I recently attended the O’Reilly Fluent Conference in San Jose, California. Of course I learned about current Web development trends , but what stood out most to me was the frantic pace of change I felt others felt as well. Conferences in a way confirm your impressions of what is going on in an industry. In a sense it makes you feel good to know that your peers across the country also have the same challenges as you.
Social events at conferences can be therapeutic as you disclose your most troubling tasks and look for nods of agreement when you plot your way forward.
Being in a new or different city places your mind in a more meditative state, though that state is tempered by a busy conference schedule. A lot of knowledge must be crammed into just a few days along with networking events and tasks like registration and exhibit hall wandering.
Leaving the conference was bittersweet. I left the conference learning about great new technologies that will make the Web better, but at a cost. A cost of many hours learning new skills. A cost of modifying exciting new code to work with Web browsers that are old and will stay old for years. A cost of creating feeble Web apps in comparison to native apps on appstores… and knowing that they will always be lesser apps and any attempt to create a native app using Web technologies will just require more time and more time for something “just okay.”
But learning and challenges are what I love, for without them what would life be? If everyday is the same as the last, where is the progress that moves the mind and the spirit?
So find your coffee of life and caffeinate your mind and spirit. Leave the day better than when you started it and your head just a little heavier from the bingeing of knowledge.