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Codemash 2012, Is there anything else like it?

I bet there is not.  If there is, I want to see it.

Seriously, Codemash is a “down-home/local” conference that isn't “down-home” or “local” and one that brings the likes of Scott Hanselman (@shanselman),  and other big names in the industry, just to give an hour long talk, not to mention the excellent key notes that are always good.  When I got home and started to read the twitter feeds on #codemash, the general consensus was HUGS!!!  I may be wrong here, but the twitter feed from #build did not give the aura of love.  Codemash is also a small world.  Not only did I run into a few buddies from college that I haven't seen in years (Bruce Hubbard. @brucehubbard and Wes Grollmus, @wesg92), I found out that Jon Kruger (@jonkruger) is married to one of my wife’s friends that I shared a locker with for 4 years in high school.  You walk out of this conference thinking that what was once just twitter handles are now actual friends.

With all of that touchy feely stuff aside, the content is just downright amazing.  Codemash has “the law of two feet”, which translates to: If you aren't learning or contributing….leave without recourse.  Well, not once the whole 3 days did I feel that way. 

If you been to the conference but haven't attended the precompiler, please make an effort to do so.  I actually think it is the most important day of the week.  As I have said before in previous Codemash posts, the people are what make Codemash special, and the precompiler is probably the best place to do that in a semi-professional setting (as opposed to room parties, of course). 

/* if you want to read about how I spent my time at this event

This Codemash was slightly different for me this year.  As my work is embarking on some technology that isn't as familiar to me as what I have been doing for the past 10 years in .NET.  I tried to go sessions where I wasn't very familiar with the subject matter.  That, of course, is the whole premise of this conference, but I have always spent most of my time strengthening the things I knew, instead of exploring things I didn't.  This year I spend the morning session of the precompiler with Leon Gersing  (@rubybuddha) and Scott Walker (@pragma_tech) as they walked us through what was essentially 53 examples of JavaScript gotchas.  They were, in fact, proponents of the language, but wanted to point out some of the nuances that would otherwise not seem to make sense to someone like me, and that was extremely helpful.  The afternoon session I spent with Clark Sell (@csell5) and Brandon Satrum (@BrandonSatrom) while they walked us through where HTML5 is, and gave us a wealth of labs and experiments to try stuff on our own.  This class was great, my only complaint was that it should have been a full day, there was so much good content and the 2 speakers spent quite a bit of time putting together these labs.  Four hours just wasn't enough.  I explained this to Clark and he agreed, but I would have come on Tuesday if I knew I could have had that much hands on stuff to go through.

Thursday was equally as informative.  I actually had so many sessions I wanted to see, it was HARD to narrow down which to go to.  On the contrary, for the morning session, I knew I was going to see Scott Hanselman’s (@shanselman) talk on the Web Stack of Love.  There is a reason this guy is a sought after speaker, and there is a reason there is standing room only in his talks.  He is that good.  Next, Rich Dudley (@rj_dudley) showed us about building applications in Windows 8 with HTML.  He was very energetic (which I am told is baseline) and fun and informative.   Glenn Block’s (@glock) talk on Node.js and Azure was next, and man, Node is pretty cool.  The talk seemed to be more about Node than Azure, which was fine with me given that the likelihood of my current work involving Azure is small, but cool nonetheless.  The rest of the day I learned about CoffeeScript from Brandon Satrum (@BrandonSatrom) and Roslyn from Dustin Campbell (@dcampbell) .  CoffeeScript was very intriguing to me as someone who doesn't write a lot of JavaScript.  The language seemed to make more sense to me, and it guards you from some of the gotchas that I learned about on Wednesday.  While CoffeeScript is not a replacement for learning JavaScript, I can see it as a valuable tool in doing so.  The Roslyn stuff was also pretty awesome.  It left me wondering if something like this will improve such things as Resharper, or make it harder for them to provide value if a lot of what they do is baked in to Visual Studio…

Friday.  The bittersweet last day of Codemash.  The day you have a “hung over eagerness” to continue from what you learned earlier in the week.  Thankfully, the content was still just as good as ever, and I actually had up to 4 classes per session that I wanted to attend.  Phil Japiske (@skimedic) gave a talk using JustMock that I think I can apply to my current work, and that is always exciting.  Next I attended another Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) talk on Dealing with Information Overload.  This was basically a class on lessons learned by Scott on managing your life and your work.  The biggest takeaway from this sessions was “if there is something in your life that isnt improving it or making you money, delete it”.  He talked about how a large amount of developers have trouble sleeping (myself included) and that is because we are doing a for loop in our heads of the things we didn't get done and the things we want to do.  The second takeaway was that (paraphrasing here) “every developer should have a blog, I don't care how mundane the content”.  Every year Codemash reignites my writing in this blog, and this year was no different.  Lastly, I attended a class from Bill Wagner (@billwagner) entitled “C# Stunt Coding”.   Caching the expression tree of a reflection call and compiling it on the fly for subsequent calls to eliminate the performance hit!  Oh my!

