Today was the last day of CTIA and Caroline Lewko of Wireless industry Partnership (WIP) hosted a Mobile Jam Session for Developers. Caroline is getting famous for these events which she also threw this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and at CTIA in Las Vegas. I was at today's event and I have to say the praise is well deserved.
The Mobile Jam Session's motto was "No ppt, no ties, no panels" which makes it sound sort of like a Bar Camp or Mobile Camp. The format was similar to one of those events and included "unpanels" where the audience peppered industry experts and analysts with questions. There were also breakout groups on topics like security, mobile banking and user experience. . But compared to a mobile camp there was a critical difference. Mixed in with the developers were carrier and handset manufactures and representatives and a couple of people from application testing and certification house NSTL. A major part of most mobile developer events I've attended is developers bitching about carriers, device manufacturers and the software testing and certification processes. At Mobile Jam the bitching turned into more of a dialog between developers and industry people, something that's absolutely needed.
One of the cooler things at the Mobile Jam was that Caroline hired Kevin Woodson's Visual Ink, graphic artists who specialize in depicting complex business and technical processes. Kevin roamed around the sessions and captured the gist of the discussions and in near real time, he and another artist from Visual Ink, Dan Jumanan created a mural sized drawing of the topics and issues being discussed. Clever and very cool. If you are organizing a brain storming session for your business or tech event, consider hiring these guys, they add a lot of fun and leave you with a permanent visual record! I took a coupe of photos of the mural with the camera on my N95, the one at the top of shows the first "unpanel" on "Opening the Mobile Web". At the bottom is Visual Ink's depiction of one of the breakout discussion groups on mobile web security. These are detail shots of small sections of the drawing which was about 8 x 20 feet and would require at least 10 photos this size to capture in its entirety.