Why you need to attend the ‘Creative Developers Summit’

May 26, 2017
Atlanta, Georgia

Click here for more info about the summit: Creative Developers Summit

Maybe you write scripts for the Adobe Creative Suite
Maybe you build web sites
Maybe you provide I.T. support to graphics designers
Maybe you automate catalog building
Maybe you’re just beginning and don’t know where to start

You need to attend the Creative Developers Summit in Atlanta, and below is why.

If you work with someone who fits the above profile: help them out and let them know to attend!

Once Upon A Time

If you’ve been around the block a few times, you can skip to the next section.

Once upon a time, long time ago, Adobe Inc. had a thriving support program for third party developers. SDK documentation was plentiful.

As a third-party or in-house developer it was easy to get in touch with the Adobe product developers, report bugs, ask complicated questions,…

Adobe had a dedicated ‘developer evangelist’, Mark Niemann-Ross (also known as MNR).

Since then much has changed at Adobe.

The Adobe product developer teams have rotated through many people.

The Adobe teams have become much more insular and are hard or impossible to reach.

Documentation and developer information has become scarce.

What is there is often outdated.

There is no single ‘go-to’ point of contact: if you’re ‘stuck’ as a developer or scripter, you have to hope for the best while you roam the Adobe Forums, Stack Overflow, Google, Facebook groups…

Long time ago, MNR ran a yearly Adobe CSBU Developer Summit in Seattle. Third-party developers flocked there and were able to interact with the Adobe developer teams.

You got to rub shoulders with Ole Kvern, Douglas Waterfall, Michael Daumling, Jonathan Brown, Bernd Paradies… the list went on and on.

The very last Adobe CSBU Developer Summit happened in 2010, just a week before the very first PePcon, all at the Adobe premises in Seattle.

After the CSBU Summit, many third party developers stuck around for another few days, and stayed for PePcon 2010 where they mingled with graphic designers, ebook creators…

Note that PePcon was, and still is, unrelated to the Adobe CSBU Developer Summit.

The only common factor between PePcon 2010 and Adobe CSBU Developer Summit 2010 were the premises used, and the network of people involved.

The Dark Ages

After that last Adobe CSBU Developer Summit, Adobe support for third-party developers started to slide, and third-party developers became gradually more and more insulated.

However, some embers were still glowing.

Many developers had developed close friendships during those early Adobe CSBU days, and the friendships kept going.

We kept in touch. Helped each other out. Passed on business opportunities. Provided unofficial developer support.

An unofficial group of people from all over the globe took the baton after the CSBU Developer Summit vanished.

Many of us run software companies large and small.

We continued to visit the PePcon, some of us trying to sell our wares to the attendees of PePcon.

As a result, PePcon became somewhat of an unofficial yearly pilgrimage for creative developers to hang out and meet up.

A key figure is David Blatner, who organizes PePcon together with Anne-Marie ConcepciĆ³n. He has a large network of people and many connections. He has often managed to get members of the Adobe technical and developer teams to take time out and come to PePcon.

Over time, a symbiotic relationship emerged: because PePcon was happening anyway, a group of technical geeks started brainstorming with David, and we started a cooperative relationship on a handshake.

It’s Not A Charity

On the one hand there is a commercial business called PePcon.

On the other hand, there is a loose swarm of software/I.T. geeks.

As technical geeks, we ‘tag along’ with PePcon, and manage to convene in a large room equipped with the necessary facilities. There we can run some a day-long session to discuss whatever we want.

As a group, we don’t remunerate David for helping us organize the developer summit.

But there are real costs involved: there is food, premises, audio-visuals,… Hence, there is a fee for anyone who wants to attend the Creative Developers Summit.

Note: the summit is also open to attendees of PePcon. There are quite a few closet scripters in there, and the more the merrier!

One underpinning principle is that David at should at the very least break even in hosting the Creative Developers Summit; he’s not running PePcon as a charity event.

That means we need the numbers: if not enough people attend, there won’t be any more Creative Developers Summits.

Gaining Clout

So, here’s why you need to attend the Creative Developers Summit:

– In order to get Adobe to ‘listen up’ we need to band together as third party developers.

Once the Adobe CSBU Developer Summit ended, we became a fragmented group and we all had to fend for ourselves.

Thanks to this yearly get-together, we’re able to make and reinforce our bonds and act as a group rather than as a bunch of individuals.

That gives us a fair bit of clout and a voice.

Proof positive that it is working: each subsequent PePcon we’ve seen more and more Adobe people. And each of those people give us a little more standing from inside of Adobe.

After each PePcon, things have improved, little by little.

– As a loose bunch of developers, we don’t have the time nor the skills to organize an event like this.

We’re all busy building stuff, running our companies, consulting, making ends meet,…

The logistics of setting up a Creative Developers Summit are quite daunting.

Being able to ‘tag along’ with PePcon allows us to not have to worry about any of the logistics.

Over the years, David has gotten together an amazing team for organizing PePcon, and the conferences he organizes are top-notch.

– Nothing beats face-to-face. The attendees of the Creative Developers Summits are the ‘sharing type’. We help each other out. There is a lot of trust and friendship.

– You get to meet end-users. Oftentimes, I.T. and and software development remain removed from the end-users.

Many good ideas for new third-party tools come up after rubbing shoulders with end-users.

As a solver of technical problems, you should always listen out for people uttering the phrase ‘wouldn’t it be great if you could do…’. That happens a lot at PePcon.

Slack

We need help organizing the summit! If you have ideas for sessions you’d like to see, or for some initiative, please come forward and let us know!

Since last PePcon we have started a Slack group.

It is pretty much the ‘who is who’ of the Creative Developers in our technical area.

The group is open and helpful and somewhat mirrors the attendee list of last year’s Creative Developers Summit.

If you are a developer, scripter, IT support person,… and you are working with graphics designers or in automating printing and publishing workflows, you need to become a member:

adobedevs.slack.com

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