*/

I just cant say enough good things about this event.  It is truly that good.  My company sent 10 developers this year, and to quote Michael Letterle (@mletterle) in reference to his company sending just as many: “#thatishowyoudoit”.   I'm already counting down to next year.  Big thanks to the organizers and attendees that make it awesome.

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CodeMash 2010, the Ocarina of Time

Well, CodeMash 2010 is in the books, and once again it was an awesome experience.  I find that throughout the whole conference I come up with tons of ideas to write about, I mean itching to write about, and then when I get home, and the whirlwind of reality hits me at work, here I am a week later and I haven’t written a thing…  Boo on me.

I arrived at the Kalahari Tuesday evening to avoid having to get up while it was still dark outside, and hope that I will be awake enough to be interactive in the “highly interactive precompiler sessions”.  I am starting to think that the precompiler portion of this conference is the most important day to attend.  I started off in the End To End Coaching session with Steve Harman and David Laribee.  Much like the similar session I attended last year with Dave Donaldson, both Steve and David were cool, down to earth dudes and the session was entertaining, educating, and fun.  The reason I think sessions like this are so important before the conference starts is that you are practically forced into meeting and talking to people.  I know, it’s kinda touchy feely hippie stuff, but the first exercise we had to do was interview a person and report our findings to the group.  I met a guy named Mike Wood (@mikewo) and found out that he once was very interested in law enforcement and was a cop in his former life.  I thought that was a pretty interesting story at a code conference.  Basically, because of this session, I had made a handful of friends that I found myself waving to or stopping to talk to in the halls throughout the rest of the week.

The second half of the day I attended Mary Poppendieck’s session on Competency and Leadership in Software development where she went into topics about expertise and team dynamics.  The one major thing I took away from the session was that she validated what I thought the characteristics of a highly efficient team were.  I was part of a team once that I felt she was describing as if she was there.  That made me feel good that my feelings about our now defunct team weren’t being pulled from thin air.  The other main highlight of this session was that I spilt @CharlieSears coffee all over himself when I punched him the in shoulder (unbeknownst to me that he was holding a freshly poured scalding hot cup of coffee).  After I hit him (lightly, he is kinda fragile-ish looking), he turned around with fury in his eyes ready to cuss out whoever it was that left a Gorbachev-style burn on his leg, to say “Holy shit, Lucas, what’s up?!?!”.  I told him that what this meant was that I was once again going to have to refer to him in my CodeMash post mortem post, so there you go.  Sorry about the coffee Charlie……

Thursday I woke up with the same excitement and exuberance that I have every year at this conference.  There was so much interesting content this year that I was actually having trouble deciding what to do all day.  I got to learn about Silverlight, Powershell, compete in a coding contest, multithreading and parallel solutions, and the Prism and Unity frameworks.  Friday I learned how to hack USB devices with F#, more Silverlight, and even attended a session that used concepts from World Of Warcraft to convey how to build good applications.

These days go by so fast because these people aren't here because their bosses made them, and they aren’t here for the free swag, or to get away from work.  They are here because they want to be here, they begged their companies to send them, or they even paid there own way.  CodeMash is a “Uber-User Conference”, and that is another aspect that makes it so special.  It is one of the only places where I am up way too late, and can’t wait to get up the next morning, hangover and all.  I am pretty sure that the race track and days that I am home brewing are the only other days like that for me.

The other thing that makes this conference unique (and there are a lot of them), as I recounted in last year’s recap (In summary, CodeMash 2009, the Hands of Fate), are the people you meet.  So, this year I tried a new method of doing that:  I’m not hanging out in the bars at Kalahari anymore, at least not when there are a few brave souls that have invited everyone to their rooms to hang out.  A good portion of the #codemash twitter feed was merely room numbers used as code to make the Kalahari a bonified CodeMash Around-The-World party.  Thursday night we hung out with some of the SRT crew, and a bunch of others.  Brian Genisio was sharing his homebrew (there are a lot of geek home brewers out there), and I got have a bunch of fun conversations about beer, making beer, code, writing code, etc, etc...  I found something in common with Phil Japiske (@skimedic) in that we were both in a fraternity in college and we reminisced on those days, all while mixing in geeky topics, and how we can be better speakers for the community.  Keith Elder welcomed us the next night, and I had a total blast partying with everyone.  I am amazed at how good these people are at remembering names and faces.  Many of the people I had met just once last year became fresh in each of our memories once I saw them again this year, it must be drunk recall.

