Well, a few weeks ago I spent a couple of days in New York City for Six Apart’s Hack-a-thon and Executive Summit. It was really great to meet people who actually looked interested when I talked about web development and user interface design. It’s hard sitting alone in an office all day discovering new things like CSS shortcuts and useful Javascript libraries and feeling very passionate about the work–then not being able to really talk to anyone in person about it. My wife can only take so much: she knows IE is Bad and Firefox is Good and sometimes she even makes a cool joke about IP addresses. But being able to argue over the table about whether or not to include specific class names on every list item in an unordered list–that’s gold.

Sadly, talking is about all I accomplished. Byrne got tons done on his Plugin Manager (it doesn’t delete your entire site anymore!). I think Chad started and finished a plugin. Even Dan got some great hack-a-thon interviews with everyone and fed us all Thin Mints. (In our interview, Chad and I lamented all that was wrong with the 80’s). I spent hours trying to install Movable Type on my laptop; I finally gave up and designed one lousy icon. (Turns out I couldn’t get MySQL::DBI because I didn’t have xTools, a 1Gb download, installed.) But I did get to meet Elise, and she gave me some knock-your-socks-off marmalade (we’re talking take-the-enamel-off-your-teeth tart).

It was great getting to meet people from ProNet. It’s funny how different our online perceptions of someone can be from who they are in person. Byrne is funnier in person. Dan is not nearly as fierce as his picture implies. Jay is much geekier (in a good way) than I initially thought of him. Su is much easier to get along with in person. Chad is alot more laid back. Tim is not nearly as intimidating (but still just as smart). Anil isn’t different, but it’s hard to know someone’s a good dresser from their website. Elise is even friendlier in person; no wonder everyone likes her! I even got to meet some people I hadn’t before: Marteen (our European friend), Chris, Dave and Sippey.

Check out Elise’s take on the Summit, Byrne’s contributions and Dan’s flattering photos.