Sunday, January 21, 2007

CodeMash Wrapup

I’m home, I’m winding down, I’m exhausted.  CodeMash 2007 seems to have been a resounding success, at least if initial blog scans are any indication. 

(At least aside from one post by a guy who complained about not having hot food.  Guess he must have missed the dinner buffet…  Another guy complained about the event having a “very strong pro-Microsoft slant” although only nine of the 40 sessions were on MS technologies and two of those were on Open Source tools in the MS environment!  I realize we can’t make everyone happy, but yeesh!)

It took months of hard work to get CodeMash fired off, and I was very happy to see that we got through it without any major potholes.  Brian and his crew from Quick Solutions did an amazing amount of work getting the registration system in place and getting somewhere around 260 attendees, staff, and sponsors checked in and handled.  Darrell took the huge job of handling all attendee coordination with the Kalahari Lodge and did an outstanding job.  JasonG got all our speakers nailed down and shepherded during the event, plus handled rounding up room proctors at the last minute due to us having completely missed the boat on that during planning.  Oops.  Dianne bounced all over the place, helping out JasonG with speakers, helping Darrell with hotel issues, helping me with venue issues, and provided a much needed bit of common sense in many areas.  JasonF herded all the sponsors around in good order and kept them happy — and hopefully interested in coming back next year!  Drew and Josh got us great support from Microsoft and knocked many things off the task list as well.  All y’all folks are awesome to work with!  You folks made this event a terrific one.

Things are still a blur, but a few of my highlights would include:

  • Sitting at the dinner table with Tom and Mary Poppendieck and hearing their stories about their bike travels.  (Their insight and excitement on the right way to do good software is pretty good too, by the way…)
  • Getting Bill Wagner’s thoughts on how to try and develop a company culture that intensely values professional development.  (SRT Solutions sent something like five of their small crew to CodeMash — and told them to go sit in on sessions that were completely outside their normal domains.)
  • Sitting in on a small-group lunch with Scott Guthrie and hearing his passion and enthusiasm on a wide range of topics.  (Plus I also got an opportunity to thank him for the number of folks from his group who contributed to my book — plus he accepted a copy of the book and even mentioned it during one of his sessions!)
  • Watching all the Open Spaces sessions take off.  We didn’t push this aspect of CodeMash much this year simply because it was the event’s first year.  We’ll pimp these a heck of a lot harder next year!
  • Hearing all the buzz and excitement from attendees in general.
  • Not barfing, drooling, or otherwise stumbling too badly during my presentation on Open Source Test Tools.  (Of course, I haven’t seen the evals yet…)
  • Having a long conversation with Brian about what it takes to get a great development team formed.  Brian’s an amazing guy who is extrordinarily passionate and open about helping folks push off in the right direction.
  • Meeting a lot of great folks like Keith Elder, Michael Letterle, Michael Kimsal, Joe Brinkman, and a bunch of other great folks who I’m forgetting to mention here.

The organizers are already talking about putting together another CodeMash, but we’re not sure when that will happen.  We’re thinking of moving the event to November instead of January, but frankly we’re not going to figure that out until after we recover from this one!

Many, many thanks to the sponsors who made the event possible, and many, MANY thanks to all the great folks who showed up and made this an amazing event!

4 comments:

Dianne said...

Nice wrapup Jim! I haven't had the energy to write a blog on CodeMash yet ... I'm still recovering from very little sleep because it's hard to throw geeks out of your room when everyone is having such a good time talking (at 1 am).

Jim, you did an awesome job, but sheesh ... we're not REALLY talking about CodeMash 2007 Version 2 already are we? Ahem ... you know we would have to start planning ... like ... next week?! If we do that, my husband may try to claim the "Frazzled Dad" title for himself.

Good job! It was great! And did you see we hit #1 for some time on Technorati today? Still #2 as I post this. Blows my mind.

Dianne

Jim Holmes said...

Dianne, I'm only mumbling about CodeMash v2 now. Real planning won't start for at least ten or twelve days.

Isn't it amazing that it took Hillary Clinton to knock us off the #1 spot? Wooo!

Andy Stopford said...

Hi Jim,

Would be great if you made your slides available, I'd love to see them?

Andy

Jim Holmes said...

Andy,

We're working on getting all conference slides up to the www.CodeMash.org site. Start checking there next week. I'll also try and blurb here when materials make it up there!

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