The single day conference started out with Andy Leeper giving a talk on how to create WiiU games purely using web technologies. Fascinating! There is scant little information on the web and the speaker couldn't share any details really due to Nintendo's NDA, unfortunately, but the demo was awesome!
Probably my favorite Nodebot talk was about Tessel.io. The hardware is pretty expensive, at least for the pre-order, but they seem to have struck a really good blend of the Raspberry Pi and the Arduino. The basic problem with the Raspberry Pi is that it isn't well suited to interfacing with hardware but is great at processing and doing OS-level tasks since you can install an actual OS on it. The Arduino on the other hand is fantastic at interfacing with hardware, but can't run an OS or do a lot of processing. It seems like the Tessel board could be a good compromise between the two.
There was also a talk about Code.org, which is a very worthwhile sounding organization that aims to increase enrollment in computer science programs in high school, especially among underprivileged groups.
Another great talk was by Wes Bailey and Nick Rowe from ModCloth. Wes started the talk about discussing what fashion is, and it was enthralling! He talked about clothing, music, attitude, etc. Any talk that truly understands The Ramones is a good talk. Nick Rowe then discussed how code is like fashion, in that there are fundamental tenets of programming that never change, and yet it is always evolving and moving forward. Nick had an amazing quote that perfectly captures the web: "The web is about conversation." (BTW, I got an awesome shoutout on a blog post by Rowe on his talk)
There were other great talks too, but the conference wasn't just about talks. I met a lot of great people there too. I talked with two of the people working on Tessel, and was surprised to learn that they are all still in college. I also hung out with some really awesome people from SocialChorus who all wore matching pink hoodies, how cool is that!?! Maybe I'll run into them again someday. One of my most ironic encounters was with another guy who works for Appcelerator, apparently for a while, and yet we had not previously met. Crazy!
All in all it was a good conference, especially given the length and price. I will definitely be attending next year if it's in SF again.