The Ajax Experience

Well, it seems my application for one of the 5 scholarships to The Ajax Experience has gotten through! w00t!

The Ajax Experience is:

Ajaxian and NoFluffJustStuff Java Symposiums (NFJS) are pleased to announce The Ajax Experience 2006 Fall Edition – Boston. We had a great time at the spring event in San Francisco, so we decided to do another show on the east coast. This international event will take place October 23 – 25, 2006 at the brand new Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Ajax Experience 2006: Boston show will feature sixty (60) technically focused ninety (90) minute sessions across three (3) full days spanning six (6) parallel tracks with over (40) forty speakers.

We encourage you to register as soon as possible because seating is limited and we anticipate a sold out show. Here is your opportunity to attend one event where you will find authors and industry notables in one place for the duration of The Ajax Experience Fall 2006 show. This is a unique event you should want to be a part of.

When I first heard about the conference last year, I was extremely excited…but had my hopes stomped when I brought the cost to my manager. Ajax was “too new” and the University could not justify the expense of the trip. I waited a year and once again had the eyebrow raised when I brought it up. Not necessarily my manager’s fault…but convincing the University System that they should do something is like convincing a rock it should get up and walk around.

When I saw the Scholarship Program for The Ajax Experience, I got to typing and sent in my application with crossed fingers and high hopes. My typing paid off. Here’s what I wrote:

My name is Matthew Batchelder, I run BorkWeb (, am a co-founder of MasterWish (, and am a web application developer at Plymouth State University (PSU) in Plymouth, NH. I’m close by yet so far away.

A few PSU co-workers and I have been steering web development at the university to include Ajax techniques to enhance the speed and usability of our applications on campus. Users have been pleased with the results and want more! But…PSU – being a state-run university – lacks funds to send all of their employees to conferences, especially conferences where the higher-ups [don’t know] what valuable information can be attained there – brains, networking, tips, etc. When mentioning this conference both last year and this year, I’ve been met with a handfull of negative responses: “No, we don’t have the resources” to “Ajax…isn’t that a cleaning product?.”

MasterWish – a one and a half year old brainchild of a couple of other developers and myself – has been my playground after work hours. I began my experimentation with Ajax using that site, as PSU tended to slap my hand when looking into Ajax at work. Through that experimentation, I began to understand the workings of Ajax and how it would work into the PHP/Templating environment I was so comfortable with. Once I had dug down, I promptly posted my “Ajax; Templating; and the Separation of Layout and Logic” article that Ajaxian blogged about, along with the follow-up article.

I am building. I am reading. I am experimenting. I am writing. There’s always more to learn and I’d love to see and hear what the Ajax leaders are doing to help guide my train of thought. Re-creating the wheel sucks and conferences are a great way to have a lot of information slammed into your skull and an even better way to network. Sadly, the price of The Ajax Experience admission is too great great a cost for me to fund myself, and PSU [doesn’t always] know what’s best for them and refuse to pay. I look to you for help.

Thank you for your consideration. If you need anything more from me, please let me know!

I look forward to picking brains, networking, sucking in as much information as I can get, and blogging it all :D So: I owe a HUGE thanks to the guys over at Ajaxian; and a big congrats to the other 4 that received a scholarship. I’ll see you all there!

Oh….and I look forward to the swag:

  • All Access Pass – The Ajax Experience
  • Branded iPOD Shuffle – The Ajax Experience
  • Two free books – Ajax Design Patterns & Java Script: The
    Definitive Guide, 5E
  • Free Access to Slides/Audio of The Ajax Experience 2006: San
    Francisco ($250 Value!!)
  • Custom Laptop Bags – The Ajax Experience
  • The Ajax Experience Shirt
  • The Ajax Experience Binder with handouts from sessions attended
  • CD with all presentations
  • Slides/audio/select videos of The Ajax Experience: Boston
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breaks
  • The Ajax Experience Party
  • Great Giveaways including iPOD Nanos, iPOD Videos and XBOX 360s