My DevLearn 2010 Experience (#DL10)


DevLearn 2010 was awesome. If you followed the backchatter, you already know this. If you didn’t, here’s my review of the conference, a little about who I met, what I learned, and what I’m going to do.

I already posted my opening keynote recap. John Seely Brown set the tone for the conference. I actually took his Power of Pull idea and applied it directly to DevLearn. I don’t know about you, but, for me, most of these conferences have a lot of sessions that either turn into sales pitches, are not exactly what the speaker described in the session overview, or simply take too much time to get to the meat of the topic.

So I pulled what I could from the ones I was interested in. Some of them kept me in the entire time. Others had me walking out early. A few I got some basic information, left, and followed the tweets from that session. Still others I knew the speaker, or knew I could review his or her blog for most of the same information that was in the presentation.

In between sessions, at lunch, at dinner and at DemoFest, I met with as many peers and vendors as I could and absorbed as much information as possible.

So now you know how I attended this conference. Here is some of what I learned:

  • The Power of Pull is strong.
  • My personal learning network (PLN) is incredible, and so very important to me. I have so many trusted sources now I don’t remember what I did before I developed my PLN. To steal a line from Aaron, I don’t make many decisions without seeing what my PLN thinks first.
  • Brent, David & Co. put on a helluva show.

Now you know what I learned. Here’s who I met, ate dinner with, and learned from:

I’m not going to be able to mention everyone I learned from last week, so apologies to those left off.


Interesting Vendors:

  • VenueGen: Live 3D Meetings.
    More fun than WebEx, eh? Maybe.
  • Cameo (From Yukon Learning): e-Mail Reinforcement
    Even if you can’t implement traditional (is that what we call it now?) social media in your learning (Twitter, Facebook, whatever), maybe you can get buy-in to do another form of interaction: e-mail. Yes, e-mail. Cameo is an interesting solution. You could also do your own scenario-based email system, using SharePoint or some combo of Outlook and Excel. It’s just another idea of how to keep your learners learning, even after the course is complete. Think about it.
  • Jive: Social Business
    It works for ThoughtWorks – ask Sumeet how they’re using it – very cool.
  • BlueVolt: Simple LMS (and more) – looking forward to talking to them soon.
  • Articulate: still there, still the king, still a wonderful tool (in the right hands, with meaningful design)
  • TotaraLMS: interesting new release from Kineo, but it’s Moodle ๐Ÿ™
  • OpenSesame: Rocked the expo with their sweatshirts and iPad giveaways. I heard @rovybranon won one? WTF!? I didn’t win one. WTF!? ๐Ÿ™‚ Really, though, cool concept, really useful for freelance developers and small companies.
  • eLearning Brothers: Some good stuff here. See if you find something you like. Cool guys.
  • iSpring: Interesting? Complete ripoff of Articulate? I can’t decide.
  • Bloomfire: rockin’ new social learning platform. Big question is, will people stay? I wish it had voting/ratings.
  • ShareKnowledge LMS: LMS on top of SharePoint – could be very useful for small organizations, and some large ones, who need basic LMS features and already have SharePoint.
  • Zebra: I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you (silly NDA). I can say the overload of branding (commercial, loud music, bags, “the lounge”, etc.) was annoying. I can also say the tool does not seem very “revolutionary”. Also see Philip’s reaction in his recap.

What I’m Going to Do Now

I’m going to continue to share the resources I’ve gathered. I’m going to spread the message that change is not bad, that smart change is important, that we can bridge silos, open the culture, and innovate as individuals and as organizations.

I’m going to continue to share information and help others produce better learning. As you already know, I’m passionate about the end user, and what his or her experience is. Focus on the user. Make it accessible. Period.

I’ll have more session and keynote reports up later this week.

Others posting about DevLearn 2010:

4 thoughts on “My DevLearn 2010 Experience (#DL10)

  1. Brian, It’s so great to hear about the conference and all the cool stuff people are doing and that you are learning about. If we could just convince your son that it’s fun, exciting and rewarding! I bet he’d appreciate talking to you about it. He is so smart. This sharing of ideas and practices reminds me of all the neat experiences I had at Sematech. Keep it up

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