Day 2 of Flash Bootcamp ended at 5 p.m., June 1. After it ended, I thanked Colin for his insightfulness, then hit the road to drive the 280 miles from Rochester, N.Y., back to Pittsburgh. Three cups of coffee kept me all too awake. And the days that followed left little time for me to talk about the second day of the seminar.

Introduction to Design Patterns

When did I become a programmer? Design patterns? If Day 1 tied all of ActionScript 2.0 together for me, Day 2 dropped the world out from under me and sucked me into the rabbit hole.

But before I talk about that, how about some more interesting observations about the seminar atmosphere in general.

Power Strips

For many of the participants, power strips were like gold. More than 90 percent of the class brought a laptop with them, and many got all giddy at being able to plug their laptops into a power strip. There were only two, I believe. I had a laptop, but didn’t keep it running the whole time and didn’t plug in.

Mac Laptops Ruled

I put the percentage of Mac laptop users at 70 percent, and all of those were PowerBooks. I didn’t see a single iBook. Colin had an IMB ThinkPad. So did I. Oh yeah, I’m so cool. Actually, I wished I had my own PowerBook. The ThinkPad I brought belonged to the man Pitt.

Regarding his ThinkPad’s mouse controller, Colin said, “I am a nipple man.” What more can I say?

The Do Not Do List

  • Don’t ask a question, and midsentence start shoving a doughnut into your mouth, and then continue to ask your question while you chew.
  • Don’t sit in the front of the class and IM your friends the whole time.
  • Don’t type lengthy emails, surf the Web for printer toners, or use your computer for anything non-seminar related during the seminar.

So Anyway

I had no idea design patterns existed. According to one of my programmer friends—who doesn’t have his own Web site (shame on him) so I can’t link to it—this would surely weed me out of an interview for a programming job.

The key thing I learned is that common methodologies, in this case classes, have been developed already to tackle common programming problems that you can simply extend instead of reinventing the wheel. Alex Uhlmann developed an animation package of classes to deal with…um…animation.

Most of the rest of the class went over my head. But I trusted it all made sense to Colin, and that was good enough for me. He really knew his stuff, without appearing to be a super geek.

All in all, the two-day seminar was a good experience. It’s good to be around like-minded people. It makes you feel like you know what you’re talking about. Or not.