Reflecting on PauseonError 2022

In October, six Soliant team members traveled to southernmost Appalachia to attend PauseonError’s FileMaker Summer Camp. This small-scale conference, with about 100 attendees, provides a space for high-level discussions of technical and business questions within the Claris Community.
Surrounded by the hills of northern Georgia, we enjoyed plenty of beautiful views, campfires, and conversation with fellow attendees.

Our team members moderated three discussions:

  • Brian Ginn provided strategies for FileMaker Certification
  • Sara Severson and Mark Baum explored the challenges of working with legacy systems
  • Mark Baum (in true summer camp style) organized a personal storytelling event

Using FileMaker to Learn FileMaker

In his session, Brian shared his insights on how he prepared for his first FileMaker certification exam. He shared his top tips:

  1. Realistic question/answer review
  2. Study groups
  3. Spaced repetition
  4. Avoiding the forgetting curve
  5. Openly committing to a test date with friends, family, coworkers
  6. Mentoring another FileMaker developer
  7. Writing and building a simple custom application with FileMaker

The session included a very lively discussion, and Brian got to show off the app he built to do spaced repetition, which still helps him daily in his work. 

Leaving a Legacy

Sara Severson and Mark Baum hosted an open discussion about working with legacy systems and shared Soliant Consulting’s best practices and biggest challenges when working with them. They walked through questions like:

  1. How do you learn and assess a new-to-you system?
  2. How do you determine when legacy code really is technical debt that needs to be fixed?
  3. How do you help a client understand that addressing technical debt is a priority worth scheduling and paying for – even if it’s invisible?

The group discussed a variety of approaches and what developers have found most useful.

Personal Storytelling

Mark Baum also led a session on personal storytelling to encourage meaningful networking at the conference. Attendees shared stories from their lives as a wonderful way of getting to know one another.
We had plenty of opportunities to network with other members of the community and have thoughtful discussions with leaders from Claris International. Our CEO Bob Bowers was among the attendees and enjoyed reconnecting with everyone, narrowly escaping a water balloon onslaught, as well as playing guitar and banjo around the campfire.

Friends, New and Old

For some attendees, it was the first in-person FileMaker event they had attended since the start of the COVID epidemic, and it provided a wonderful time to relax and reconnect. We enjoyed catching up with old friends as well as making new ones. And, of course, every session taught us something new, even if we were familiar with the topic.
We were pleasantly surprised at how many non-developers attended the event, but that’s the magic of PauseonError – all are encouraged to learn something out of their comfort zone but in a comfortable way. After all, as the Pause organizers shared, “The goal of each Pause session is to try something new.” We witnessed many people doing just that: growing as coders, businesspeople, and friends.
We’re already looking forward to the next PauseonError in early October 2023!

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