CodeStock Postmortem

Another CodeStock has come and gone, and it seems that we can;t go to an event without having some stories.  CodeStock has provided in so many ways.  Let’s take a look at some of the highlights

Can I Get A Push?

This year for CodeStock, I drove up with my friend Joel Cochran.  Knoxville is about 9 hours away from my area, and I had to drive through Joel’s city in order to get to Knoxville.  It only made sense to stop and hitch a ride.

This particular story starts around the Virginia and Tennessee border.  We were cruising along, and I glanced over at Joel’s gas gauge.  The exchange went as so:

Me: Joel, it looks like you’ll need gas.  Might want to stop. Joel: Ah, yeah.  If we get gas in the next half hour or so we’ll be fine.

Fast forward…. 25 minutes.  We pulled into a gas station.  It was a small mom and pop gas station.  An older gentleman was blocking Joel, and slowly limped into the gas station.  Joel decided that it wasn’t worth the time to wait and said, “We’ll just go up to the next exit.”

Half way to the next exit…

Joel: The accelerator’s not responding. Me: What?

The car sputtered and coasted.  We rode it on the shoulder for as long as it would go.  Eventually, we pulled to a stop on the side of the road.

Sitting on the side of the interstate gives you sometime to think.  For example, I was thinking about why they put gas indicators on dashboards.  Also, why do I choose to ride with Joel when I know that something is going to happen (just kidding)?

What did we do instead of just walking to the gas station?  We decided to push the car the mile and half towards the exit.  Did I mention we had to go uphill and it was about 105 degrees in the sun?

Moral of the story: don’t ride with Joel, and obey the gas light.

The CodeStock Experience

CodeStock was in a new venue this year, the UT Conference Center.  Not only was the venue terrific, but the conference hotel was directly across the street!  For those who’ve never been, CodeStock is a two day event.  Unlike most code camps, CodeStock requires a nominal fee (less than $100) for attending.  However, what you get is worth more than what you would get at Tech-Ed.

My session was on the second day, and I presented on jQuery.  I got a lot of good feedback and I really hope people enjoyed it.  In addition to my talk, I attended talks on Multi-touch, embracing my failures, how to run a great conference, etc.

I spent a little bit of time in open spaces this year, less than normal.  Overall, I was disappointed with Open Spaces at CodeStock this year.  For being in a central location of the conference, it was relatively under attended.  Instead, most of the great conversations happened in the atrium outside the open spaces room.

Lunch was awesome.  Instead of a single lunch session, there were two lunch sessions.  This worked very well seeing as there was no rush to get food.  Going through the line took a matter of minutes, and then people went to sessions.  Conference catering rocked, and was delicious!

Rachel Appel gave a great keynote on Friday night.  Listening to her, Andrew Duthie, Jennifer Marsman, and several others talk about community made me feel extremely proud to be a part of something so awesome (like 10 million hot dogs awesome).

After Parties

The best part of the conferences happen after the conference ends for the day.  Thursday night we hung out in downtown Knoxville.  I was able to meet several people I only knew through Twitter.  We had great conversations and truly brought the experience together.  Friday night we hung out in the hotel and played guitars.  Saturday night we hung out at Alan Steven’s house for PostStock.  If your going straight home after the conference, you’re missing half the fun!

CodeStock was a blast, and I can’t wait to go back next year.  Next year I’m flying.

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