Blend Conf 2013

Timothy B. Smith

I had an absolute blast in Charlotte for Blend Conf, and I really hope I can make it next year.

First off, I just want to extend a thank you to Bermon Painter for putting on this amazing event. The fact he did it mostly by himself is admirable, and was a complete hit in its first year. Bermon was so kind to take a chance on me, and I’m so grateful, and honored to have spoken at the first Blend Conf.

The interesting thing about conferences is that when you hear about them, often times you hear about the speakers, the venue, the city, friends that are going, etc. Those are all great. However, the beauty lies in the things you have no idea about. The people you meet, the friends you make, and the conversations you have. For me, Blend Conference was definitely all of this. I’ve made great new friends, and I’m following new people who are just so insanely smart.

Two talks that really stood out for me were Garth’s and Wren’s. Garth talked about how designers can open source, and he’s in fact created a site to begin this movement. I realized during that talk that developers are more and more comfortable with sharing how things are accomplished, and putting tons of their source code on GitHub. At this point, it seemed so normal, I’d forgotten that designers don’t really do this.

We’re very protective of our designs and don’t like to reveal how the “sausage is made” per se. This happens for various reasons, but the biggest one is often thinking a particular solution is specific to a project. The artistic side of us loves to believe that our thoughts aren’t somehow reusable.

Wren also gave a great talk about designing on the z-axis. It blew my mind. That’s really all I can say. The way she explained the future of design got me really excited.

You’ll see both of these people on The East Wing soon, so stay tuned for that. If you weren’t able to make it to Blend Conf this year, I definitely recommend it. The atmosphere is just so nice, and Charlotte is a beautiful city.

Hope to see you next year!