Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Little CodeMash Love

Coming up in a few days will be CodeMash at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH. Having been to a few conferences, I consider this one a "don't miss." And here's why...

  1. It's an indoor waterpark...nerds in speedos!

  2. The collection of speakers and topics is second to none. This isn't your, "JAVA OR DIE!!!" meeting, just as its not, "Bill Gates cured my brother-in-law's limp," type show, either. It's a gathering of people passionate about their chosen field, wanting to share that passion, and get information on areas outside their comfort zone.

  3. The Kalahari sells alcohol. Consider the alcohol induced war stories: "I had to deal with a five part composite primary key that allowed nulls!" It can only get better from there...

  4. Keynoters that include Neal Ford (who also gave a keynote last year), Scott Hanselman, and Brian Goetz.

  5. Breakout sessions with Neal Ford, Brian Goetz, Bruce Eckel, and Brian Prince! (Yes, I know, "one of these things is not like the others," but he has a direct impact on my paycheck.)

  6. Conference food!!

If one or more of those six items hasn't piqued your interest then how about adding them all up: Brian Prince in a speedo delivering a presentation on Agile Development with a beer in one hand and a ham or turkey sandwich in the other.

Now that your interest has waned, fear not that won't happen. (And that direct impact on my paycheck is likely negative, now...)

Seriously, this is a good conference. If your looking for a "bang for your buck" type deal, then it's tough to beat CodeMash. I've been to pricier conferences and gotten much less out of them, mainly because much less was available. Last year's highlights for me were two breakout sessions with Scott Guthrie following his keynote and a session with Neal Ford on how to be a better overall developer. (Additionally, I had a strange urge to attend Burning Man...)

I came away last year being a little upset with myself for focusing too much in my .Net comfort zone, something I'm going to avoid this year. There are a couple of .Net sessions I want to see to learn some of the newer features, and one on Castle that I want to see. Beyond my comfort zone, there are a few Python sessions that I think I'll check-out. Oh, and I'll be in attendance at anything being presented by Neal Ford.

If you're planning on attending, look me up and say hi. I have a nullable composite key story to share with you. And, I don't own a speedo.


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