Intridea discovers a great tech community in Portland Maine

This week I had the pleasure of attending Hackon, a FREE 3 day technology event thrown by Intridea here in Portland, Maine. It took place at the Portland Harbor Hotel and was organized by Adam Bair, a local friend, Ruby enthusiast and employee of Intridea. Adam did a wonderful Job of organizing the event. Many thanks to Intridea for making it all possible!

The first 2 days of the event were mostly an open format. Guests brought their laptops and worked off the Hotel’s wireless. I honestly don’t think I “worked” very much that 1st day. Instead, I had a wonderful time greeting the attendees, many of whom I had not met before. Surprisingly not everyone was a developer but we had tons to talk about and Day 1 flew by without warning. Thankfully, I did manage to spend most of my time programming on Day 2.

I had a very interesting conversation with Abe Fettig, a Google employee living here in town. He was nice enough to spend a couple hours live coding some Javascript at my request, giving me a great review of prototypal inheritance. I learned so much from our talk. That conversation was really something money couldn’t buy and I’m still soaking it in! Thanks Abe!

Throughout the event, I discussed with Abe and others a rather complex project I have been working on that makes heavy use of Javascript. I introduced quite a few of these people to Sammy, a relatively new jQuery plugin I have decided to use in my project. I am a huge fan of this plugin! It allows you to define Javascript applications as objects attached to your DOM in such a way that makes complicated client side apps easier to manage. Its heavily based on Ruby’s Sinatra gem and very easy to use.

Day 3 offered a number of very interesting presentations:

I am anxious to see if Indridea will host Hackon again next year. I still can’t believe this was a free event. In Maine, its so difficult to find the variety and caliber of tech folks that were in attendance in one place. I imagine that TechMaine would benefit from hosting similar events.

And oohh look, I guess some photos were taken of the event!

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