not at liberty to tell you what I saw, but I can tell you that some very cool things are on the horizon.
I had the opportunity to hang out with the FileMaker community, which doesn't happen often enough. On the About page of FileMaker Addict I wrote about how "amazing the FileMaker community is," and if you need proof of that, look no further than DevCon. Between the FileMaker staff, vendors, presenters, and fellow attendees, the place buzzes with excitement and a collective intelligence that is difficult to describe. Everyone is friendly and helpful, willing and eager to answer questions, provide advice, and share their knowledge. And when you see the cool things that people are doing with FileMaker, you get to share in their excitement. There's nothing more inspiring than that.
The conference was very, very well planned. The FileMaker Developer Relations team did an amazing job, and I think everyone who attended will agree with that. It can't be easy finding a location, a schedule, meal plans, and what I can only imagine to be a million details that go into accommodating 1200+ FileMaker geeks for four days. But somehow, they managed to pull it off. The location was perfect (and beautiful), the food was good, the rooms were nice. (And before I forget - how about the cool swag this year?)
But perhaps most importantly, I left this year's DevCon feeling even more certain that the decision that I made to base my business (and to a large extent my career) on FileMaker was a wise one. The FileMaker platform is rock solid, and has a bright future ahead of it.
I used to think that attending DevCon every year was overkill, and that going every other year was plenty. Now I know better.