Well codeMash is over, at least for me, I know a lot of others had families come out on Friday and will stay through the weekend, surely continuing conversations. I opted to head out a little early to try to beat the snowstorm, but was not successful, doubling my commute home.
Overall the conference was great and absolutely worth the trip. I did however at times struggle with which sessions to attend, and whenever found myself in doubt, sat in a session knowing nothing about the subject just to expose myself to learning something new; I also found myself in the the open spaces, which had lots of great conversations.
I went to codeMash this year with a few goals in mind. Last year, I was interested in gathering as much Agile info as I could, talking with others that were doing it and understanding how I could introduce this within our organization – and codeMash delivered. This year, it was less process and more technology, however they are often co-mingled. My intent to was to get up to speed on iPhone development, and dive deeper into WPF, WCF, silverLight, and of course continue along Agile topics such as TDD, and continuous integration (CI.)
I’m happy to say I managed to make progress on each of these items, learning new things while also filling in some gaps on others. I’ve managed to fill up my 2009 “to do” list, which I’ll blog about in another post.
The CodeMash team does a great job trying to push the envelope ensuring there are lots of new technologies to expose attendees to, this sometimes come at the expense of other current technologies that we all could benefit from diving deeper into, but, you can’t please everyone – and overall they do a superb job!
This years theme, in my mind, (trying to read between the lines of the session tracks, keynotes and many opinions of attendees) was very much a continuation of Agile principles, namely testing; TDD, unit testing, automated testing, etc. iPhone also held a special place as there’s clearly a lot of interest in this new arena. RIAs also got alot of coverage, DSLs continue to impress with functional and behavior languages remain on the horizon. Microsoft also had a big presence at this years event, introducing some cool technologies with VS2010, Azure and .NET 4.0 – yet, even with lots of content (and lots of ms developers attending) it didn’t seem (to me) to over-shadow the conference. Many times, with big sponsors, it ends up being a vendor marketing message you leave with, but technology and developers remain at the forefront of CodeMash and I hope that alway is.
So, until next year – let’s hope everyone goes back to the ranch and applies some of the tools & techniques we’ve learned to get the MidWest back on track. If you’re interested in attending CodeMash next year, be sure to check out codeMash.org and the Google Group – oh, and book early (it always sells out!)