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Clear Toolkit Authors: Yakov Fain, Victor Rasputnis, Anatole Tartakovsky, Shashank Tiwari

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First notes from 360Flex conference

I’ve arrived to San Jose,CA late on Sunday. By coincidence, there were three other speakers on the same plane from New York: Shashank Tiwari, Elad Elrom, and Jeff Tapper.  A short taxi ride to Marriott and one of the conference organizers, Tom Ortega, gives us a warm welcome in the lobby, “Hello guys! Please don’t do it again. Don’t get on the same plane next time – I can’t afford to lose four speakers”.

After a quick check-in to a nice room I spent a couple of hours drinking with a flex crowd in a couple of bars.

The morning after.

The shuttle bus took us to the huge eBay campus. Most of the people on the bus DID NOT have iPhones, can you believe this? Tom was greeting everyone at the door.
Several hundred of people gathered to hear Adobe’s Deepa’s keynote. Her conference badge reads “I’m Deepa”. Nice! On the next conference I’ll steal this idea from her and will carry the tag “I’m Yakov”.

I’ve been looking at this crowd and was thinking to myself, “If Tom and John will keep 360Flex running, in two years it’ll become bigger than Adobe MAX for Flex developers.”

In the morning, I’ve attended a presentation on Web analytics (Google vs. Omniture) and after lunch, my yesterday’s drinking buddy Jesse shared with the grateful audience his use of Flex plus two (!) more frameworks in the same project. Jesse is a good presenter, and I always come to see him regardless of the subject he’s talking about.

At 4PM I delivered a preso titled “Boring Presentation on Libraries and Modules”. A hundred people gathered in the room (here they are), and I was talking for 80 minutes and then was answering questions for another 25 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised that a non-flashy subject of modularization gets such an interest. People started working on decent size enterprise RIA’s and need to properly cut them into pieces.

This presentation was videotaped and sooner or later will become available online. For now, I can offer you a video of its shorter version that I made last year at Flash Camp Wall Street.
The beer was served right at eBay and the networking part began. These are some things that I’d like to share with you.

1. After certain conversations with certain people and by applying the Sherlock Holmes’ method of deductive reasoning I came out with the release date of Flex 4. To be on the safe side, I’ll give you two dates: March 29 or March 31 of 2010. Let’s wait and see if I got it right or I got it right.

2. I met a guy who runs a tiny company of a couple of Flex developers. He was complaining that it’s very difficult for him to find Flex talent for his projects because he couldn’t afford to hire and keep on billing $100 per hour consultants. He was surprised to learn that our company can easily offer him senior (I mean it) Flex/Java developers working remotely for a lot more modest rates. This is not the first time I hear that people assume that Farata Systems works only for Wall Street giants. We have lots of happy customers and the smallest one has only two employees.

3. I met a guy who has a nice visualization piece that may compliment our ClearBI Flex reporter. For some reason, there’s a surge of interest to ClearBI during the last month or so. We haven’t open sourced it yet, but if you want to play with it, here’s the URL of the demo server.  You may find some old screencasts showing how to create a custom report based on the raw grid of data, but try just hitting the buttons on the screen and you should be able to figure out how to add grouping, sorting, computed columns with formulas, and other goodies to create a report to your liking.

The dinner at P.F.Chang with several flexers was closing my first day of this very friendly and high-tech event. Looking forward for today’s learning.

Another day, another framework.

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More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain