Developer conference. It always drums up images of all the stereotypes of what coders are apparently like, especially when it comes to a conference. As an ex developer I am way past the point now where I understand what's going on when things get deep at a normal developer conference.
Fortunately, the Venda developer conference, now in it's 6th iteration, isn't like that at all. Venda's a SaaS ecommerce platform where hosting, PCI compliance and all the standard functionality is taken care of by them, allowing agencies like us, and Venda clients directly, to concentrate on the experience.
Their conference is more of a secret window into what's going on behind the scenes where you can chat with other Venda clients and agencies and share experiences as well as learn from Venda what's coming up on the roadmap and what can be taken advantage of right now. This creates a great mix of presentations some much more technical but many concentrating on useful things that attendees can take back to their business, developer or not.
As a speaker as well, it was a pleasure to share some of Blueleaf's experiences working with Life Style Sports to implement a 'Get the look' functionality similar to ASOS.
Here's some of my personal highlights from the day.
Hearing about how Huge, an agency in London, had helped redesign Fat Face's website. It's an impressive site in many ways and controversial in a few others as well. This was some great inspiration for what might be possible to do with both Laura Ashley's and Life Style Sport's sites which we're making responsive this year.
The Venda roadmap is always a favourite of mine. Right at the end of the day, James Cronin (CTO at Venda) steps up to show what's in the next year or so, split down by quarter. These sneak peaks of what Venda is working on really helps us work and plan with our clients for what's in the pipeline.
Venda Pay is Venda's new payment system, powered by Pensio. This is a really important step for Venda because the number of clients that are now international by default is staggering. As a result the number of payment methods that need to be supported has to be correspondingly larger. iDEAL (similar to PayPal) in the Netherlands for instance is something like 80% of all payments made online. Seeing clients adopt this will be a great step forwards.
Finally, there was some great interaction in the breaks chatting with other agencies, clients and Venda bods. It's healthy to chew the fat and share. Also, Pete, our Venda supremo and front end guru managed to bag himself an iKettle (WiFi controlled kettle) through his prolific tweeting!
Thanks also for the quote of the day accolade from Steve Goldberg for my possibly over reaction "I have a violent hate for lightboxes". They have their place at times of course ;)
If you're a Venda client or just interested in us or the platform, get in touch.
All photos from the mighty Steve Goldberg at Venda.