D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Winnipeg Code Camp – Thanks and Lessons Learned

Sunday, February 28, 2010 3:45 PM

I wanted to mention some thanks and share some things we did differently this year from previous code camps. First the thanks:

Thanks to the Speakers!

We had an amazing array of speakers volunteer their time and offer their expertise in a wide variety of subjects. We also had speakers come in from Boston, Edmonton, and Ottawa, and we thank those that travelled so far just to share with us.

Thanks to the Sponsors!

Putting on a code camp takes dollars and we’re very lucky in Winnipeg to have a number of companies that regularly step up and support community initiatives. Anvil Digital, Apptius, Imaginet, Microsoft, and Protegra all stepped up to support the Code Camp and we thank them.

We also had great prize sponsors in Telerik (who also provided a speaker), O’Reilly, Jet Brains, and the Prairie Developer Conference. Red River College, as they have in the last two years, supported us as the venue sponsor as well.

Thanks to the Attendees!

An event like this isn’t worth anything unless there’s an audience, and one that is eager to learn and participate. Once again we had that at this year’s code camp, and once again I’m left with great pride in the level of professional pride our developer community has! I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!

Lessons Learned

So we tweaked a few things this year. We added a fourth room to hold more sessions in, and we only had a couple of sessions that had very small turnouts. Part of that had to do with the title of the session I think. For instance, one was “Intro to Team City”. In talking with the speaker after, we realized that we should have called it “Continuous Integration with Team City” or something more descriptive that let people who had never heard of the application to have some context around it.

Another thing we did differently this year was hand out the prizes at the lunch break instead of at the end of the day. Some people can’t stay for the entire day, but we still wanted to give everyone who came out a chance at the prizes. Plus, we still had the rule that you had to be present to claim your prize. This worked out really well, as everyone ate, enjoyed the prize ceremony, and finishing the code camp/cleaning up was a snap!

Also, I used a .NET app to pick the winners instead of using tickets…just went off of the registration list. Made it MUCH easier of a process as well.

Awesome Event?

I felt that this year’s event was a great success, but we’ll know more based on comments we get once the survey goes up this week. Looking forward to the feedback and making this an even better event next year!



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