Sun, surf, and web geeks down under

Bondi beach in Sydney, Australia, isn't your typical Web developer conference venue. You're more likely to find surfers out on the waves than on the Web, yet that's exactly where this year's webDU conference was held.

The conference was on May 6 and 7, but the action started late on the night of the May 5th with code wars. Teams battled it out algorithmically with their favorite text editors and environments.

webDU attendeesThe conference was split into five tracks: two on Web development, one on user experience (UX) and project management, one on Flex and Flash, and one on ColdFusion.

Tom Hughes-Croucher and I had talks in the Web track. My talk on day 1 covered the current state of bandwidth and latency on the internet. During Day 2's keynote, Tom wowed his audience with server-side YUI using NodeJS. Later that day he also did a session on YQL that never ceases to interest audiences.

The conference was pretty awesome. The UX track was informative for me, and it included a lot of new experiences and interfaces for mobile and multi-touch devices. The Aussie community knows their stuff.

The other tracks didn't disappoint either, with sessions on Git, HTML5, Silverlight, jQuery, Web APIs and even gaming.

A bunch of Yahoos from the Sydney office showed up to give us some support, and man the booth. The photo shows Yahoo7 staff Kin Chui and Tim Nunn.

The exhibition area was mostly taken over by Microsoft's Surface box, where people could play multi-player games and other funky interactive stuff. Shane Morris covered some of the possibilities during his very informative talk.

The conference closed with webDU's familiar Jerry Springer-style speaker panel, including representatives from some of the bigger players on the web today. Everyone was at their diplomatic best though, so no chairs were thrown.

While this was the close of the conference, it wasn't the close of all activities. The morning after saw a bunch of speakers and delegates don wetsuits and get into the water for a surfing lesson — a fitting end to an awesome conference.

Shouts out to Morgan, Tim, and the gang from Yahoo7 for all their support; Geoff and the entire Daemon crew for putting up a great show; and all the new friends we've made out there.

Philip Tellis
Philip Tellis
Doing performance and security stuff at Yahoo!