I recently attended Palm Developer Day, a two-day event which was held last weekend at Palm, Inc. headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. The first day (Friday) was billed as a “bootcamp” for new WebOS developers, and although I thought of myself as a seasoned WebOS programmer, I decided to attend because I could always learn something new. So I flew into San Jose from Seattle arriving around 9:00am, which gave me about an hour to get from the car rental facility over to Palm.
It was wonderful driving up to the Palm main building 1, as it was pristine and new. Inside the main lobby is what you might expect, lots of posters advertising the Palm Pre, several kiosks with the Palm Pre and Pixi phones on display, and fresh young faces wearing Palm badges. After signing in I received two meal vouchers (breakfast and lunch) and promptly headed to the Palm Cafe for a quick breakfast. I do have have to say that the Cafe served excellent food, almost gourmet in my opinion. Palm definitely treated their guests very, very well.
About mid-day we got a surprise visit by Jon Rubinstein, CEO of Palm. He gave a pep talk to all the Palm Enthusiasts and stated, “I’m still here!”. It was nice that he came down and said a few words.
The first day wrapped up around 4:00pm, after which Palm had pizzas and beer available for the guests. Palm also gave out “goodies” bags to their attendees, which comprised of a WebOS Programming Book, a drinking class with a “Palm” inscription, and finally a Verizon Palm Pre Plus phone. Yes, there were giving out Palm Pre Pluses to everyone, which was a pleasant surprise. Way to go, Palm!
So after the excitement of the goodies bag and filling up on pizza and snacks (which served as my dinner) headed back to my hotel to check on email and do a bit of WebOS programming.
The next day started at 9:00 am with a Keynote presentation by Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer, both Directors of Developer Relations. They talked about the future of HTML5 and web-based technologies, and how it was being implemented by companies like Palm. Very interesting look into the near future.
The rest of the day was filled up with various presentations, being provided in two different tracks. So, I needed to pick one of the two to attend since the tracks were being presented simultaneously. Fortunately, Palm video taped all the presentations and is planning to make the material available on their web site along with the presentation slides.
I had to leave at 4:00pm to catch my flight back to Seattle, so I missed out on the closing remarks. I do have to say that the general mood at Palm was very upbeat and positive, regardless of all the rumors of Palm being for sale, etc. The message was clear that the WebOS was a superior mobile operating system and Palm is continuing to improve upon it, and is dependent on us developers to help make it a success.
The One Million Dollar Hot Apps bonus event is one clear indication that Palm wants developers to create great apps for the WebOS. I’m certainly putting in a good effort, so hopefully Palm will rise to the top along side of Apple.