Austin Apart

I’ve just been to Austin for An Event Apart. This was my ninth visit to Austin but the first time that it wasn’t during South By Southwest.

I liked it. I did not miss the throngs of marketers. Also, I was able to actually do things that require a lot more effort during Southby, like going to see movie (whilst having dinner and a few beers) at an Alamo Drafthouse—an excellent experience that I highly recommend. They have a code of conduct that would make Mark Kermode proud.

It was really nice to spend some time with some Austinites: the local Happy Cog crew, the Paravel gang, and teacher extraordinaire Sam Kap.

The conference was, as always, excellent.

Jeffrey's introduces me Back of the class

What was really great was seeing themes emerge and recur over the course of the two days. I remember this happening a couple of years back, when many of speakers started talking media queries (culminating with Ethan coining the term Responsive Web Design). This time, the recurring themes were pretty clear: process and workflow.

There was plenty of nitty-gritty design and development knowledge bombs too, but it was really great when Sarah, Andy, Ethan and myself all talked about the importance of style guides and pattern libraries in our work. Samantha’s style tiles got multiple shout-outs too.

The speakers at An Event Apart don’t collude and coordinate before the event, but I’m sure it must have looked as though we had been sent on stage with a mission to continue Anna’s excellent work.

Now that An Event Apart Austin is over, I’ll be heading back to England’s rainy shores. But before I do, I’m going to soak up another day or two of sunshine in Arizona, visiting the in-laws.

We were all set to spend yesterday evening watching the stars from one of Kitt Peak’s telescopes. Alas, the thunderclouds put paid to that. But we did get to have a look around Kitt Peak, which was quite marvellous.

Kitt Peak

I took some pictures. It would’ve been cool to have checked in on Foursquare there but a) there’s no reception way out there and b) they ask you to switch off your phone …not all the telescopes are optical.

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