Last week, I had the privilege of delivering two talks at Codestock in Knoxville, TN. I was part of the very first Codestock years ago, and try to attend whenever I can (scheduling conflicts with other events made it so that I could only attend every other year).
One of the best parts of this conference is that it draws in speakers and attendees from such a wide geography. The Great Lakes region was well represented, with the usual cast of characters from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. But, there were also a lot of presenters from New England, East Coast, and the Southern states as well! I often run into these folks individually at various shows, but there's something about Codestock that brings everyone together in one venue.
The trip down started for me as many conference roadtrips do: picking up Mike Eaton, and then spending 8 hours in a car with him. Along the way, we met another speaker from our area, Tim Wingfield, and provided him with transportation from Florence, KY in exchange for much needed harassment of Mike who was driving when we were nearly out of fuel and nowhere near a gas station.
I gave my first talk (Custom Graphics for your Web Application: The HTML5 Canvas and Kinetic.js) to a packed room at 8:30AM on Friday. Despite having 70 minutes, I didn't have the delivery pace tuned well and really could have used about 5 more minutes this time to avoid rushing the last few demos. The audience was great and asked many questions along the way. One person shared details of a project that he was working on that involved the drag/drop of shapes into a process flow type of diagram within the browser. The demos that I presented during this talk are hosted on GitHub: https://github.com/jfollas/CanvasKineticDemo
My second talk (Knave Blackjack: The Story of Writing a Window Store App for Sale) was another 8:30AM session on Saturday. Despite the mantra "Pros Play Hurt", I did not partake in the normal conference tradition of drinking whisky until all hours of the evening the night before. However, the lack of people in the venue that morning seemed to indicate that a lot of attendees did stay out late. The handful of people that attended this talk, however, were very engaged and simply wanted to learn about my experience of submitting apps to the Windows Store because they were interested in writing apps themselves.
Since we needed to get home at a decent hour on Saturday, Mike, Tim, and I had to start back around lunchtime. I managed to be in my bed by 10PM on Saturday, which is a really decent time for me at the end of a roadtrip like this.
This year's Codestock was organized by a new team of people (in the past, the effort was largely performed by Mike Neel himself, from what I understand). There were little snafus leading up to the event, but the conference itself seemed to run very smoothly while I was there. Kudos to the team, and I know that they'll nail all of the little details next year!