I attended the Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) last week, held at the University of Essex in Colchester, England. It was a really great conference, with very nice web people from all over the UK sharing ideas, frustrations, successes and more.

IMG_0801I presented a BarCamp session about some trends in US higher education web development and a longer, parallel session about Amazon Web Services, including a hands-on component.

I think my favorite part about the hands-on part of the many AWS workshops I do is when the light goes on above someone’s head and they see how easy it is to get these services up and running into production. People tend to walk in as n00bs, but after an hour of instruction, they get it. Several people had not only fired up EC2 instances, they had Rails running and were poking around a sample app – and going from nothing to app took about 10 minutes. Amazing. Tweets like this make it all worth it:

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Couldn’t make it to Essex last week? No problem – Karine Joly has done web recordings of two of the sessions, including mine and they’re available to watch for free at HigherEdExperts.com.

Thanks to the iLab team at Essex, who had a great room prepared for me and were very helpful in getting all the software plugins and more I asked for installed and ready to go.

Finally, thank you to Brian Kelly and Marieke Guy, conference organizers, for inviting me to attend and participate. It was a great conference and I learned a great deal and met lots of new friends.