What do these two things have in common? Seemingly, very little. But in my life there is one distinct and interesting parallel.
A bunch of pickers, most of whom are meeting for the first time.
The events that celebrate Bluegrass music are very chill and friendly. You are likely to be sitting in a lawn chair watching some band sitting right next to the next band to go up and play. If you want to talk to them, you just turn your head and say Hi. You bring your instruments there and you jam with other musicians. The people better than you are usually willing to help teach you. The spirits flow and good times are had.
The events that celebrate jQuery are very chill and friendly. You are likely to be sitting in row of seats next to the next speaker to go up and speak. If you want to talk to them, you just turn your head and say Hi. You bring your laptop and nerd around with that all day. You’ll probably end up with other people poking at your code and you poking around at others peoples code. The people better than you are usually willing to help teach you. The spirits flow and good times are had.
I’m going to take the opportunity to gloat about all the cool people I met!
I met Doug Neiner after being online friends for quite a while. Doug is one of the nicest guys I know and he is currently rocking the jQuery community with all his hard work and contributions.
I met John Resig who was very nice and just a regular chap like anybody else there. Although I do think his personal slogan should be “I invented friggin jQuery. Have you heard of it?”
I met Marc Grabanski who is working on a set of instructional videos he hopes to sell. I told him that’s an awesome idea and that for all he has contributed to the community he deserves to make some money from sharing his knowledge (as does anybody).
I briefly met Yehuda Katz and his wife Leah Silber. I actually found out it was Yehuda only after they had dropped me off at my hotel after the party and Marc told me. Yehuda was excitedly telling us about how cool Web Workers are and how WebKit is implementing them very well.
I met Cody Lindley and we talked about how ridiculous the tech book publishing industry is and shared our own success stories about self publishing books.
I briefly met Jonathan Snook who was telling a story about how two years ago he was a die hard PC user and and since that time has, inadvertently after buying a MacBook, become totally saturated by Apple products.
I met Paul Irish, who is just as hilariously crude in person as he is anywhere else. Also, you should ask to see his anthropological Unicorn coloring book.
I met Mike Hostetler, who’s excellent intro speech was just before mine. He let me borrow his Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter, which was a hot item at this conference.
I met Steve Smith, who had a ton of great speaking advice, including busting out the oldie-but-goodie adage “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.” as well as sharing the fact that the Kensington presentation clicker thing is a presenter’s best friend. He also hooked me up with an invite for Harmony.
I met Ralph Whitbeck, who interviewed me on the fancy tech shuttle we were in about my presentation and jQuery in general for the Official jQuery Podcast. It’s not out right now, probably a few weeks.
I met Rey Bango who is a pretty genuine dude who’s mission in life is giving and getting shit from just about everybody.
I met Richard Worth who showed me a bunch of cool new jQuery UI stuff that is in development. Then I worked with him to create some live demos for the jQuery UI keynote, which was way awesome.
I met Mike Alsup and I accidentally spilled a whole beer on the table in front of him and he was super nice about it.
I met Robert Duffy and lent him my power cord in a moment of a low power crisis.
I briefly met Jeffrey Way and was bummed to learn he couldn’t make the second day of the conference.
I met Menno van Slooten who traveled all the way from Amsterdam. I hung out with Mennow a lot during the conference. He was a very chill guy and we got along very well.