KnackCon 2019: Apps, Snacks and Taps

10/08/2019 Posted by Danielle

What happens when you throw a pile of Knacksters into a room full of our most avid customers? A new appreciation for just how many ways Knack can be used to make life better.

In early October, team Knack assembled in Chicago to host our second user conference, KnackCon. Since we’re a 100% remote team, we jump at the chance to talk face-to-face with Knack users. We listen to their stories, their challenges and how we can make Knack even better. After being so inspired at KnackCon London, we couldn’t wait to do it again in the Windy City. Only this time, with less jet lag.

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The Meetup

We kicked things off the night before at the Berkshire Room, a craft cocktail lounge that is surprisingly similar to Knack. Why settle for a generic concoction that you can get anywhere else? Here, a mustachioed hipster learns your preferred flavor profile, spirits, and glassware. Then, through the magic of forearm tattoos and bespoke vests, you receive a one-of-a-kind creation made specifically for you. (Where are our bespoke Knack vests, Brandon?)

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We know many of our customers on a first-name basis, and it was great to finally put a smiling face with each name. As we sipped our custom cocktails, several shared the custom apps that they’ve built with Knack at work…but also after hours.

One enterprising home-brewer uses Knack to easily manage their extensive brewing process, inventory and beers on-tap. Another built an app to keep track of kids’ chores at home. Both topics spawned impromptu breakout sessions, with notes taken and plans made by home-brewers and home-makers alike.

The Conference

The next morning, Knack founder Brandon Griggs opened with the story of Knack. It all started as a brand new way to approach the development challenges of one web design firm’s clients. Today, Knack has evolved into a full-featured low-code development platform that’s loved by over 4000 customers.

Customer Led Sessions

Next, Amenity Applewhite and Diana Martin shared how they use Knack to unlock data gridlock in the City of Austin, Texas. (And they shared their open-source client that their team developed to interface Python with Knack).

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Other customer session highlights included lessons from Knack user Graham Pelletieri about how he builds Knack apps that can run an entire business. Knack user Jeff Christie spoke on how you can expand your Knack app through the power of integrations. This was complemented by a panel discussion with Knack Users on best practices that have built and deployed apps in under-resourced environments.

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Knack Team Sessions

After hearing from our customer lead sessions earlier in the day, we switched gears to sessions led by the Knack team. Best Practices, led by Danielle Kellogg, dove into all the tips, tricks, and hidden features to get the most out of Knack and build a user-friendly app.

Next, Brandon Griggs and Laura Theis showed off the new Knack Builder, complete with a live walkthrough. (Interested in becoming a beta tester? Let us know!)

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The next day, Knack consultant Gui Marshall shared tips on saving time and headaches by planning more and building less.

Knackster Steve Palmer led a discussion with Knack partners and super users on what they’ve learned from building hundreds of apps.

Workshops

The last part of the conference was reserved for our workshops and 1-1s. We used these workshops to dive into topics like improving and maintaining apps after launch, app security best practices from co-founder Eric Kathermen, and a deep dive into understanding performance trade-offs with Nicolas Galluzzo from Knack.

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The workshops were interspersed with one-on-one time between customers and Knacksters to dig into questions on building, maintaining and expanding their specific apps.

Wrap-Up

After two days packed full of all things, it was time for KnackCon to come to a close. We wrapped up the final day with an AMA and the future of Knack with CEO Brandon Griggs and the rest of the Knack team that attended.

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What’s Next?

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