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FileMaker DevCon 2018: Day 1

The FileMaker Developer Conference has become, for me, a bit of a reunion. As a remote employee, FileMaker DevCon is a chance to hang out with my co-workers… and it feels like the FileMaker community at large is just an extension of that group.

The sessions are good, too.

Workplace Innovation Platform

The morning kicked off with a Special Session, where Andy LeCates introduced FileMaker as a Workplace Innovation Platform. This framing hits the nail squarely on the head. They’ve summed up what we’ve always known—what we love to do—turning a complex conversation into a succinct story (and a sweet little video).

I particularly enjoyed guest speaker Richard Cox Braden, who spoke about the difference between Creativity and Innovation. As a creatively challenged person, it was helpful to see that amorphous blob broken into distinct, progressive elements: Imagination -> Creativity -> Innovation -> Entrepreneurship. (Maybe I CAN do some of that…)

Modular Programming with Card Windows

My next stop was John Renfrew’s session on card windows. He had great advice on using them for modular, transactional user interaction. He has taken card windows beyond the default centered-highlight use, manipulating their sizing and placement to great effect.

Women of FileMaker Luncheon

One of the highlights of the day, as it is every year, was the Women of FileMaker luncheon. Our developer population is growing every year, and I love this chance to connect with and support each other. I left the luncheon with a new friend AND a pinkie promise to help each other apply to be speakers next year. Win-win!

Afternoon Sessions

I attended three fantastic sessions in the afternoon:

Professional Development for All Ranges of Experience

Molly Connolly helped me think through professional development goals (see the pinkie promise above). I particularly appreciate the encouragement to incorporate personal goals into my development plan. I WILL learn the second half of Für Elise some day…

Flexible Reporting with Virtual Lists and ExecuteSQL

Martha Zink rocked the virtual lists lesson. Now I’m FINALLY ready to use them all the time myself.

Delight Driven Design – Transforming Designs from Good to Great

Jordan Watson reminded me of good design principles. As ever, I do best with tangible rules to follow, and his clear Do This/Don’t Do That series was helpful.

End of Day Fun

The day wrapped up with a solid six hours of socializing. Some of us went to a baseball game, some went kayaking, but I chose to stay in the air conditioning and talk talk talk. (Texas is HOT, yo.) This rate of chatting may not be sustainable, but it’s definitely my favorite part of DevCon.

There were so many good lessons from today, but the one I think I’ll apply daily: Every session – and workday – should end with Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers’ “I Feel Like Bustin’ Loose.

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