The Build.Grow.Learn Experience – James’ Recap

          This time of year in Greenville is perfect for an event and living down here made it very convenient for me to attend. However, I don’t recommend the pollen, and if you attended then you know what I mean! The area has plenty of options for food and things to see / do in walking distance, if you want to explore during free time. That all said, let me share some of my thoughts from the conference.

          This is not my first conference. I attended Claris Engage back in February and for a number of years when it was still known as Devcon. So, to compare Build Grow Learn to Claris Engage, I would say it had a similar feel to the Devcons, but in a smaller setting. While Engage is a developer conference, this was a mix of business and development. 

           On the first day, I attended a development track called Learn, Do (& swear), Grow: JS in FM training with Jeremy Brown which I thought was great. I have started some JS classes and never made it far due to time constraints. However, with the minimal experience I previously had working with JS in FileMaker, it all just started to make sense in the order, functions, and steps. Jeremy did a great job helping everyone understand. I wish we had more time, but I have more knowledge than when I started, so shout out to him!

           The second day was a little different, as this was the second time I was going to speak in front of a crowd with my session: Getting Connected: API Adventures in Claris FileMaker – Where APIs and Awkward Beginners Collide! We used to do user groups and training at the office, but that’s very different from standing behind a podium. I thought for sure my nerves would be a mess. Boy was I wrong! First, I knew my content, so I treated my session like I was teaching something to one of my developers in a Zoom session. Second, I knew almost everyone that was in my session. Additionally, the session was meant to be hands on, so they were going to do work to learn.  I felt my confidence level was higher, I was more relaxed, and, because the session was interactive, I was not just reading from slides. I enjoyed myself so much, I lost track of time and had to rush through my last example. Fortunately, attendees have access to the sample file to review the code in their own time.

           On the last day, I attended two different sessions with Susan Fennema. Her session Operations: Using Your Time Intentionally made me decide to change a few things I am currently doing and aren’t working. I can say, she definitely plans her days and weeks out in more detail than I could ever do! I now have a plan I am working to make my work week better. While I do plan my week, it seems to always get sidetracked. Many times those side tracks aren’t emergencies, so I am going to stick with my plan. If it’s not an emergency, my plan’s not changing. The other thing I am starting is Office Hours. My team will have a couple of dedicated times a week where they can chat with me for non-urgent, unplanned needs.  

           I also have to give props to Josh Ormond for Crafting Code with Clarity: The Role of Expressiveness and Documentation. While I am really good at documenting scripts and naming variables, I am not always that obvious in functions I write. So, after getting back to work I made a point to write one. I made sure it was more user friendly for another developer to understand. Josh is funny and kept it moving, but the poor coding examples he described, we could all say we have been guilty of a time to two!

If you attended, then keep a look out for the session materials. If you didn’t, then plan for next year – you won’t be disappointed!