CodeMash is a conference that I'm involved with, as an organizer. Next year's event will be held Jan 9-11 (panel discussion the evening of the 9th, with full days on the 10th and 11th), at the same location as the 2007 event: the Kalahari Resort and Indoor Water Park in Sandusky, OH.
CodeMash a cool event, that brings together developers from all different languages, platforms, and technologies, to learn from one another. And, it's priced so that anyone can afford to attend. We know that many companies do not allocate money for training, so we priced CodeMash at the "self-pay" level (it's just $125 for the event, if you sign up by November 15). The registration fee includes meals (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner). HOW can we do this at such a low price, when other conferences charge in the thousands? First, we have an amazing list of sponsors, from small companies to very large ones. Every dollar helps us to put this event together, and we seriously could not do it without our sponsors. And, it's an all volunteer organizational team, and we have worked pretty hard to put this together because we all feel strongly that this benefits the community. We couldn't even REACH our sponsors without our volunteer team, since volunteers even take on the responsibility for contacting and soliciting sponsors. And no, none of us are in sales. We are all developers. We're lucky that our sponsors have been so responsive!
You can see a partial session list at http://codemash.org/SessionList.aspx. We were absolutely overwhelmed by cool talks this time around and we had to turn down some really interesting talks. I am confident that the schedule that we've come up with will be of great interest to our attendees. There will be Java, Python, Ruby, .NET, and many talks on technology in a non-language specific type of way. There will be open spaces where you can propose your own session, and have an interactive conversation with the other attendees rather than listening to a prepared lecture. It's going to be a great event … again.
The family-friendly location (bring the kids! hang out in the water park!) is intentional, and we have introduced "CodeMash Families" for the 2008 event. A volunteer organizer will help families to meet one another and perhaps even have some scheduled activities, if that suits them. This was borne out of last year's experience, where the families who had come along sort of "discovered" one another throughout their time at the Kalahari and eventually introduced themselves.
So anyhow, get in on the early bird pricing. The $125 entry fee expires November 15. I'll certainly blog more about this in the upcoming weeks, as we release the rest of the talks and nail down more information.