Sitting here at home now thinking back about the last 5 days, It’s just sinking in. It’s surreal that I was in a lecture theatre full of my industry peers and leaders learning about the latest and greatest in web standards, and that I got to socialise with them many of them.
I mean, taking Eric Meyer for example, hearing the world expert on CSS talk about his field in the morning, meeting him and having a conversation with him after lunch, getting two books he wrote signed by him that night, hearing him talk again the next day, and then go out drinking with him and our new-found buddies and some of us end up at a nightclub in Kings Cross… THIS STUFF JUST DOESN’T HAPPEN! And it wasn’t just Eric either, it was Molly, Tantek, Doug Bowman, John Allsopp, Jeffrey Veen, Derek Featherstone, and so many more! It was so much more than an honour to meet these people; hanging out was a mindjob.
What’s weird at first is that the “big stars” are approchable and friendly in real life, they want to know who you are, because they know you know who they are. This is in comparison to many people in the lime light in other more fame-focused industries (music, movies, but not microcode) who are less likely to give you time of day than have a conversation with you.
As much as this will sound like I’m blowing my own horn or that I’m kissing up, the most humbling thing to discover at the conference was that some of these “big stars” had heard about “the guy who was fundraising through his blog to get to we05” and that when those individuals and I met, they had a suspicsion that I was that person — I didn’t have to tell them. These people knew kinda who I was!
Really, it all comes down to respect: I could have an unhealthy respect for them bordering on holding them as idols, but one has to remember that they are just regular people. As the famous Bruce Dickenson once said “Easy, guys… I put my pants on just like the rest of you: one leg at a time. Except, once my pants are on, I make gold records.”
And when I think about it, and as hard as it is for me to get to grips with it right now, in reality, they are my friends and colleagues in this industry. Now to keep those friendships alive! Hey Tantek, I’d be keen to see the photos you took on your Matrix tour…
Mind you, he also said “I got a fever! And the only prescription… is more cowbell!”, so I won’t push that metaphor 😉
I guess the other side of the equation can happen too: molly.com » Moments of Doubt and Glory