Atlanta Code Camp 2008

First of all - a huge thanks to all those folks in Atlanta who pull this thing together each year. They really do put on a good event in Atlanta and I look forward to it (almost to the point of bugging Jim via e-mail) each year.

This was actually my 2nd code camp where I didn't speak...though I did have some slide decks ready in case there were some last minute cancellations. I actually missed a chance to speak since I was helping Bill move furniture while Jim was looking for me to cover a session.

It was cool to see those folks I only get to meet at these events since we're all so spread out. Doug & Glen, Jim, Josh, Chris, Bill, Paul and I'm sure I'm forgetting others. Plus I got to meet several people who've seen my presentations in the past and it was nice to hear they remembered me and were looking forward to seeing me speak again (though I'm sorry to disappoint since I didn't speak this time). I actually got to finally meet David Silverlight which was cool. BTW - if you're reading this and went to Code Camp and are not registered with Community-Credit - go ahead and register, collect 5000 points for attending Code Camp and be on your way to winning some cool stupid prizes!

Both the sessions I attended in the morning were great. I started out with Bill Ryan's Home Server presentation which definitely gave me some ideas that I need to implement with regards to having a Home Server on my own home network. The second session I attended was Bruce Thomas' Windows Mobile LOB presentation which also gave me some neat ideas on how to improve my own Windows Mobile applications. If you've never seen either of these guys present before and have a chance to then by all means go see them.

A couple of things I thought were done well also from the point of view of one planning a code camp were:

1) Big Item Prizes - entrants were given five tickets. There were 5 "big" prizes (Xbox, Zune, Software, etc.) and you put your ticket(s) in the bowl for the prizes you wanted to win. So if you already have an XBOX at home and want to win a Zune instead, you won't "accidentally" win an XBox. At the end of those drawings the remaining tickets are all combined and those are drawn for books, shirts, etc. I won a book!

2) Food - there was a multi-tiered lunch system where ticket folks were split for the lunch lines versus all going out at once. While I actually missed that part - the food I ended up eating was pretty good. I hadn't tried the Pizza Mia's yet and it was pretty tasty!

3) Speaker Feedback - Rather than collecting all speaker feedback then giving it to someone to sort through and tally the results, each attendee was given multiple feedback forms and gave those directly to the speakers at the end of the presentation. This way speakers get "instant" feedback.

4) The lounge - Doug bought in a whole bunch of Xbox's (Xboxii, Xboxen?) and had a HALO 3 room set up and a Rock Band room set up. Those were a great way to spend time and I actually spent one of the afternoon sessions playing Rock Band with Josh since I had arrived a little late to head into the session. There was also an "Expert's Lounge" which I didn't get to visit but it was basically a place where people could talk and ask more detailed questions of speakers who were finished with their sessions if they wanted to.

5) Glen (and a few others) shot video throughout the day as part of an attempt to document what it takes to pull of a code camp as well as what code camp is like. Looking forward to seeing that!

Print | posted on Monday, March 31, 2008 11:53 AM

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