CodeStock 2011 was fantastic. Once again Mike Neel out did himself and set the bar higher than any other local code convention has any hope of reaching. Unfortunately for the poor attendees he did make one mistake. He let me be a speaker. ^_^ So Friday at 12:30 PM I presented a short session in the general track titled "A Knoxville Hackerspace - What do you want to build today?". Despite some issues with swapping rooms at the last minute I did manage to draw eight people in for what turned into a pretty good discussion on what exactly is a hackerspace and am even hopeful that one or two might come to check out the local Knox Makers group. I will note that even though I got flustered by the room change and ended up speaking and going through my slides far too quickly I think I may be hooked. Presenting a session was exciting and I felt much more involved in the convention itself. I think I'm going to have to see if I can come up with another topic for next year.
Aside from speaking I also got to attend several great sessions:
- The Geek's Guide to SEO by Jay Harris. Walked out with a half-dozen links to hit up for more info.
- Kinect Hacks 101 by James Ashley. Unfortunately, now I have to go buy a Kinect to play with.
- Introduction To Ruby On Rails by Rod Paddock. Goes under my "nifty toy I must find time to play with" category.
- The Open Spaces discussion on how we learn and the future of publishing with Charles Petzold was fascinating. It may simply be time for tech authors to reach directly out to their readers and skip the publisher entirely.
- Open Spaces discussion about the Netduino with Brady Gaster. Of course I had to go and back-order a Netduino Plus as soon as I got home that night....
- I shared an Open Spaces session with Thomas Langston discussing gameful ways to build developer communities. I really think that a coding based version of the Chore Wars website has a lot of promise. This discussion also helped me make the mental shift to start thinking about team leadership and the Agile Scrum Master role the same way I think about the Dungeon Master role when setting up a pen-and-paper RPG for my friends. Saving throw versus deadline!
- Eulering up your coding skills by Matthew D. Groves. Project Euler is now in my "must play with" bookmarks folder.
- Arlene Gray led a great Open Spaces discussion about what it would take to hold a SQLSaturday here in Knoxville. Can't wait!
- Why aren't women speaking at CodeStock? (and other WiT issues) by Mike Neel and Jennifer Marsman. Very thought provoking.
- Your OS is going the way of the dodo by David Smith was a good intro to Google’s Chrome operating system.