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Smashing Oxford

Last week I went with my colleague Jon to Smashing Conference, a two day event in Oxford Town Hall. There were lasers, balloons, and more importantly a variety of different talks about the web industry. I enjoyed having time away from everyday work to think a bit more about what we do and how we can be better at it.

Inside Oxford Town Hall

A few things I took away…

  • Solving real world problems is the most important thing. Not a new concept at all, but good to be reminded.
  • The challenge to read widely, and look for inspiration in unexpected places. Christopher Murphy’s talk was one of my highlights.
  • A realisation that listening to people talk about code doesn’t work for me. Maybe I’m just slow, but I like to learn by doing, rather than looking at code on a powerpoint.
  • That speed is important. The helpful reminder that most people aren’t using new apple devices with fast broadband. The sites I make should work on poor connections (need to optimise this site for starters).
  • “LieFi” - My experience of using wifi at almost every conference I’ve been to. The little bars on my phone said everything was ok, but it was all lies.
  • That my attention span doesn’t cope with back to back 40 minute talks, especially when there’s little leg and elbow room (I am very tall though). I think they could have made the format a little bit more creative and stimulating.
  • That people really respond to sketch notes. I took a brief break from my Lent twitter fast to share my notebook doodles and was surprised with how many people responded to them.

Here are a few of my sketch notes: