We just pulled off our first Code Camp in Southern California and if I do say so myself - it rocked! Not only because we had great speakers, great sessions, and a fantastic organizational staff and volunteers...but because we also had a GEEK dinner and put on a fun show with some rock bands.
Things that stood out for me at our Code Camp:
- We had sessions on everything from .NET/ASP.NET and WinFX (W*F) technologies to Java, Ruby on Rails, test driven development, VSTS and more. I expect the future events to increase in size, and include even more platforms and community integration.
- The community that attended ranged from LA to San Diego...and we had several from out of state on the speaker roster as well like Rick Strahl and Rory Blyth. So, at the next event in San Diego (late June is the current target)...we are hoping to inspire folks from OC and LA to make the trek...more sessions, more speakers, more music!!!
- Attendees seemed to really enjoy the event...lots of great feedback...and the main request: more, more, more...we'll be looking to add BOF sessions for open discussions, and panels with a mix of speakers to make for interesting forums for comparison.
- ROCK & ROLL - we put on a geek dinner, and I had the fun of organizing the bands...through my Stuntmusician project. A band I had interviewed last August, Killola, agreed to come down and play at our dinner...they put on a great performance (of course, I already knew they were awesome live!) and after that, we had a jam band made up of Paul Sheriff (drums), Dave McCarter (bass/rhythm), Brad Smith (drums/bass/vocals) and my brother Paul Leroux (lead guitar/vocals). Actually, my brother helped me organize the sound gear order, setup logistics for the band, and was nice enough to participate in the jam as a ringer, since he actually is a rock musician (EvilDoers) in Toronto. They played some Van Halen, Ramones, Led Zepellin and more...and they sounded great after practicing ahead their parts, then getting together at Paul Sheriff's house Friday night to practice together. I taped it, we'll have video for some of the practice and live show posted soon...
It was great fun working with Woody Pewitt, Daniel Egan, Mark Rosenberg and Brian Maso to organize this event. And I'm already working with three other conferences to supply great independent bands to play (info to come...) which is really excited because that was a ton of fun to put together...plus I'm a big fan of indie bands, they need our love. Killola sold some CDs at the show, and I for one want to thank those that supported the band who volunteered their time and effort to drive 1 hour to the event and give up a Saturday night playing in LA. I'm telling you, this band is constantly playing, and just produced a full length CD (www.killola.com) that rocks.
You might be seeing them and others at future geek events, in particular code camps :)
I'll be posting links to my session content next...stay tuned!