SXSWi – Tuesday – Day 5

I know, I know, everyone and their brother posted their SXSWi posts a week ago and I’m probably the only person who went who hasn’t finished posting, but eh. I mean, what else do I have to write about? 🙂

Behind the Scenes: Developing OS X and Longhorn
This was another instance where there wasn’t a whole lot of panels that interested me at this particular session. However, I say interested me, but I mean interested in terms of relating to my work. This panel certainly interested me, but more on a general nerd level. The panelists really illustrated the stark difference in design methodologies at Apple and Microsoft. Apple’s methodology was based on design first, develop later. Microsoft had the opposite methodology: develop first then design based on what your developers can accomplish. Being a nerd-conference, of sorts, there was an obvious audience bias towards Apple and I think that fact was visible in the facial expressions and general demeanor of the Microsoft panelist. Despite all that, I learned a lot about both companies. Interesting indeed.
Designing the Next Generation of Web Apps
This panel interested me simply because what I’ve been doing lately is web application development for our intranet at work. This panel was more of a discussion about current web apps, which was still better than What’s hot in web applications on Sunday. I really liked the visualizations that Eric Rodenbeck presented, however they kind of didn’t go with the flow of the other panelists. Cool nonetheless. A lot of the other discussion was about applications that I’ve heard of and know about like Flickr, LiveJournal, and Incidentally, Chicago Crime was designed by Wilson Miner who went with Jeff and I. Neat huh? All in all, I really enjoyed this panel.
Burnie Burns Keynote
Caught this keynote late as well. Burnie Burns, whose name I had to look up to figure out who he was exactly, puts on Red Vs. Blue. Once I heard that, I immediately knew who he was. I caught up on web stuff while listening, but did listen quite a bit. I did a bit of explaining to Jeff about who he was and what Red Vs. Blue was. Neat.
Dogma Free Design
This panel was… alright. There was much talk about how when designing a site, you can’t tell “if you got it” just by checking things off of a list provided by upper management – it just doesn’t work like that. I think this panel had a lot of good stuff to say, it just came off convoluted. People would just sort of chime in about whatever, really. It’s hard to give a quick summary of what I learned because, well, I’m not sure that I can really contextualize what I did learn, if anything, for that matter. C’est la vie. Perhaps I should have gone to Secret Sex Lives of Video Games, sounds more interesting.
Bruce Sterling Presentation: The State of the World
Everyone had talked about how Bruce Sterling always gave a great end-of-SXSWi-talk. Bruce pre-empted his esoteric tirade by saying that he was in a literary mood and not a very technical one, as of late. As such, he talked very abstactly about random things that, to me at least, made no sense whatsoever for him to be at SXSWi. I guess he had given great, relevant, talks in years past, but that was certainly not the case this year. Honestly he kept rambling on that I started to nod off. Maybe it’s because I was sort of tired and not really listening, but I really didn’t catch why he ended up reading poetry and crying at the end of the talk. Furthermore, I didn’t catch why everyone gave him a standing ovation at the end. Really, I just wanted dinner at that point. Meh.

So that was SXSWi, the next morning I caught a very early flight and headed back to Kansas. I want to apologize now to anyone who read all of these posts, I’m sure they were horrible, wrought with typographical errors and run-on sentences I’m sure. That’s the wonderment of the Intarweb, I don’t have to care. 🙂

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