We had a fantastic time last week in Austin, hosting the Sencha Community for SenchaCon 2011! Once again, we had record attendance, with over 600 developers attending more than 50 sessions over two days, and a full day hackathon that produced some pretty impressive apps. We were incredibly humbled by the huge commitment that so many of the community made to spend three days engaging with the Sencha team and sharing their experiences with us and with each other.
At Sencha, we want to equip application developers to create the next generation of awesome apps. What we’ve seen in the last four years is a huge discontinuity in how and where end-users want to interact with data and content. The most obvious trend is the rise of mobile devices, but equally as important is the now-ubiquitous integration of social sharing and the emergence of HTML5 as the consensus technology platform of the future. As we go forward, we see a world with an ever-increasing diversity of devices and device APIs. It’s a world where HTML5 powers the client apps, and they’re enriched with local APIs that execute on everything from traditional desktops to Smart TV’s. And cloud services provide the fabric that enables continuous, shared experiences across the diversity of end-devices. We think this is the platform for the web.
It’s clear that the world is going through what we call “The Big App Rewrite”. And one of our big goals at SenchaCon was to outline how our products are going to evolve to help you create applications for that world. As we shared in our keynote, we’re focused on the three building blocks you’ll need to build your apps: frameworks, tools and cloud services. In frameworks, we showed off the latest in Ext JS 4, Sencha Touch 2 and Ext GWT 3. In tools, we demonstrated the latest in Sencha Designer and Animator. And we were also very excited to launch the full set of Sencha.io mobile cloud services.
h3. The Big Announcements and Introductions!
As mentioned above, SenchaCon attendees got first look at some pretty cool stuff that we’ve been working on. We’ll be blogging about these in more detail soon. But here are the highlights:
* The official beta of Sencha.io–an insanely easy-to-use set of mobile cloud services designed to plug easily into Sencha Touch.
* The developer preview of Sencha Designer 2.0, now with support for creating Sencha Touch apps, event bindings, code editing and even native packaging
* The preliminary performance numbers from Ext JS 4.1 showing the 2x performance improvement we’ve been able to engineer over 4.0
* Live demos of the developer preview of Sencha Touch 2 showing the much improved Android and orientation change performance
* The latest preview of the all-new Ext GWT 3 with Cell-based data widgets, Cell-based fields, a new data API, new charts, and theming.
We also announced that we’ve raised another $15M in Series B funding. The round was led by Jafco Ventures with the participation of our existing funding partners, Sequoia Capital and Radar Partners. We’d like to welcome Jafco to the Sencha community!
h3. The Ever Growing Sencha Community
There are now over 1.6 million Sencha developers in 201 countries and in 33 different timezones. And 300,000 of you are now registered on our forums. We truly are a worldwide community! We’ve had 68 meet ups this year! And we’re proud to say that we see more and more community members starting up new groups in your cities. We gave sneak peeks of a couple of really cool things coming down the road for the community and our partners. The first was a new partnership program that adds two new tiers of service partnerships to the existing community tier of www.senchadevs.com. (We’ll be rolling this out fully in Q1 of next year.) And we also showed a super-fast sneak peek of the Sencha Marketplace, a listing service for the community to showcase their user extensions, themes, templates and plugins. We’re really excited about this and look forward to your feedback as we move toward launching this.
h3. The Top Rated Sessions
This year’s session content got a huge thumbs up–thanks in part to listening to all of your suggestions from last year’s SenchaCon. By far the crowd favorite of the conference was Jacky Nguyen’s commanding performance on the new Ext JS 4 class system. Jacky also showed off some very cool performance wizardry for Sencha Touch that we hope to ship in Touch 2. In addition, we want to give a special shout-out to Craig Walker of Xero, whose node.js session also got huge thumbs up from our crowd.
h3. Slides and Video Recordings
The Sencha Team and all our community code presenters made a huge effort to create fantastic content for this year’s conference. And soon, we’ll be able to share it with the whole community. We’ll start uploading session slides later this week, and as soon as the videos are finished in post-processing we’ll also be releasing those. Conference attendees will be able to access videos first, but shortly thereafter, we’ll release them to the general community.
We had an awesome time hosting SenchaCon 2011. We want to thank everyone for their amazing contributions and we look forward to seeing you at the next conference!