Usually speakers aren't the most important part of a conference for me. It sounds weird, but it's the chance encounters and conversations in the coffee line that I find inspiring. And while the venue didn't afford me a lot of opportunities to mix with other devs, no lines for coffee or free drink mingler, that was ok. Sure, I wish I had met more local SLC devs and talked about what they are building, but it was refreshing that the speakers provided the inspiration and sparked ideas.
My MountainWest homework:
A word about diversity. In an auditorium of 200 people, there were about 10 women. Sure I would like to see more women in the mix. Diversity brings new ideas. Two of the speakers were women. Nice to see. It would be even nicer if women speakers could give a talk and not carry the burden of representing the entire female programming population. Somehow when the speaker is female, it's harder to gain the audience's trust that she does in fact know what she is talking about. There is more to prove. I wish this wasn't the case. I wish this post was one paragraph shorter. I have no solutions, just some thoughts and a few wishes.