I had a great time at MAX this year. It was probably the best conference Adobe has put on in several years. Each year I make claims that I may not come back next year because of disappointment. After this year I have no plans to miss MAX next year (although I don't like it being in LA). Usually I have the experience of skipping sessions to hang out and network with people in the Community Lounge.
The main educational value coming from one or two sessions that blow me away. Sometimes it's hard to make a schedule for the conference. I always have a couple of can't miss sessions, but the others usually seem lackluster. This year was totally different. I only had four slots that didn't have a good fit for me. Most of the sessions had several presentations that interested me. I found it hard to pick between several good topics – an ideal situation in a conference. My big complaint is that a lot of the sessions were only offered once. The sessions are all supposed to be posted on Adobe TV so hopefully I'll be able to catch those I wasn't able to see at the event.
My favorite sessions:
- Anatomy of a Video Player
- Hands on with Flash Catalyst (Thermo)
- Using Flex and Adobe AIR to Automate Creative Suite 4 Workflows
- Creating Effects with Pixel Bender
- Programmatic Animations in After Effects with Expressions and Scripting
- Both Keynotes were also really good
If this pattern holds, MAX getting better every year, next year should be great. This year it had the same feel I remember from the Macromedia UCON days. Great job Adobe!