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Iris is off to FOWA!

Posted: October 8th, 2008 in Out and about

The Future of Web Applications conference is visiting London for the fourth time and I’ll be there for the second time, soaking up the talks and atmosphere of the cutting edge of online digital development. Last year’s event managed to fit in talks from industry luminaries such as Kevin Rose, Om Malik, Michael Arrington and Matt Mullenweg with company representation from Microsoft, Yahoo, Adobe, AOL, Facebook and many more. This year looks to expand on that line-up with Google, Sun Microsystems and Amazon Web Services joining the mix.

The two-track approach is continued with separate developer and business tracks and keynote talks spanning both interspersed throughout the two day conference. A slight shift with the workshops (which I won’t be attending) now taking place before the conference rather than after it, I’m sure the diggnation aftermath was a key decider with that change! The schedule also seems a lot friendlier to those of us up North, starting at 10am rather than 9am.

Given my technical predilection, I’ll likely be glued to the developer track with noteworthy talks including:

  • Blaine Cook (twitter) and Joe Stump (digg): “Languages don’t scale”. The previous year’s talk by digg member Daniel Burka on Interpreting Feedback was erudite and widely applicable so the addition of a Twitter service veteran should make this a great start to the day.
  • David Recordon (SixApart): “Blowing up social networks with Open Tech”. A hard decision on this one given the competing Business track talk by Ben Huh from I Can Has Cheezburger, however SixApart has a long history with products such as MovableType and the possibility of learning something new with David’s talk is high.
  • Tony Lucas (XCalbire) and Jeff Barr (AWS): “The important bits of cloud computing”. Switching over to the business track for day two sees cloud computing (sure to be a prominent topic this conference) take to the stage with both UK based XCalibre and the current darling of cloud computing: Amazon Web Services, speaking with an inside view of the service du jour; certainly pertinent given recent rallying cries against cloud computing.
  • Neal Sample (Yahoo): “Y!OS: Opening up Yahoo! To Users and Developers”. The showing from AOL and their web service offering was a surprising turn for the much maligned company so a similar, perhaps more progressive, showing by underdog (and now best buddy of Google) Yahoo! should be interesting, especially given last year’s debut of YSlow for Firebug.

Despite some talks in the previous year’s conference skirting far too closely to sales pitches, the friendliness and vibrancy of attendees and organisers alike means that the FOWA conference is fast becoming a must-attend event for forward-thinking web companies. The level of knowledge displayed from speakers is regularly breathtaking and I don’t think I attended a single talk last year that I didn’t note down a new website to visit or service to check out, even when the talk was about ducks. I look forward to seeing everyone there!