This week I had the great privilege of speaking at this year's Web Developers Conference at the UWE exhibition and Conference Center in Bristol. It was a truly fantastic day, filled with interesting talks on a wide range of subjects. The day was aimed, in large part, at the student population of Bristol - but there was a fantastic turnout from professionals as well as those still studying this little industry of ours.

I often wonder how we must all look from the perspective of an outsider, looking in. We have a fairly crazy community of people all fighting each other but helping each other at the same time. I can't actually think of any other industry like it. I wonder how many of us put students off from entering into this world, rather than encouraging them to join it?

A Short Recap

The day started off with @hereinthehive, who you may know from @speaktheweb. He gave a compelling talk about the web and its history, as well abstracting our definition of what the web is into segments, periodic tables, and objects. Fascinating stuff. @elliotkember was next up with an excellent presentation on JQuery which had everyone interested. Elliott, by the way, also had by far the best slide transitions of the day. Mmmm sparkles.

After a short break @jamfactory and @Efergan took to the stage with a truly excellent presentation on what to expect from the web design industry, with some excellent insights. And skipping action. @Anna_Debenham followed as the last speaker before lunch with a very detailed talk on how she got into the industry and what others should look out for.

With a full stomach, @iamkeir and @tholder took up the torch and delivered a valuable presentation on working relationships - I think I probably learned more from this presentation than any other, purely because diplomacy really isn't my strong suit. Another break for some "networking" and I was up next! More on that later.

The final (Keynote) speaker of the day was @MarkBoulton who, after some very kind words about my talk, went on to deliver an amazing insight into working with clients that can only possibly be gained by working in the industry for over ten years. I've already put one of Mark's client communication strategies into action this very day - which I'm hoping for a good response from!

The whole day was organised by the fantastic @AlexOlder - who really pulled it out of the bag and put on a truly great event, with a new record for attendance in @webdevconf's fourth year. Let's hope next year is even bigger!

My Session

So, my first big bit of public speaking... I'm actually very pleased with how it all went and I think it was pretty well received. Essentially I wanted to talk about what I've been doing with this site/blog for the last two years, and some of the successes and failures that I've had with that.

I won't go on about it though, instead I present to you here both video content and slides from the talk itself. I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below!


You can also download the full copy of these slides (with proper typography and not ugly, SlideShare-induced, Arial) from the awesome @noteandpoint website here.