I got back late in the week from a trip to the ISOC-IL annual conference where I gave a full-day tutorial on Ajax and Dojo (with a little bit of Comet mixed in for fun). The conference organizers were tremendously kind and thoughtful and the whole trip was a lot of fun. What was best, though, were the great questions that folks had during the tutorial. It’s always a hit-and-miss on this kind of thing (big room, low lights, different country, potential language barrier, etc.) and it can go very badly indeed if people aren’t curious about the topic(s). The ISOC-IL conference drew great folks with wonderful and pointed questions that helped make everything go faster. It’s rare that conferences are that tightly run, well-attended, and have such good food and caffeine. Conference size can’t beat quality and the ISOC-IL conference proved it.
The day after the conference, I was lucky enough to get to visit some of the Zend hackers in Tel Aviv who were also tremendously kind and had lots of great feedback on how we can improve Dojo. Work aside, this was my first trip to Israel and I can say with some confidence that I’ll be back. My trip left me thinking that there’s a lot more to Israel than news accounts in US papers would imply.