Esri Developer Summit 2015: Last Day

It’s been a full, yet quick week of geodev geekness here at the Esri Dev Summit. The night before, a buddy opened a tab at the bar, so suffice it to say, I missed the first morning sessions, but I was there in spirit.

Enterprise, builds, and deployment

I went to check out a session on enterprise development workflows, which includes Dojo builds, testing, continuous integration and source control. This was pretty interesting. I do a lot of this on a regular basis, but my CI layer varies based on project. I’ve used Jenkins on occasion, but not all the time. These guys were using Ant and JUnit to run tests and do builds, which I’m used to from doing Flex builds. I’ll try out their method just to see what its like.

Lunch

They fed us all one last time this week before the conference location kicks us out. It’s cool to see all the guys that keep the Esri machine churning and building new tools. Some poor souls even had questions on Windows Phone and Blackberry. At this point in the day, I’m ready to knock out, but I think I can fare one more session.

Data Visualizations

Checking out Jeremy Bartley (not on twitter) and Jim Herries present some data visualization goodness using the ArcGIS API for JavaScript. The big takeaway from this session was that you need to consider what the data is, who your audience is and the different techniques available in the API to do so. From renderers, to rotation, to colors, you can go wild. It really boils down to what are you trying to lie about say. Renderers are a lot of fun in the API. The whole Smart Mapping thing is a big deal for visualization stuff and I’m sure everyone will have fun with it. Aside from the fun, you also have to make sure that what you are doing is meaningful. You can have sweet looking heatmap, but does it tell you anything about the data that matters?

Summary

This was another great year for the Esri Developer Summit. There is a lot of improvements being made the runtime that I think will benefit developers greatly, even those that may not realize it. The 3D capabilities in the ArcGIS API for JavaScript may just seem like a cool feature, but when it’s put in the hands of developers that can easily use it, they’ll find where it fits in their projects and I think we’ll see some very interesting solutions come from it. I still haven’t gotten hands on with ArcGIS Pro, but I can see that it will be a great tool for use in my workflow.

I gave away quite a few copies of ArcGIS Web Development and I’m just glad to get it into peoples hands. It was really great to have people approach me just to say thanks for the book and the information I share in general. I’m just grateful that I am able to help others in some capacity.

It was a fantastic experience to reconnect with other devs and meet so many new people. This may be an Esri conference, but we’re all part of a larger geocommunity. Until next year…