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CodeMash 2008 Wrap Up

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Big Sigh of Relief!

I just got home with my family. We have finally unpacked, and caught our breath. The past nine months have been a lot of work. And not just for me, but for the whole CodeMash planning team.

Just some of the volunteers that put this year together: Jim Holmes, Jason Gilmore, Jason Follas, Jeff Blankenburg, Josh Holmes, Dianne Marsh, John Hopkins, Brian Sherwin, and Chris Woodruff. There are plenty of others that helped out, and I want to thank you folks as well.

How do I even begin to capture the energy that was at CodeMash this year?

The keynoters were FANTASTIC. Each brought a different something to the conference. Neal Ford did a great job setting the tone of the conference. Scott Hanselman really livened things up after lunch, and showed that cross platform is in the real world with his demo of PHP on IIS (with huge performance improvements). Then Brian Goetz showed that there were still some great challenges left for us to solve.

Our speakers were fantastic across the board, with Jim Weirich giving an extra special session on his '10 things to know about Ruby' on Friday.

There was a ton of buzz and energy around the Quick Solutions booth, because everyone was playing Rock Band. This turned out to be Scott Hanselman's favorite hang out. We gave away the game to an attendee, and also gave away $150 and $75 to the top two bands. John Chapman was in both!

We had over 375 people there, way up over the 250 we had in 2007.

The Thursday night cocktail party held by Quick Solutions was a big hit. Although we had to move Rock Band closer to the party so that people would actually be AT the party. A bunch of real musicians brought in their instruments and setup a jam session in an adjoining room.

Instead of shaving my head this year, I dyed it blue. A lot of people kept coming up and asking me why I dyed my hair. Had I lost a bet? they wondered. I did it so that people would come up to me. I got to meet a lot more people that way. It was a great ice breaker. I also did it so it was easier to recognize me in the crowds. It's easy to find 'the guy with blue hair' than 'Brian Prince' in a crowd.

It was nice to see the Open Spaces program take off this year. I didn't get to attend any, but I heard a lot about the sessions that did happen. None of them took place in the pool this year though.

We can't forget the debut of the CodeMash Families and KidzMash programs. On a shoestring budget, Melissa and Matt Insko put together a program for the spouses and children of the attendees. They each received CodeMash badges, and had a special activities schedule. I think it really helped the families feel at home at the resort. Arnulfo Wing did a session on KPL for the kids. There was also a session with Lego Mindstorms as well.

The Kalahari was phenomenal as usual. Their staff is just top notch, and was always on top of anything that we needed at the last minute.

I did two sessions, Applied SOA, and Hands on Agile Practices. I think both went well. I especially had a lot of fun doing the agile talk, which I always do, it's always my favorite talk to give.

The content (podcasts and slides) from all of the sessions should be up on our site (www.codemash.org) within a few weeks.

Here are some pictures I found:

  1. CodeMash Video
  2. Flickr Pool
  3. Arnulfo Wing's pictures

And finally, I want to thank all of our sponsors. Without them, CodeMash wouldn't happen at all. We got a lot of great feedback from them this year, so I hope to see them next year.

The board now has a lot of work to do in learning what we can to make it better, and how to integrate the feedback.

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