New York City welcomed us with good weather for Pause On Error on February 17 and 18. Over 100 FileMaker developers, including two MightyData speakers, milled around the Ace Hotel, attending sessions packed with great topics and even better group discussions. As in past years, POE excelled at bringing a part of the community into one hotel and allowing developers to talk about all the things that bring us together, regardless if it’s FileMaker, business, sports, or music.
Here are a few highlights:
- The Art of Value – In this session, our own Kirk Bowman described his steps toward value pricing. This wasn’t about quoting sources or using jargon: No sir. These were real world examples of how to implement value pricing and how Kirk’s experiences have molded MightyData. The attendants focused on the “how” and quite a few people had their own positive experiences to share.
- Building Something James Bond Would Use – I, Martha Zink, presented this one! Developers packed the room to see examples of real world interface issues that people face. From alarm clocks to restaurants, I showed how affected we are by our experience and interactions, regardless of the “true” functionality. The discussion was lively, as we talked about the status bar, logos, color schemes, and much more. It was great to have Matt Petrowsky, maker of Theme Studio, in the room to discuss his take on interface guidelines and rules
- Building a Better Horse – As developers, we need to wrap our minds around a design process in order to come up with solutions for our customers’ needs. Don Levan took us through a condensed version of the process, allowing us to better understand our customer and their perspective.
- Beyond Anchor Buoy – So many developers preach anchor buoy as a great way to organize the relationships graph (me included!). Corn Walker challenged the idea and asked a fundamentally important question: How can we make this easier? While he wasn’t there to give us an answer, he did allow the community to discuss how other programming languages handle this issue and what we would like to see come from FileMaker, Inc.
- WordPress FileMaker Sync – If you’re using WordPress to its fullest capabilities and are interested in integrating with FileMaker, Lauren Kuhlman’s plug-in is a worthy purchase. She demonstrated her product, showing how seamless the plug-in is for both internal use, as well as communication with customers. We know how to take FileMaker to the next level, now it’s time to use it to take WordPress there, too.
- FileMaker User Experience – Put a room of developers in a room and you’ll get twice as many opinions as people. This came through at Vince Menanno’s presentation on our experience of FileMaker interface. It was nice to have Heather Winkle in the room, speedily taking notes on what developers want, need, and beg for. Not only did she listen, but she even probed the “why” for features, really challenging us to understand why we wanted certain things. It was an interesting dichotomy between the needs of new/amateur FileMaker developers versus seasoned professionals.
Half of the POE experience involves the session. The other half is the ability to socialize and enjoy time with other members of the community. After the sessions, it was no surprise to see computer keyboards in developer hands replaced with guitars for strummin’, cameras for photographin’, and forks for eatin’. And of course, POE would be incomplete without the after-party. As the sessions ended, we all opened a few drinks and cheered to a successful event and a fantastic experience. With something as enriching as POE, I wish there had been seven of me at any given time, but alas, I was stuck being one Martha. There is no doubt the event was a success, giving developers the chance to walk away with cool ideas, new approaches, and great memories.
POE is a chance for FileMaker developers to spend time talking about their passions, interests, and findings. And that’s exactly what happened. A big thank you to the steering committee: Ernest Koe, John Sindelar, Molly Connolly, and Andy Gaunt!