Richmond Code Camp 2010.1 Coolness
As I write this, I am at Richmond Code Camp 2010.1. If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I think code camp is a lot of fun, and Richmond is no exception. This is my 4th Richmond Code Camp and it is always a top notch event. This time in particular is special for me because I was asked to be on the Planning Committee.
It’s very cool to watch an event like this build from the inside. It’s probably a little cliche, but you really can’t appreciate all the work it takes to successfully pull off an event like this until you’ve seen it from inside the ropes. And it is truly rewarding to know that I contributed something that was helpful and appreciated. Kudos to the rest of the team: they are very very good at running this event.
I Love Learning
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy a good presentation. I admire people who are knowledgeable enough in a tech area to teach others and are willing to freely do so. I especially appreciate it when that knowledge comes from real world experience. I also think it’s fantastic that so many developers are passionate enough about their craft to spend precious free time coming to code camps and user group meetings.
Even when the presentations are not specifically applicable to my current projects, I still get a lot out of them, but there is nothing like sitting in a presentation on Saturday and being able to use the information on Monday. This time at Richmond, I hit the trifecta: I sat in 3 sessions in a row that will increase my skills and abilities on Monday. Considering I could only attend three because I was presenting at two, this was a real treat.
First was Andy Leonard’s “Database Design for Developers”, where I saw some really cool scripting tricks for SQL database generation. Perfect timing since I am working on just such a project. Second was Dane Morgridge’s presentation entitled “Getting Started with Entity Framework 4” – also perfect timing since I am using EF4 for the first time. Dane and I even got together later and geeked out over using StructureMap for Dependency Injection and a new CodePlex project he’s working on (write up coming soon!) Finally, a great time was had by all in Curtis Mitchell’s session on Distributed Version Control using Mercurial, which I wrote about recently. Thanks to him and Dugald Wilson I finally got my head around branching!
As much as I enjoy presentations, I have to admit I enjoy giving presentations even more. I get a lot out of the experience: honing my skills, considering questions that never occurred to me, camaraderie, meeting people, and the list goes on. Today, though, I experienced some extra coolness in the form of two encounters.
This morning I was standing near the speaker wall looking at the schedule when someone came up and stood next to me. They looked at the wall, they looked at my badge, looked at the wall, looked at my badge, and asked if that was me on the wall. I said yes, and he said “I read your blog!” I think it was the first time I was ever recognized in relation to this blog, and best of all he was very excited about meeting me. He even recalled the series I wrote about taking the Graphics Design class at the local community college. It was a nice experience: he was happy and it made me happy!
Another bit of coolness happened after lunch when I ran into a coder I’ve know for a couple of years but hadn’t seen for a while. I asked how he was doing and what he was working on, and he said that he is the only one in his office who knew anything about Blend, so he was in charge of their current WPF application development. Then he said something way cool: he said he had seen me present a couple of times on Blend, and that it was because of me that he was doing what he id doing now. Wow!
Personally, I’m just blown away: thanks to both of these guys for making today a great day. It means a lot to think that my little contributions are helping people. It really is a true reward.