What's better than going to one conference in a weekend? Going to two conferences in the same weekend, of course! I was fortunate enough to spend last weekend attending both Brooklyn Beta and SassConf.
Brooklyn Beta is not the conference you go to if you're looking to learn a new skill. Rather, it's a place to get inspired and to talk with some of the most amazing people on the web. I can't imagine the amount of time it took organizing the event. The level of effort that went into the branding alone is impressive. Quick aside: if you're planning a conference, giving out donuts or whiskey is a great way to make people happy!
The message throughout the day centered on the power we have, not just as designers or developers but as humans, to be a catalyst for change in the world. From Joe Gebbia describing the way AirBnB empowers its users to help others and themselves in times of need, to Raul Gutierrez – the founder and CEO of Tinybop – walking us down the path he took to creating a successful, impactful iOS app, the day was full of inspirational talks. Of all the talks, Catherine Hoke of Defy Ventures had me tearing up with her stories of working with children in Romania injected with HIV or of helping prison inmates start new lives as entrepreneurs.
I think Reggie Watts (totally did not expect to see him at Brooklyn Beta!) said it best when he said, "Only these people could do this." As people working on the web we're in a unique position to make things that impact our world. I left Brooklyn Beta amazed and inspired.
Not one to miss an opportunity, I extended my visit to NYC by attending SassConf, the first ever conference entirely devoted to talking about Sass.
Perhaps my favorite talk of the weekend was Jackie Balzer's "Programming? In MY CSS? or, How to program amazing CSS with Sass and Compass functions." Recursion maybe, but I never expected to hear a talk featuring Turing Completeness at a conference for CSS. And Tim Heller's YIQ color contrast Compass Extension is just what I've been looking for. Conference videos should be posted soon and I strongly recommend you check them out.
Back to Work
I don't know if I'll ever again get the chance to go to two conferences in the same weekend. It was a lot of content to soak in. I have a million ideas in my head that I'm still trying to distill into things I can apply. It was an incredible weekend and has renewed my excitement for what I do.