Realtime is becoming a central part of Internet technology.
It's sneaking it's way into our lives already with push notifications, Facebook and Google's web chats, and it's a core focus for startups like Convore, Pusher, Superfeedr, Browserling, NowJS, Urban Airship, Learnboost, our own &! (andbang), and many more.
What's most interesting to me is how accessible this is all becoming for developers. In my presentation at NodeConf I mentioned that the adoption of new technology seems directly related to how easy it is to tinker with it. So, as realtime apps get easier and easier to build, I'm convinced that we're going to see a whole slew of new applications that tap this power in new, amazing ways.
We at &yet have built five or so realtime apps in the past year, and we're super excited about this stuff. We've also discovered that there are a slew of different methods and tools for building these kinds of apps--we've used a number of them. Different developer communities have been solving the same problems with different tools and it's been amazing to see how much mindblowingly awesome code has been so freely shared. However, there's still a bit of a disconnect, because it often happens within a given dev community. We always find that we learn the most when we talk to and learn from people who are doing things differently than we are.
So what can we do to encourage more of this?
That's exactly the conversation Adam and I were having when we went to the XMPP Summit in Brussels, Belgium. That conversation culminated into an outrageous idea: We should put on a conference entirely focused on realtime web stuff!
It's outrageous, for a couple of reasons. First, we've never organized a conference before and secondly we're in Eastern Washington, not exactly a tech hotspot (although, we're working on that too). Luckily we're fortunate to have made some awesome friends as we've attended conferences, written blogposts and worked on pretty cool projects for our clients.
We're teaming up with Julien Genestoux and Superfeedr to make this all happen. Julien is a pioneer and incredible visionary when it comes to realtime technology. Superfeedr was one of the early startups in the realtime web world. Whether you know it or not, you've probably benefitted from superfeedr's technology while using other services like gowalla, tumblr, etsy, posterous and many more.
Together we've manage to line up a ridiculously awesome list of speakers, that we're gradually announcing. So far, we've announced Guilleremo Rauch (creator of socket.io), Leah Culver (founder of Convore and previously pownce.com), James Halliday (JS hacker and creator of dnode, browserify, and a bunch of other awesome stuff under the alias "substack"). Also, we've just added realtime veteran Jack Moffit (@metajack) and NowJS's Sridatta Thatipamala (@sridatta).
Personally, I'm way more excited about attending this event than I am being part of organizing it. These people are my heroes. We've got several more really interesting folks on the TBA list as well.
We've been getting some great advice from Chris Williams (JSConf's daddy) on how to put on a kick-ass conference. We don't know if we'll make any money, in fact, our main goal is just to not lose money. We just want to bring together all of these amazing people from various communities that are pushing the envelope of what can be done in a browser. We need to listen to each other, learn from each other and push each other to solve the problems that can make more awesome apps a possibility.
In order for attendees to get the most value possible, we're going to do a presentation track (on the top floor) and then a hack-track (on the lower floor), where the presenters can do smaller, follow-up sessions, how-to's, training, etc. Multiple hack-tracks will be going on simultaneously. The goal being for people to be able to get more in-depth knowledge on the topics that interest them most.
We're also trying hard to get representatives of various dev communities, so that no one stack is touted as the "One True Way". That's just silly. We all have our favorites, I get that, but ultimately we're better off if we learn from each other, especially from those who are not using our tools of choice. There's a whole batch of new problems to solve in building (and scaling) rich, real-time applications that work on as many devices as possible.
If you wanna be there, you can get tickets on eventbrite and if you're interested in speaking, sponsoring or otherwise being involved in the event, email Adam firstname.lastname@example.org or myself email@example.com or hit us up on twitter @adambrault @henrikjoreteg.
I'm super excited to be a part of this and hopefully I'll see you there!