FileMaker DevCon 2018 Recap

FileMaker DevCon 2018 wrapped up last week in Dallas, TX . The conference was great to say the least. The Gaylord Texan resort was a new location for FileMaker DevCon. Everything was in a close proximity and it had a great lazy river. This year my family joined me. Leanne and True helped set up the booth before hanging out on the lazy river. James Scarpetta and Kitty Kane were there to work the booth, which was in the perfect position right as you entered the door.

Day 1 – Keynote and Welcome Reception

The keynote had one big change, there was no Andrew LeCates. He was reserved for the Workplace Innovation Platform special session that happened on day 2. In his place, Rosemary Tietge took the stage and did an amazing job. Of course, we were there to see the  great stuff . The welcome reception was very well attended and the food was really good. I always really enjoy this night, as I get to see and catch up with friends and colleagues who have attended this event for 17 years and I have known for even more.

Day 2 – Workplace Innovation Platform

The special live streamed keynote on day 2 was quite interesting. Andrew LeCates took the stage and introduced Workplace Innovation Platform as FileMaker’s self-defined category. This made perfect sense. Why let all of the industries and reviewers define who you are with their buzzwords (no-code, low code, custom apps, etc.)? They took the bull by the horns and said this is who we are. They defined it clearly with simple and solid language. FileMaker is the fit between the appliance applications and enterprise applications. They nailed it with this video they created. Listening to the FileMaker staff over the course of the week, it became very clear they are putting the in marketing efforts moving forward. The final selling point to me was hearing “whether you choose to build a custom app yourself or with a trusted partner.” Every year they make us FileMaker Business Alliance Platinum Partners feel more and more like real partners. Nice Job.

Next up was James Scarpetta’s first time to take the stage. James spoke on interface design and where to start. He did a great job as a first-time speaker with a pretty packed room. He covered the basics and where to find tools and get inspiration. He showed several great examples and had great feedback. Congrats James on being a first-time speaker. #onepixelshort <- inside joke

I attended Martha Zink’s session on Flexible Reporting with Virtual Lists and ExecuteSQL. Anyone who knows Martha knows she is a great speaker and makes the time fun and highly informative. She delivered on great techniques and how to practice ‘Safe’ SQL. While I don’t often attend sessions because I’m usually at the booth, this was well worth my time and gained a few ideas to improve upon as I move forward. Thanks, Martha.

Claus Lavendt’s session on FileMaker Go 17 was great. He covered techniques and examples from the DevCon2Go18 application. Lot’s of inspiration and ideas always come out of his sessions.

Day 3 – Sessions and Attendee Party

Wednesday was mostly a day for me to hang out and show off Jarvis 5. I did attend a session on cURL and learned a few tips from Salvatore Colangelo especially around DocuSign. Claus covered the GDPR issues which is a lot to consider now that we are starting to gain a European market.

The attendee party was yet another hit by the conference team lead by Shari Martinez. There cannot be enough good things said about all the great work they did to pull off such an event. The food was pure Texas with beef, chicken, salmon, macaroni and cheese, veggies and desserts. I couldn’t get enough of the beef and the mustard bbq sauce. They had a great live band, air hockey, a huge battleship game, an oversized foosball table, and darts. Going full Texas style they even had lasso training. True had to give it a shot and caught the fake calf. Leanne stepped up and went full cowgirl, hopped on that plastic horse and spun that rope like she was a pro, she caught herself and the plastic calf got away. There is a group of us that I met somewhere around 15 years ago and in tradition of  hanging out every year, we did the wildwest dress up photo and rocked it.

Day 4 – Customer & FBA Day – Closing Session

The FBA keynote solidified the partnership that FileMaker continues to evolve with Business Alliance. They introduced the Partner council and the changes in the membership. It was very exciting to see Molly Connolly become a part of the team. The other FBA sessions were good, but for those who keep up with the FBA meetings understand licensing and how to work with Apple stores. I’m not saying there weren’t a few takeaways, but I would rather have another full day of speakers and maybe have a few of these as options. It felt like it was over, but not quite.

Closing Session

This is the time to find out when and where FileMaker DevCon will be next year, community awards, and see some great photos from the conference.

Here’s my Favorite:


We were very excited to see that we were finalists in 2 categories, especially being the only company in more than one category.

Final Thoughts

This was the best FileMaker DevCon yet, can’t believe it’s 17 in a row for me. Everything was great, location, food, speakers, content. Thank you to everyone who made this happen. While I always love to attend, it is always sad to go, so many great friends to share great stories and create new ones.

See you in Orlando!

Don’t Forget Jarvis Show Special 30% off until August 17th.

Use Code: DEVCON30  at

– Joe

Joe Scarpetta
The Scarpetta Group, Inc.
FileMaker Certified Developer