1200 tickets sold in under 20 minutes! That’s the kind of excitement & passion the CodeMash conference generates during the 3 days of geekdom every January. Where else would you be in shorts in the middle of a blizzard in frigid northern Ohio! Where else would you find so many stars under one roof! This year was simply bigger & better at the newly-expanded Kalahari resort in Sandusky OH. CodeMash 2012 was an enormous success, thanks to the untiring work of a small group of volunteers .. kudos geeks & geekettes.
While there were the usual stellar sessions & world-changing conversations, here are some of my personal high points:
- For folks heading up to CodeMash from Columbus OH, there just isn’t an easy way to get to Sandusky without stepping off the highways onto small country/rural roads. The last couple of trips have always been in the middle of snowstorms, making the drive tricky. This year, we had a little respite with unusually warm weather & no snow. So, the drive up wasn’t bad; the drive back — not so much, with a few inches of snow! Guess it’s part of the Codemash culture!
- The renovated Kalahari looked quite nice, with the expanded Convention Center easily offering more room for close to 1400 folks to stretch legs.
- I know we are supposed to create & give back, rather than consume. However, I wasn’t speaking .. so why not throw repentance away for a few days, eat/drink & take it all in. Have some fun!
- First evening: Sat in a corner bar with the two flamboyant Azure MVPs Michael Collier (@MichaelCollier) & Brent Stineman (@brentcodemonkey), and we just chatted for hours over unending beer. Good times!
- I was staying at an offsite hotel (yeah, don’t ask) and really liked the Shuttle setup, so we didn’t have to drive & dash across the cold parking lot. Thanks organizers.
- Bacon — plenty of it everywhere, breakfast or other times.
- I thought Ted Neward’s (@tedneward) keynote was entertaining. Yes, some folks didn’t like the profanity; but c’mon, we’re adults & sometimes you know what you getting into. It was interesting.
- Really enjoyed the fact that so many Microsofties made the trip across to attend CodeMash. Pretty darn AWESOME to meet & talk to Scott Hanselmann (@shanselman) .. what a smooth operator. The other time, almost bumped into a skinny guy .. ahem, Jon Skeet (@jonskeet).
- Always nice to meet fellow Windows Phone developers & share war stories. And there was plenty of WPDev love .. sign of times changing. Also, you may have noticed using mobility with Azure makes me a happy camper .. so specially nice to meet THE Wade Wegner (@wadewegner).
- The Breakfast, Lunch & Dinners served were quite nice .. thanks to Kalahari’s catering. They mostly managed to keep up with hundreds of hungry geeks. And the dessert bar on Day 1 — awesome! It’s ok steak-loving gents; ok to like some sugar once in a while.
- The WiFi — yes it worked, unbelievable.
- The Pecha Kucha — had my reservations at first, but it turned out great. Between Scott Hanselman’s coordination & sheer brilliance from Leon Gersing (@rubybuddha) and Mel Grubb (@melgrubb), it was quite entertaining. Reminded us of humility, passion, fun & enthusiasm that keeps us on the path of software craftsmanship.
- Lock-picking training from Gabrielle Sempf (@gabriellesempf). Yeah, she showed us how we live in our little bubble of safety called locks in our homes.
- Hanging out with fellow Sogetians, especially Nihar Shah (@niharshah), Susan Yount (@susaninfj) & Mike Yotive (@myotive), who somehow know how to make me laugh.
- Seeing the usual rockstars — David Giard, Bill Sempf, Sarah Dutkiewicz, Chris Woodruff, Keith Elder, Jeff Blankenburg, Clark Sell, Mike Lutton, Rich Dudley, Brian Prince etc. Always lots to learn from them, as well as scores of friends that I got to catch up with.
- Favorite session: SignalR talk by Brady Gaster (@bradygaster).
- Drinks & plenty of it .. let’s not go there ok?
Now, my one little contribution to this year’s CodeMash was a small article in the conference magazine, called the Mashed Code Magazine (@mashedcodemag). Cheers to Nick Watts (@thewonggei) and the editorial team for pulling off a polished magazine for 2012. I wrote a rather fanboyish Windows Phone Mango article for your reading pleasure .. you owe it to yourself to try a Windows Phone, if you haven’t already :). Link below .. download as pdf or in eBook format & enjoy!
In all, another GREAT CodeMash. Cheers to all & we shall meet again next year!