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codemash

I just got back from Codemash yesterday, and still on an adrenaline buzz. Here's my take on this years encounter:

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The Awesome

Nearly everybody in one place

Codemash is the ultimate place to catch up with community friends. This is my 3rd year visiting and I've got to know a great number of very cool people through various conferences, Give Camps and other community events. I'm finding more and more that Codemash is the best place to catch up with everybody regardless of technology interest or location. Of course I always make a whole bunch more friends while I'm there! Yay!

Open Spaced

I found the open spaces didn't work so well last year. This year things went a lot smoother and the topics were engaging and fresh.

While I miss Alan Steven's approach of running it like an agile project, it was very cool to see that it evolving. Laptops were often cracked open, not just once but frequently!

For example:

  • Jasmine - Paired on a javascript kata using the Jasmine javascript test runner
  • J - Sat in on a J demo from local J enthusiast, Tracy Harms
  • Watir - More pairing, this time using Ruby with the watir-webdriver through cucumber. I'd mostly forgotten that Cucumber runs just fine without Rails. It made a change to do without.

The other spaces were engaging too, but I think that's enough for that topic.

Javascript Shenanigans

I've already mentioned that I attended a Jasmine kata session. Jasmine is close to my heart right now every since I discovered it while on the hunt for a decent Javascript testing framework for a javascript koans project earlier this year. Well, it also got covered in the Java Precompiler and Pillar's vendor session, which was great to see.

Node.js was also a reoccurring theme. Node.js in a nutshell? It's an extremely scalable Event based I/O server which runs on Javascript. I'd already encountered through a Startup Weekend project and have been noticing increasing interest of late. After encountering more node.js driven excitement from my peers at codemash I absolutely had to attend the open space on it. At least 20 people turned up and by the end we had some answers, a whole ton of new questions and an impromptu user group in the form of a twitter channel (#nodemash). I have no idea where this is going to go or how big it is going to become, but if it can cross the chasm into the enterprise it could become huge...

Scala Koans

I'm a bit of a Koans addict, and I really need more exposure to functional languages so I gave the Scala Koans precompiler a try. Great fun! I'm really glad I attended because I found I had a whole ton of questions. Currently the koans are available here, and the answers are here.

Opportunities

While we're on the subject can we change the subject now?

Hai Gregory,

You really need to keep the drinking for later in the day. I mean seriously, you're 34 and you still do this every single time! Sure, you made it to Chad Fowler keynote ok, but you looking a rather pale weren't you? Also might have been nice to attend 'Netflicks in the Cloud' instead of 'Sleeping It Off For People Who Should Know Better'.

Kthxbye

PS: Stop talking to yourself

Not that I entirely regret it, I've had some of my greatest insights through late night drunken conversations at the CodeMash bar. Just might be nice to reign it in a little and get something out of the next morning too.

Diversity

This is something that is in the back of my mind because of conversations at Codemash as well as throughout the year; I'm realizing more and more how discouraging the IT

profession is for women. I notice in the community there has been a lot of attention paid to stamping out harrasment, which is good, but there also seems to be a massive PR issue.

I really don't have any solutions, but I figure it can't hurt to pay more attention to whats going on...

And in Other News

  • I now have a picture of Chad Fowler giving me more cowbell! Sadly I managed to lose the cowbell later on. Hopefully it's gone to a Better Place.

    ... and if Chad Fowler wants more cowbell, we should probably give him more cowbell!!
  • The Womack Family Band joined in with the musicians jam this year. There's my cowbell again! Why must you hide from me?

  • I also finally went in the water for the first time in all the I've been coming to codemash. Why did I wait so long?!?

 

Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011 8:30 PM | Back to top


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