Indy Code Camp 2008

The first ever Indy Code Camp was last weekend so I don’t feel as bad being late in blogging about it.  I don’t recall where I came across the event, but I’m glad I did.  Aaron Lerch and the staff did a really good job with the event.  The facility they have for the IndyNDA and the event was awesome.  I wish we had something similar around Cincinnati (if you know of one, let me know!).  Something like this would be great for events.

I met Joe Wirtley and Dan Hounshell in Harrison and we rode over to Indy together.  This time I actually got to sleep in compared to the prior weekend for the Central Ohio Day of .NET.  We arrived a few minutes after the event started so the halls were pretty bare with all the attendees in the sessions. 

I met Aaron at the check in and then ran into Dan Rigsby who led us back to the speaker table.  Joe and Dan settled into the speaker table and I stepped in to Bill Steele’s talk on Office 2007 development. 

Next I sat in on Joe Wirtley’s talk on WPF for Developers.  I had missed this at CODODN, so it was great to catch it here.  It was a good presentation and got a little more in depth than the “whizz-bang” WPF demos I’ve seen previously.  Joe was trying a new approach to his presentations and I think it turned out quite well.  Since Dan and Joe spoke at the same time I wasn’t able to make Dan’s talk…sorry Dan.

I sat out the next session to talk to some of the speakers and I met Brad Jones, the Indy .Net group’s leader.  I enjoy talking to other user group leaders for ideas and see how they run things.  IndyNDA has about 100 members show up every month!  CINNUG is averaging around 35 and I’d like to push 50 by the end of the year.  Sounds like we need another membership drive. :)  I also met Jeff Moser and got more of a chance to talk to Michael Neel.  Somehow I missed introducing myself to Chad Campbell who was there speaking.  Chad came to speak at CINNUG last year the month I was on vacation.

During lunch a few of the speakers commandeered a table in one the session rooms to eat.  Alan Stevens, Jeff McWherter, Michael Eaton, Dan, Joe and I chowed down on some pizza and talked about all sorts of things.

After lunch, which was supplied by Bill Steele (and I’m assuming Microsoft), I sat in on Dan Rigsby’s talk on Agile Project Management with Scrum.  About half of the company I work for has had Scrum training and I wasn’t able to make it.  Dan had a great intro to the techniques.  I left a little early from this session to prep for my own.

My talk went well, at least the five people in the room seemed to be interested (to be honest there were six attendees in the room, but one was about 11 years old and he was working on his laptop). :)  I had a lower attendance than expected, but I blame my session title.  “Be a Rules Follower” just doesn’t have the same draw as something like “Deep Dive into TDD with the ASP.NET MVC Framework”.  I had tough competition also speaking the same time as Alan Stevens, Michael Eaton and Dan Rigsby.  To be fair I got a lot of good questions from the people in my talk and continued those conversations after the talk as well.  I need to work my session titles.

I skipped out on the last session because I got into a couple of good conversations with some of the attendee.  The first conversation was with a gentleman about the WF Rules Engine.   He had been putting together a type of rules system for his work for the past few years.  Turns out that after discussing it with him that WF wouldn’t have been that efficient for him given he was working with large sets of a data at a time.  After that talk I spoke with another one of the attendees who came to my talk for quite a while.  He was just getting back into the development world and it was a great conversation about finding resources and learning.

The raffle was last with both Dan and Joe winning some software.  We met up with several of the other speakers and some attendees/staff over at Champps for an after event party.  I didn’t get a chance to hear much of the conversation beyond my end of the table, but I really enjoyed it.  Alan Stevens, Michael Eaton, Dan Hounshell and I talked for quite some time before I realized we still had a two hour trip home.

Once again I got in late after the event.  Dan and Joe were troopers despite the fact I told them that they had to stay awake in order to keep me awake.

I’m looking forward to next year.  Thanks to the Indy Code Camp staff!  It was a great event!  I appreciated the opportunity to come speak.