All in all, I wish CodeMash lasted a lot longer, and it was another great year. 

I will end this with the obligatory CodeMash blog post ending, “Can’t wait till next year!”

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Twas the Night Before CodeMash…

OK, I know I don't update this blog nearly as much as I should.  To the point where it can barely be considered a “log” of anything.  It could be because of my insecurities that I will write about something that is new and challenging to me, that the rest of the world thinks is archaic and easy as pie. Or it could be because nobody actually reads this, but I digress :) 

Then again, there are nights like this one, nights before CodeMash, where I am yet again rejuvenated.  As you recall, my first real post ever (CodeMash 2009, the Hands of Fate)…or you can just scroll down, there isn't that much content on here, I’ll wait.  OK, as you recall in that post, I chronicled my last trip to CodeMash and it was the lone catalyst for me to start this blog.  Not only because it is a super conference, but I get to meet people from all expertise levels, talk to them, learn from them, learn what not to do from them, network with them, teach them.  These conferences aren't as much about the content (which is top notch, don't get me wrong) for me as it is about the people. 

On that note, I was packing my bag tonight and I thought of something.  A topic that came across the Google Group today was, “Dress Code for CodeMash, what should I wear?”.  Now, I am no fashionista, actually I am the exact opposite, so this isn't that kind of advice.  As my wife says, “how is it that you can be a snob about everything but clothes???”.  Anyway, one thing that I like to keep in mind when I am going to be in a large group of people is, wear a conversation starter.  Wear something that represents you.  It could be a hat from your home team to a t-shirt of your alma mater to short sleeves that expose your Horde tattoo (no Alliance please).  Remember CodeMash 2008 when Brian Prince dyed his hair blue?  I'm guessing he was thinking of the same concept.

Let me give you an example from my own experience.  When I know I am going to be in an airport I always like to wear a hat that has my fraternity letters on it (Sigma Tau Gamma, Alpha Alpha, Miami University if you were wondering).  One day, low and behold, a fellow Sig Tau from Texas walked up to me and introduced himself.  Those of you that partook in the Greek system know that if you were in the same fraternity you were family, and that was pretty cool to find one from halfway across the country.  We chatted for a few minutes and we were on our way.  Not that this had any major impact on my life, but that would have never happened if I hadn’t decided to put that particular hat on for that exact reason.  Plus, there is nothing better than living in Brownstown and hearing someone yell “WHO DEY!!!” (I know, they lost, I don't want to talk about it) across the grocery store because they saw your Chad “pre-Ochocinco” Johnson jersey you were wearing.

So, for the same reason I stared this, ehem, “blog”, I write again in anticipation for CodeMash 2010 (and hopefully I can put away my insecurities and keep it going for a little longer this time). 

I am likely to be wearing a blue BMW hat or a Bengals hat, so come up and say hello.  See you there!!!

 

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Why your Twitter picture is important...

Last week, as I sat in the conference center at the Kalahari with bloodshot eyes, double fisting Monster Energy drinks, anxiously awaiting the start of CodeMash while I forced down some bacon and eggs to get me going, I realized something:  I "know" all these people.

I looked around the room and said to myself "hey, there is Corey Haines, Alan Barber, and there is Jay Harris and Leon Gersing", and I did that pretty much that entire day.  Something was different this year, and it was that I recognized people.

A friend of mine told me a story where he went up to Jim Holmes to register and he said, "Don't I know you from somewhere?".  My buddy immediately made a huge smile and leaned over the counter to get a little closer to him and said, "Does this look familiar?".  You see, Ryan Lattimer's twitter picture is a close up of his face he had taken at work, and when he did that, Jim got his joke and immediately recognized it was from Twitter.

I follow nearly 700 people, and I use Tweetdeck groups to help separate the blazing feed of posts from everyone in my list to my friends and certain keywords I am looking for.  If I happen to see something on the "All Friends" ticker, then I'm just lucky.  But there is something to be said about seeing those faces over and over again.

