I just got back from Colin Moock's ActionScript 3.0 tour event here in NYC and to just get this off my chest, sitting in a metal chair with thin padding for 9 hours is no picnic! My back hurts, my left shoulder hurts, my neck feels all tight; in general, I just feel drained. But, was it worth it? Absolutely.
Colin Moock is an excellent presenter. This is the first time I have ever heard him present on any topic and he just looks and sounds so natural up there behind the podium. His organization and preparation were flawless and he his pace was just right on the money. Personally, I am shocked that over the course of 9 hours, he actually ended right on time, if not a bit early. Sure, maybe it doesn't hurt that this was his 3rd stop on the AS3 tour, but I have a feeling that that didn't have much to do with it.
The event was basically a step by step run through of his Virtual Zoo flash application. It started with a basic review of data types and function calls and gradually got more complicated, incorporating class definitions, public and private variables, timed methods calls, event listeners, event dispatchers, and even some GUI widget type stuff. It was a tremendous amount of information to take in and absorb, but it was delivered so effectively that I am sure I got as much out of it as one could hope for.
Colin literally built the entire application from the ground up. His slide presentation included a lot of code snippets from which he copied and pasted as needed. At first, I thought this was a bit hokey - copying code out of the presentation when he could just write it. But, it worked well really well; he was able to manually code the stuff that he really wanted to explain in exhaustive detail and he copy-n-pasted the stuff that could be reviewed with more haste.
While I am not a huge Flash coder, a lot of the stuff covered was very good to see. Right now, as you know, I am making a good push to learn Object Oriented Programming in ColdFusion and any good examples of this, whether in ColdFusion or not, are so beneficial.
So, anyway, in conclusion, great event, awesome presenter. Special thanks to Adobe and to FITC Design & Technology Events who helped to put everything together and especially to arrange this as a FREE event for us programmers.
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I was there yesterday too. I remember at about 8:30 when I sat down in the chair thinking to myself, "Surprisingly, this chair is actually fairly comfortable....for now." 9 hours later my behind and back were killing me. But it was certainly worth the drive up from the Philly area and the overnight stay in what was one of the worst hotels I'd ever stayed in.
My only regret is not having read more of his book prior to attending. That would have made things more 'mentally digestable' at a deeper level I think.
I'm also glad he kept holding all questions until breaks/the end, because my experience with those things is that you'll get a handful of guys trying to impress the rest of the crowd with their questions instead of sincerely asking them : (
I was very surprised how many people traveled from out of town to attend. That was very cool. I can't believe we even had that guy from Montreal, Canada. Now, that's dedication.
Also, not tied to anything Mark just said, I thought it was very funny how Colin said that he enjoyed giving books to girls. His idea was that our industry was very heavily skewed towards male dominance (in terms of sheer numbers) and that he liked to insentivise female participation in the technology community in his own small way.
Like I said, he was a good speaker, upbeat guy, and certainly engaging. He ran a good show, and I also agree with Mark that it was good that he kept the questions for the end - it really did keep up the flow.
I saw Colin Moock presenting early 2007, and I have to admit, that his presentation-style is impressive. Although ActionScript isn´t my first programming language as well, I´m looking foward to work with ActionScript 3.0 as Browser-Games get bigger and bigger here in Europe. So Flash, and especially ActionScript, will get it´s portion as long as Silverlight won´t reach the masses
On Feb. 20 Colin was here in Munich, it was great. I agree with you completely, he is a very good presenter. Have you worked more with AS since the workshop?
Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to fool around with AS3 since the presentation. Been too busy with ColdFusion.
I also believe that Silverlight will not win. I am favorising ActionScript.
I saw another presentation done by Colin a few months ago and have to agree with you. He's an excellent presenter. Shame that I missed this one...
How is your back by the way? Is it getting any better?
I think Actionscript is better >:)