Farewell, An Event Apart

I friggin missed what turned about to be the very last An Event Apart (AEA). No tears though, just a salute to a legendary run.

22 December 2022
Seventeen years ago, in December 2005, we held our first conference in Philadelphia. The event we just held in San Francisco was our last.

All things must come to an end, and this is ours. Although we won’t be Apart any more, we’ll always be together — we’ll always reflect back on seventeen years of mind-expanding, industry-shaping talks and be grateful that it happened.

September 2013 was my first AEA ever, in Austin, Texas. It was a huge moment for me. In my mind, AEA was the top of the top for our industry speaking events. Speaking at it represented “making it” in a way that was important to me at the time. The best minds were on that stage, who all had important industry-bending ideas.

It’s 2013 today, so with a little rounding, we can call it a 10-year run! I was very lucky to have been invited to more:

  • 2013 Austin
  • 2013 San Francisco
  • 2014 Seattle
  • 2014 Washington, DC
  • 2014 Austin
  • 2014 San Francisco
  • 2015 San Diego
  • 2015 Chicago
  • 2016 Orlando
  • 2017 Seattle
  • 2017 Boston
  • 2017 Chicago
  • 2017 San Francisco
  • 2017 Denver
  • 2018 Seattle
  • 2019 Seattle
  • 2021 Spring Summit Online
  • 2022 Spring Summit Online
  • 2022 Denver
  • 2022 San Francisco (Online)

A decent set! I’m just so, so grateful to Eric, Jeffrey, Toby, Marci, and everyone else that operated AEA for all those years. They always took way too good of care of me and showed the world how professional and well-done an event could be. Because of them, I went places I never would have gone, I met people I never would have met, and I’m darn sure it helped my career take shape.

As a developer with several AEA talks under my belt, I’m sure it didn’t hurt my acceptance into the A Book Apart world. AEA allowed Dave and me to do live ShopTalk Show episodes many times as well, which likely helped us find new audiences than we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Me with some friends in Austin like Samantha Warren, Val Head, and Ethan Marcotte

Another thing happened during that first-for-me AEA in Austin. Dribbble hosted a meetup in town that lined up with it, and I went to it.

I remember there being quite a few people there and being awfully fun. That was influential to my thinking at CodePen at the time, and the next year, with the help of Katie Kovalcin who also helped with the Dribbble meetup, we hosted the first-ever CodePen Meetup there and it went well enough that we ended up doing 299 more of them all over the world before retiring them.

So long and thanks for all the fish.



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