Adobe MAX has become an important part of my life. I have been involved with MAX (or DevCon, as it was once known) since the first event in Boston in 1999, and I am privileged to be able to claim that I am the only person who has had a role in the keynotes every year to date. Sure, MAX has afforded me some less than stellar photo ops (anyone remember Scorpioman?), but MAX has become the highlight of the year for me and for so many other developers and designers.
For those of you who have not yet attended MAX, picture several thousand of your peers spending several intense days learning, interacting, networking, talking shop, and just having fun. The official Adobe MAX conference is your chance to sharpen your development and design skills, learn about new products, spend time with product engineering teams, and more. From the opening keynote and numerous hands-on sessions to the community lounge, sneak peeks, party, exhibit hall, informal birds-of-a-feather sessions, sponsor lunches, MAX Awards, and Unconferences, MAX attendees find themselves immersed in products and technologies.
This year will be no different. Well, maybe it will be a bit different: the Adobe MAX 2011 team is working hard to make this the biggest and most compelling MAX to date with more sessions, more products to talk about, more attendees, and more partying.
The Adobe MAX team has created its Top 10 reasons to attend MAX. But if you are still not convinced, here are my own top 10 reasons to attend MAX 2011 in Los Angeles:
- Adobe product expertise: Be it mobile application development, website creation, or creative work, you rely on Adobe products to do what you do. This is your chance to learn new skills, discover new opportunities, and prepare for the future.
- Connections and community: From networking and schmoozing to chatting and hanging out at late-night bar sessions, you'll find hundreds of like-minded developers and designers who love to meet one another and share their experiences. For many people, this ability to associate faces with email addresses and Twitter IDs is the highlight of MAX.
- Access to Adobe product teams: You get to spend time with the individuals responsible for the products you use and rely on. This year, we are completely revamping the Meet The Team format to give you unprecedented access to Adobe engineers and product managers. Do you like a new feature? Tell them. Do you have a suggestion? Share it. They love feedback. Even complaints are welcome and appreciated.
- The latest news about mobile development: Building apps for Android, BlackBerry, and iOS mobile devices is compelling, fun, and even profitable. At MAX two years ago, we first announced the ability to build apps for iPhone with Adobe Flash technology, and at MAX last year, we introduced the ability to write code for all sorts of devices, including TVs. We’ve got more on the way, and you’ll want to be the first to know what we’ve been working on.
- Keynotes: Last year’s keynotes were among the highest rated ever. And after working on the 2011 keynotes for months now, I can say unequivocally that you will be amazed by what we have planned this year.
- Product sessions: MAX 2011 offers more than 100 unique sessions on a variety of products and technologies: Flex, Adobe AIR, Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe ColdFusion, Adobe Dreamweaver, jQuery, HTML5, and many more. Whether you’re into coding or design and visuals, you'll find sessions that cover your specific interests.
- Hands-on training: MAX 2011 also offers hands-on training sessions (even some where you’ll get to configure and use your own computer) on a variety of products and technologies. All of these sessions are taught by certified instructors and product experts. You'll learn by doing: writing code, manipulating design, and more.
- Sneak Peeks: Sneak Peeks mean that MAX attendees are typically the first to see the technology our product teams are developing. Our engineers love showing off features planned for new versions of your favorite software, or futuristic skunkworks projects that may or may not see the light of day. This is live and unscripted — our version of reality entertainment — and it's just for MAX attendees. Last year, this event was cohosted by William Shatner. And this year? Sorry, I can’t spill the beans, but this host promises to be a huge hit.
- Shirts, bags, and other apparel and goodies: While I can't promise that you'll be more confident and desirable after MAX, you will definitely look the part. The well-dressed MAX attendee is a sight to behold (and those of us who've been attending year after year have saved fortunes on our clothing budgets).
- The party: This is also known as the special event. Enough said.
MAX is more than a conference; it is an experience. MAX 2011 is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet. To register or learn more about the event, visit http://max.adobe.com.
I hope to see you in Los Angeles this October. Feel free to find me and say hi. I'll be the guy in the cool MAX gear talking about products and technologies.