SxSW: Day Two

Wow, what a day. Saturday was the first full day of panels and presentations and it was definitely fulfilling.

Jason Fried and Jim Coudal were inspiring in their keynote address. Jason sure hit the nail on the head with his assertion that if you have a lot of time and a lot of money, you’ll waste a lot of both of those things. He intimated that if you keep your day job and work on side projects in your spare time with no budget, you’ll end up with better, more focused output. Sounds like a good plan.

My “best of” awards are as follows…

Best Presentation of the Day: Jeremy Keith and Aaron Gustafson – “How to Bluff Your Way in DOM Scripting”

Hands down, without a doubt, this session rocked. Both of these gentlemen are not only great programmers, but are equally adept at presenting their techniques. Clear, focused and engaging. Great job guys!

Best Party of the Night: Blue Flavor’s – “South by Northwest”

The Blue Flavor guys are great guys and so was this party. It seemed like every Web developer at SxSW was packed into the smallish back room but the bar was large enough to handle the overflow. And it was ther that I got the chance to hang out and get to know some the contigent from AOL and others from the D.C. area.

Later on I got to hang out with the some of the UK representation and thank Jeremy for his presentation earlier in the day. Perhaps the funniest part of the night was a drunken discussion about the whether or not you can affect the background-color property on <colgroup>’s with Paul “Dexter” Duncan of CSS Fools. Having just worked on a prototype for a product matrix, I was absolutely certain you could. Mr. Duncan insisted it wasn’t possible. We searched for a laptop to no avail. We tried to get others to weigh in on the subject, but no one was willing to commit in their inebriated state. We had a good laugh and I promised to send him an example in the morning. For the record, there aren’t a whole lot of CSS properties you can apply to a <colgroup> with much cross-browser success, but the background-color property is one of the few.

On the way out of the bar, I did my best to convince Dustin Diaz, to jump ship at Yahoo! and join us at PayPal. After promising immortality, I realized that it wasn’t morally right to try and poach someone that’s been drinking all night. I think it’s safe to say that the balance of Javascript power in the Valley will remain as is for the immediate future.

Disclaimer: While I am an eBay employee, these opinions are my own.