Last week, more than 200 CQ rock stars descended on San Diego for the inau­gural edi­tion of Evolve, the CQ5 Com­mu­nity Tech­ni­cal Con­fer­ence. This was the first time Adobe Expe­ri­ence Man­ager (AEM) devel­op­ers have had a ded­i­cated con­fer­ence in the US since Day’s Ignite inno­va­tion sum­mits in 2010.

Some­what appro­pri­ately for an event full of rock­star devel­op­ers, the venue was the Hard Rock Hotel. The con­fer­ence was divided into three tracks (Deploy, Enhance, and Max­i­mize). Whether just set­ting out on the AEM jour­ney (CQ Boot Camps), look­ing to boost exist­ing knowl­edge (talks on top­ics such as search; trans­la­tion; respon­sive design), or con­sol­i­dat­ing your suc­cess­ful deploy­ment (top­ics such as Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Suite; sup­port and man­age­ment strate­gies; and a host of cus­tomer suc­cess sto­ries), Evolve had some­thing for everyone.

The first day kicked off with David Nuescheler who took us on a stroll down mem­ory lane, showed us the lat­est state of the art, and also a sneak peek of what’s being cooked up in the labs. I’m not telling any more about that, you had to be there! On the sec­ond day we had Dr Roy Field­ing enter­tain­ing us with stan­dards (yes really!), guid­ance on REST, and soft­ware engi­neer­ing on the scale of decades. A tough act to fol­low, but luck­ily we had Adam Car­olla to amuse and inform as he told us how he built his pod­cast­ing media empire.

There was plenty of more seri­ous con­tent too, with deep dives on AEM’s ecom­merce frame­work, event­ing and job pro­cess­ing, and dig­i­tal asset man­age­ment. There were demos of con­tent migra­tion tools, new tem­plat­ing frame­works, and new IDE tools.

I was there to present some of the lat­est ideas on man­ag­ing mobile appli­ca­tions with AEM, with the help of my col­league Bruce Lefeb­vre. Our talk pre­sented three use cases: a PhoneGap/Angular.js app loosely cou­pled to CQ through a hyper­me­dia API and JSON feeds of con­tent from the repos­i­tory; a Phone­Gap tem­plate appli­ca­tion built for mul­ti­ple mobile plat­forms through inte­gra­tion with Phone­Gap Build; and a pre­view of Bruce’s lat­est project, a way to lay out and cre­ate Phone­Gap apps using the famil­iar AEM author­ing interface.

The event drew to a close with a rooftop party and, in typ­i­cal Hard Rock style, we had music and rap­ping by Kel­ley James. As we make our way home, it seems hard to believe so much was packed into just two days. I know this #cqsome­body is plan­ning to be back next year.