Craig Rowe

Techlead / Developer

5th September 2010

dConstruct 2010

It seems that I mainly Blog (as opposed to write 'articles') after attending some kind of nerd based event, but here I am again, just after an event typing away...

This time it's dConstruct, and I have to say it was a blast - very different from other events (FOWA, SXSW and smaller events like DDD, WebDD, Barcamps and user groups like NxtGen).

Like Jasper I'd have to say that the thing that makes dConstruct a great conference to attend is its almost brazen affront to technique style takeaways and it's ability to either shun, or at least dramatically downplay, any feelings of being sold to or comercialised. Techniques are rightly consigned to the realm of the workshop. The difficulty then, as an attendee, is to justify attendance. Can you quantify the shot of enthusiasm and inspiration as easily as going on a training course?

I think so. Attempting to provide workshop style content is a huge balancing act between the potential knowledge bases of the large audience. And putting up sponsors to speak is an immediate turn off. But planting ideas, making you think, that is what makes you want to get back onto your laptop and start working away.


dConstruct 2010: Talks / Boiled down
Marty Neumeier Products fall into four broard categories: "good and different", "not good but different", "good but not different" and "neither good or different"
The Designful Company
Brendan Dawes 1. Collect, 2. Think, 3. Remove all that isn't necessary
Boil, Simmer, Reduce
David McCandless Visualise data to see what you couldn't before
Information Is Beautiful
Samantha Warren The time for web typography is now
The Power & Beauty of Typography
John Gruber Success comes from a single mindedness but that single mind can lower the collective talent if the auteur has a lesser taste than the team
The Auteur Theory of Design
Hannah Donovan The power of collaboration through improvisation (which isn't just random ad hoc activity it's subject to structure, timing and harmonious roles).
Jam Session: What Improvisation Can Teach Us About Design
James Bridle The journey from one historical fact to another is as much, if not more, intriguing than facts alone
The Value Of Ruins
Tom Coates Interconnectedness enabled massively by the proliferance of APIs are as revolutionary as the roads of the Persian Empire (2secs I'm just off to make a mash up)
Everything The Network Touches
Merlin Mann It's good to be a nerd but don't be complacent, keep looking for the next thing to nerd out about (before you're obsolete)
Kerning, Orgasms & Those Goddamned Japanese Toothpicks

I've boiled the conference down to a single sentence per talk. At this point the interesting thing to me is that some of the remainder might be labelled 'obvious', but to me it's down to the quality of an engaging speaker that you come away with a clear message.

This also reminds me of an article by Max Pool that I read not too long ago:

Just because you can grasp the answer does not mean you have the knowledge, wisdom, experience, or work ethic to come to that answer

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