Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CodeMash 2009

Once again this event was like a good wine.!  The older it gets, the better and more concise it becomes.!

Just when you think, how can they improve on something that is already great? The organizers of this event did an absolute outstanding job (Jim, Dianne, Jason, Brian, Jeff, etc).

Pre-Compiler: oh yeah, I got the most of this session.  In the spirit of CodeMash, I have decided to try something out of my comfort zone.  Last year, I tried Ruby.  This year, I have decided to give Groovy and Grails a try.  I immerse myself for a FULL day of these 2 technologies.  While I can't say I am a Groovy developer at the end of that day, I have a much better understanding of the technology.

KidzMash:  One word to describe this:  INSANE.  This is my 2nd year volunteering for this event. [CodeMash 2008].  Learned a few new things from the experience last year.  This year, I've decided to make it a little bit more interactive, so I've packed 4 laptops with Scratch.  Out of those, one have BabyMash installed, just in case there were some young developers in the making there (<6yrs old).   I was completely blown up by the number of kids we have:  35 kids.!!  Thankfully, Sarah Ford and Michelle and another mom  in there step up to help by providing extra laptops and balloons animals.!  Hopefully, I was able to influence those young minds to become a future RIA developer.

Open Spaces: I've got a lot of value attending these.!  I was just being a fly-on-the-wall. Intimidated by the sheer brain power of those people talking.! Looking forward more Open Spaces.!


  • Scala with Venkat.  Got a candy with the infamous: "do I need to ask a question to get a candy?…" ;)
  • Scaling of ASP.NET apps with Richard Campbell.  The man is a legend.!
  • WCF with Keith Elder.  Good refresher course.
  • User Experience with Josh Walsh.  Solid session.  Very good presenter.  Even though I have not worked on end user apps for a while, this session was a very good background information.

KeyNote: This might be the only portion of CodeMash that I have to skip.  Last year's keynote with Scott Hanselman was awesome.  Venkat was a terrific follow up this year.!  His analogy of how writing unit test compares to doing physical exercise was right on target.  All of the other keynote presenters were good, but they just could not capture my attention.

Negatives:  yes, there were negatives.

  • Too many repeated sessions or content was very similar to another talk. Open spaces filled that void. :D
  • Keynotes were not hitting the CodeMash audience (except Venkat… ;)
  • Evaluation forms.  Why aren't the evaluation forms online instead of paper?  It would be awesome to fill them up online.  Instant feedback.!

Moments: CodeMash is also about networking with others, and I use Breakfast, lunch, dinner, party, water park, etc to meet someone new.  I love the small conference atmosphere where you don't feel like another number in a group.

  • Met developer that work for Overdrive.  They developed the application that I just installed last year to get audio books from my public library into my Zune. And you know, they are based on Akron, OH.!
  • My Twitter count went up by 10.
  • Carl Franklin rocked the house on Thursday night.!
  • Sponsors ads during meal time. FTW..!!!

Looking forward CodeMash v.2010 next year