Reps/SIGs/Evangelism Reps/Conference participation/SenchaCon

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Conference details

SenchaCon is Sencha's annual conference. Sencha is a HTML5 tool provider who builds IDEs to allow developers to build apps. This was the third time it was held and it grew immensely. All in all, this is a very enterprise focused conference. The conference was big and span over 4 days with workshops and a hackathon. It was a multi-track conference and it had 2 hours blocked out for unconference-type sessions. It was a Sencha show - huge keynote with product announcements and partner showcases and many of the talks were deep-dives into Sencha products.

Your goals

Sencha is one of the key players in HTML5 today, they were the ones who proved with Fastbook that HTML5 can be as fast as native apps on the iPhone. Many Sencha properties do not support Firefox fully, so I wanted to speak at their conference bringing the independent HTML5 expertise and thus meet with them to see how we can work better together. For the audience, I wanted to show that HTML5 can be simple code and not just massive IDEs. I also wanted to show what Firefox OS brings that other platforms don't.

Audience type and size

The conference had about 800 attendees, all of which Sencha users. Mid-tier and enterprise developers who love their IDEs and build things with them.

Mozilla's participation at this event

I was asked to give the opening talk in the HTML5 track and to be one of the judges of the hackathon. We also sponsored and had our branding in many places including a dedicated table to charge phones and laptops. I also gave a few interviews for Sencha.

In my talk I mentioned Firefox OS, showed the Firefox Devtools and explained how people can approach HTML5 from a "maker" perspective and not with a "use a tool to do the job" approach. I ended with showing interesting upcoming tech like WebRTC and ASM.js.

Audience reactions

I am still waiting for the survey results (the organisers made sure there was a survey after each talk) but overall the reaction was very positive. People saw the potential of Firefox OS and got very excited about it. Of course everyone wanted a phone, but that is the normal reaction. And no, I didn't have any.

Evening event/party

The conference was in a Disney resort and the organisers brought the attendees to the Universal Studios theme park to enjoy the rides. They also booked a whole island for the after party and provided food and drinks in between the rides. Must have cost quite a bit but overall this was a clever move. Every day there were drinks and food provided after the event, too.

Materials (eg. slides, presentations, audio clips, photos etc…)

Other notable presentations

I spent most of my time with Sencha people and also talked to Tizen and Blackberry instead of attending the talks (as most of them were Sencha product specific). The only other talks I saw was a Leap Motion talk (which made me buy one) and a talk by Google about Blinks' rendering.

Other open projects attending (if applicable)

Tizen and Blackberry showcased their new hardware and tools. Microsoft had an Azure booth and Rackspace felt a bit out of place trying to talk to people about backend when almost everyone was a frontend developer.

Organization rating (1: bad - 10: excellent)

6 The conference was amazing and smooth, but the hackathon failed completely. I also found the overall event far too long.

Overall feel of the event

I think it was important we were there and made our voice heard. These enterprise developers is not a group we target but they have massive impact when it comes to day to day delivery of large products.

This event helped us…

Firefox OS wouldn't have gotten a mention but now a few people already asked Sencha to support us better.

Was it worth it? Should we participate again?

Yes, I think so. But not for the whole event - it is a Sencha show and most does not apply to us.

Connections

I am going to Sencha to meet with their engineers to fix their tools for Firefox. I also got personal contacts with Tizen and Blackberry to see what they are doing.