Utah Code Camp Spring 2008 Retrospective

Posted Thursday, May 01, 2008 10:51 PM by Nathan Zaugg

Code camp snuck up and bit me this year!  I have been so busy with the new cuegle.net/cuegle.com site that I didn't get the preparation time I wanted.  Although turnout was mixed (a little less than we had last time, but still pretty good) the sessions were pretty good this year.

The Good:

  • I got the large room again this time and a lot of people attended my presentation
  • There was a lot of good presentations on lots of different technologies
  • The speakers used up all of the time this year
  • The speakers were better this year
  • The topics were all very interesting!
  • The emphasis was on the code, not the power-point!
  • I think it got people energized about the new technologies
  • We had wireless and even if slow, it worked!
  • People didn't get locked out of the building this year.
  • My friend, Phil won a prize (I drew his name)


The Bad:

  • One of the presentations was supposed to be about how cool it is to have Iron Ruby-- instead we got a bunch of propaganda from a Ruby fan-boy about how we only use Microsoft technologies because "we fear anything else -- especially something that has power".
  • I wasn't as prepared this time around.  I was doing Silverlight and didn't get my sample application working until the exact moment I was to setup for my presentation.  As a result I wasn't really mentally prepared for the presentation and didn't present it well.
  • I didn't get to pay as much attention to the other presentations as I wanted or get to go to the ones I wanted because I was working on mine!
  • I didn't have near enough handouts (sorry, my printer is out of toner!)
  • I have some bugs in my XAML Cheat Sheet that I just distributed to 100+ people!
  • I've moved to Kaysville now and I'm quite a ways from Neumont University.
  • A lot of my "support" wasn't able to attend.  I know it sounds crazy but when I give a presentation be it Code Camp or a Users Group I like to have 2-3 of my friends helping me get going.  It allows me to focus my energy on mentally preparing.
  • I drew myself in the drawing which disqualified me!  DANG!


The Future

  • There is a lot of feedback and a lot of talk around having this during work hours.  This is probably the #1 request among developers.  This is a two-sided sword we're very mixed about it.  It is against the code camp manifesto that we loosely follow.  Though, I wouldn't be surprised if we started doing it on a weekday.
  • I still think we need to have more than 3 rooms going at a time and that some presentations should be given twice.
  • It would be cool to involve people in another way, too.  Have a code competition or a Linux Installation room, etc.  Add some dimension to the conference.
  • Let's go commercial!  Let some big-name sponsors in and give everyone free stuff!  Why not a free PDA for those who attend?


Special thanks goes out to Phil Gilmore who helped me immensely  in preparing for my presentation.  He also took the photo's posted below.


Myself presenting Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1



Discussing the difference between Silverlight 1.0 and 2.0



They audience looks enthralled!



There I am drawing my own dang name!



The grand prize winner (Rock band)



Winner-Winner Chicken-Dinner!


Double score!


--Nathan Zaugg

Photo's courtesy of Phil Gilmore.