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PayPal Developer Days 2009 – Sydney, Australia

I went to the Sydney PayPal Developer Days yesterday and have to say I was very very impressed. PayPal is clearly interested in growing their brand in Australia and what better way to do so then giving developers the tools to make PayPal easy to implement for their clients.

PayPal Developer Days Pack - Inside a Notebook Sleeve!

Free PayPal Certification

The big drawcard for the PayPal Developer Days is that you get a promotional code that lets you sit the PayPal Certification tests for free. That’s $300 USD worth of value. Given that I’ve been developing some solutions that use PayPal over the past few weeks I would have gone to the conference anyway, but the more I think about it the more I like the idea of being certified. Primarily I’ll be interested in seeing how much new business it can generate.

PayPal Notebook/Laptop Sleeve

Everyone who attended got a nice little PayPal neoprene notebook sleeve which contained a little notepad with info on the talks. I didn’t expect anything like this yet thought it was a really nice touch! :) For those of you wondering, I guess it’d fit a 15″ notebook nicely.

PayPal Notebook Sleeve

The Speakers

All the speakers at the conference were very good. The flow and order of the talks was really good. Glenn Lim started things off fairly lightly and the day progressively got more technical as we finished with Spiro Rokos. But even Spiro’s talk wasn’t too tech-heavy. The speakers covered the following:

  • Glenn Lim – Growing Your Business, Learning About the PayPal Developer Program
  • Tasha Miels – Understanding Payment Processing, Avoiding Online Payment Risks, Selecting a PayPal Product
  • Spiro Rokos – Reviewing PayPal Products and Technologies, Examination Brief

Jonathan Kelly did a great job as MC for the day. I swear I’ve seen this guy in a movie or on TV somewhere… hehe ;)

It’s worth noting The Grace hotel was a very nice venue too :)

The Attendees

I was surprised by the diversity of people attending the event. I was expecting everyone to be hard core web developers but it seemed people from all sorts of development were there (eg. desktop and hardware people) along with people who were just interested in using PayPal as a solution (if any of you are reading and need a developer feel free to drop me a line ;))

The topic matter covered was actually ideal for such a cross-section of expertise. It was really good to see the PayPal staff so keen to get feedback on what was covered so they can improve as they “tour” the rest of Australia. Personally I don’t think they could have improved much at all. Whoever planned the event really nailed it and it was simply a great way to get more developers and businesses interested in PayPal’s services.

PayPal for Non-Profit Organisations, Education and Local Government

A subtle undertone that I noticed throughout the conference was PayPal’s desire to expand into “non-traditional” markets in Australia. These markets include “non-profits, education and local government organisations”. PayPal has always been a great solution for these types of groups and organisations due to the relatively low fees. It’s interesting to see PayPal attempt to grow these emerging markets (hi Richard! ;)).

PCI Compliance

Possibly one area that PayPal should emphasise both on their web site and in conferences and general marketing is how their Website Payments Standard (you know, the typical PayPal Buy Now type buttons) can be implemented with a lot less formalities than other solutions such as getting a merchant account. In other words, you don’t have to stress about PCI Compliance using PayPal’s standard services.

Another good point is that PayPal will also fight chargebacks on behalf of the merchant and PayPal has their own fraud detection systems which coupled with the bank detection systems makes for more piece of mind. With that said, if you as a developer can add even more layers of defence even better (at least follow PayPal’s basic recommendations and best practices).

Summary and Thank You

In summary I highly recommend attending the PayPal Developer Days if you have the chance. For starters, the certification alone is worth it, the talks are great, and it’s really nice to meet some of the team behind PayPal Australia and some fellow developers and businesspeople.

A big thank you to the PayPal guys and girls for putting on a great event! :)

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Comments Section

3 Responses to “PayPal Developer Days 2009 – Sydney, Australia”

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  1. 1

    Nice write up Scott.

    I am attending the Developer Day in Melbourne tomorrow, and now I know what to expect.

    Was there much of an opportunity to ask PayPal staff questions?


  2. 2

    Thanks James. It’s really nice to have feedback and know the coverage was useful to someone :)

    Yeah, there was plenty of opportunity to ask the staff questions. There was a Q&A after each speaker and during the morning tea the staff mingled.

    The questions weren’t too tech-heavy as a lot of people were there simply to learn about PayPal’s products and services as opposed to pushing the envelope (like I’m doing with their subscription paypments at the moment ;)).

    But if you have any real techy questions their online support is great and I’m more than happy to try to answer anything you might want to know :)

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