Monthly Archives: February 2010

Finally: a CodeMash trip report (and some upcoming community events too)

Finally starting to feel a bit human after CodeMash.  While I scaled back my volunteer time this year, SRT was still pretty busy at the conference this year, with scaling up to a Platinum sponsorship and MobiMash! But I found a lot of time to attend sessions this year, which was great.  It's been a few weeks since the conference, but I did want to highlight some of my favorite moments.

During the precompiler, I went to Ruby Koans, given by Jim Weirich and Joe O'Brien.  What a great way to learn!  Joe and Jim even brought a little humor to their teaching, with the exercises reflecting "enlightenment".  Love those guys! I completed my precompiler day with Mary Poppendieck's workshop on Competency and Leadership in Software. I worked with a small group, created a fictitious company that we could use to analyze for effectiveness. Great fun! Very instructive!  I've been fortunate enough to spend some time with Mary and Tom during 3 of the last 4 CodeMash events.  I definitely hope that they make it next year!

For the Wednesday night panel discussion, the Java Posse invited Bill Wagner (representing C#) and Chris Smith (representing F#) to join them.  It was a great group, with lots of interesting discussion.

The variety of talks at CodeMash this year was impressive.  Jim Weaver's JavaFX demo was thought-provoking, and I suspect that Bill Venners' Scalatest demo spoke to more than just Java developers.  Andres Almiray's enthusiasm for Groovy/Griffon was contagious.  And Chris Smith's "Evil Genius with F#" was well-planned and interesting.  We were also really lucky to get the Java Posse to come to CodeMash, both for their panel discussion and their sessions.  Joe Nuxoll's Photoshop for Engineers and Engineering vs. Design sessions were well-attended and offered insight that I haven't previously seen at CodeMash.  Dick Wall did "Funky Java, Objective Scala" which was both fun and interesting, offering functional aspects of Java and object-oriented aspects of Scala.  Carl Quinn rounded out the Posse talks with his on Tools in the Trenches.

Of course, there were many sessions that I regret missing, such as James Ward's Agile Toolchain for Flex and Barry Hawkins' "User Stories: Closing the Agile Loop".  I also missed various iphone and Cocoa development sessions, by both Chris Adamson and Daniel Steinberg, and Nick Siegler's talk on JRuby. And many more.

I'm already looking forward to CodeMash 2011. In the meantime, there are some interesting community-driven conferences coming up.  On March 13, you can attend "2010 Michigan: Agile and Beyond" in Dearborn.  The early bird rate on that ends soon (February 10!), so register soon to get $29 registration rather than the regular rate of $99.  After the very successful 1DevDay in 2009, I've heard rumblings of that conference returning in 2010.  Watch the Detroit Java User Group for announcements there.  And, of course, don't miss the Java Posse Roundup in Crested Butte, CO.  It runs March 15-19, with the first day dedicated to "Alternate Languages on the JVM".  There's graduated pricing on the Roundup, so the sooner you know you want to go, the better!

This week, being the first of the month, is a busy one for user group meetings in Ann Arbor.  Tomorrow night, the Ann Arbor Study Group features Django.  This interactive learning experience will be led by Darrell Hawley, and hosted at SRT Solutions ( 206 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 200, Ann Arbor).   The Ann Arbor Computer Society hosts Aaron Thul for Postgres SQL on Wednesday, February 3.  On Thursday, join the Michigan Python User Group in their monthly meeting/discussion.  Both of these events will be hosted at SRT Solutions as well.