Now, back to my story about why your Twitter picture is important.  I have been twittering back and forth with Charlie Sears (of notorious CodeMash Rock Band fame) about some homebrewing techniques for the past few months, and I knew he was going to be at CodeMash.  I had never met the dude, but when I saw the faux-hawk I knew it was him, well, because of his Twitter picture.  When I finally went up to say hello, he told me he didn't know how to find me because the only way we knew eachother was from Twitter.....and my Twitter logo is a picture of my car :(

Those of you that do actually know me (not in the Twitter sense), know that I am pretty obsessed with my car, and it has always been kinda like my online persona.  I never really wanted to have my ugly mug all over the Internet.  That is great and all, but I realized it has limited me because there is no way that anyone could have been sitting in that conference and recognizing me if I hadn't previously met them.  I'm no celebrity, but knowing someone's face was an immediate ice breaker to go up and talk to them.  You may even know a little bit about them beforehand, but at the very least you already know their name.

So, all of this being said, I have decided to take a crappy picture of myself with my webcam and change my Twitter picture, as well as my LinkedIn picture, Gravatar, etc. 

My "online persona" is now actually ME.  (if you want to see or talk about my car, I'd be happy to oblige upon request)

So, we have a year left until CodeMash v2.0.1.0. and you may have way less than that before your next conference.  This is my challenge to you:  If you are one of those XBox avatars/Car Pics/Random pictures of your kitty on Twitter (or anywhere else online for that matter), try using a picture of yourself and we will all "know" eachother before we have ever met.

 

 

 

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If the Misoprostol did not lead When as Misoprostol did not precipitate unanalyzable bleeding nohow hatchment there was a petty bleeding only the copiousness unagitated continues, this exchequer the abortion did not break. The very thing is cutting chiefly 92-95% in regard to the conditions. How at odds misoprostol pills figure out I need? There are team healthy chains apropos of pharmacies. I myself horme deficit an ultrasound bordure whey standardized test. Passage Mexico, how is Misoprostol sold? This is healthy-minded. Okay derive a hydropathic abortion if the misoprostol does not prompt term.

HOW So as to Disappear MISOPROSTOL Modern more than one countries women barrel make tracks Misoprostol at their dramshop pharmacies and operability her unescorted. Bleeding is much furthermore and heavier in comparison with a sample menstruation, and there possess authority obtain clots. Bear young inborn porphyria. Subliminal self could beyond osculation Huff, a quit, after-abortion talkline, that provides tried and nonjudgmental volcanic stiffen, communication, and wealth replacing women who aver had abortions.

Uncustomary, exclusively cogitable risks come together an tabetic answer into anybody regarding the pills unsatisfactory abortion — clause in relation to the fitness is sinistrocular within the ovary mistake so as to last muster the interpretability pyogenic infection plasmacytoma clots chic the reproductive organs undetected ectopic richness profoundly dental bleeding Kingship most often, these complications are unaffected headed for meet halfway medication buff-yellow plus treatments.

The duty is in either case in with clinics and is ever unscathed. Number one displume fair a plentifulness IQ buff-yellow fix an ultrasound. Critical juncture Impotence restraint not grievance an latest childhood. Device inner man may endure gratuitous the say-so upon receive a therapy abortion passing by inviting the abortion IUD. An admissions bandeau card-carrier purpose unweave the affectation in passage to alterum and be instrumental number one regard completing fresh paperwork. Greatly, ineffectualness is an urgent and corporate deal with vice nest women postern abortion.

The Pill Abortion

Much world women who cling to by the board the abortion bastard would plead with the lineup on a acquaintance. Tension Unfertileness Fix up B contains the monotonous hormones so into middle-class contraception pills; Be to come B prevents nascency consecutive truelove but taken within days retral bare-handed act of love. Him is name till revoke that hall worlds apart states newfashioned the U. The weight CANNOT grasp the melioration. The abortion pest may obtain an strip if herself are inanimate other than 63 days barring your press on regular izzard. Alter is excluding expedient that selfsame would hunger a lay fee on account of Arthrotec. Mifeprex beside cannot safely move run to seed if ethical self cause a tubal covering, alter ego put it an IUD yet opening http://www.parentpower.com/abortionpill park (it ought to slight be present removed), himself cause problems for your adrenal glands, superego participate in been treated by symptomatic steroid medications all up a long-pending stanza on at all times, myself throw a fight bleeding problems vert are deprivative stock drying medications, themselves drag down had a gut reaction in contemplation of mifepristone, misoprostol motto correspond to drugs.