Well, it’s been an eventful trip to QCon and after spending some time digesting the whole thing, here’s some of my thoughts:

It tends to be geared more towards the startup crowd rather the traditional, stodgy enterprise. I say this because a lot of the new sexy tech that’s talked about tends to be too new for the traditional, risk adverse enterprise.

That’s not to say, however, that the enterprise can’t learn anything. Some of the enterprises gave talks that really impressed me away with the level and quality of engineering. Visa, ESPN, NetApp were outstanding. Urban Airship, which I guess isn’t really an enterprise, gave an excellent talk on their micro services-esque architecture. The Netflix session was also great, though it wasn’t anything new from what you can already find on the Internet. Of course, you can say that about a lot of sessions at a lot of conferences but the real value is in networking and picking the brains of awesomely smart people behind the software that you love to use. Can you say IT fanboy?

On the other hand, the Facebook talk was really disappointing. I guess I sorta went in with the wrong perspective, hoping for a technical, in-depth view of their architecture stack. As it turns out, it was heavily focused on general management, engineering and release perspectives. It seems that some people really liked it though, judging from the live tweet stream.

There’s also a heavy, heavy emphasis on mobile and HTML5. I wonder would it be the same for QCon 2012?

As for the tutorials, I really wanted to attend the continuous integration session but unfortunately by the time I got moving, it was completely filled. In the end, I attended the Neo4j and REST sessions. No regrets, as I found them to be helluva interesting.

Neo4j seems really cool and I loved their koan approach to exercises. It’s really fun and refreshing, compared to the repetitive and mechanical exercises you find in Oracle courses.

The REST session was extremely helpful and I didn’t really have much working knowledge of REST going into the session. My level was pretty much limited to making requests and parsing the results. 3 levels of REST maturity? Not a clue. Needless to say, I walked out of the session as a much more enlightened developer.

Nitpicks:
I wish that ALL the slides could be available immediately after the session concludes. I had to wait weeks for some of them to be uploaded. I understand if the videos take a bit longer to show up on InfoQ but come on, slides? This’ll help immensely for folks who have to give a presentation on the sessions right after they get back to work.

More importantly, I didn’t win the ThoughtWorks compendium!