I’m fresh back from a short trip to the Swiss Alps where I had the privilege of speaking at the gotoAndSki conference.

The conference took place in the little town of Stechelberg in the middle of the Alps, and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking.

The view from Schilthorn, 3000 meters above sea level
The view from Schilthorn, 3000 meters above sea level

The concept of the conference was different than what I’ve tried before; a limited amount of attendees and sessions during the night instead of the day, so everyone would have time to enjoy the slopes during the day.

Unfortunately I missed the first sessions because I arrived a little late. I would have especially loved to catch Dennis Ippel’s talk about the Kinect, but thankfully all the talks were being recorded, so I will look forward to seeing it (and the others) once the video is released on the gotoAndSki Vimeo channel.

The talks I did catch were all of a really high quality. Michel Wacker, Tiago Dias, Riccardo Castelhano and Sandro Ducceschi all did a fine job. I especially enjoyed Sandro’s session because I have never worked with accessibility before, but would really like to know more about it. Sandro did a great job introducing us to this field, and showed us an amazing, easy to use library called JAcc that he has created to make accessibility easy to implement in Flash. The library is open sourced and available at his blog – great work, Sandro.

What made this conference extra special was undoubtably the great work of Fernando Colaco and David, who have done an amazing job organizing the event. Everything just clapped, the atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and joyful, and the fact that we had the entire day to spend up in the Alps was just an absolute pleasure. It was my first visit in the Swiss Alps, so it was a very unique experience for me. Just check out the photos on Flickr, and you’ll see what I mean.

And as I’ve said before: conferences are all about people. I met some absolutely lovely, interesting people at gotoAndSki, all of which I hope to meet again at some point in the future. When so many personalities and so much knowledge is stowed together in one little space in the mountains, it’s bound to be a success. And it was.

Finally, I want to thank Fernando for giving me the opportunity to speak at his lovely conference (and insisting I got a ski pas even though I don’t ski. The view from up there was just breathtaking). I give you two thumbs up :)

In case you’re now thinking: “Oh no, I really missed out big time by not going to gotoAndSki in Switzerland!”, don’t despair. gotoAndSki(‘Switzerland’) will be repeated in 2012, and if you can’t wait that long, there’s a summer version going on in Norway in June called gotoAndSki(‘Norway’) organised by jenschr and Thomas Nesse which will be announced later in the year.

If you would like to read more reviews of gotoAndSki, here’s a list:
Michel Wacker’s review
Johan Lopes’ writeup
Hugo Fernandes’ review


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