Codestock 2010 Made Me a Liar!

by Aaron 30. June 2010 10:06

Or maybe it made me more of a liar.  I'd tell you which, but could you really trust that I was telling you the truth?

You're here though because of the interesting title, and now you want to know how Codestock 2010 made me a liar.  I rode down to Knoxville with Rick Kierner.  I turned to Rick, and I said, "I'm not going to write a blog post about Codestock.  Why would I do something like that when there are so many other people writing about the conference.  There's no need for ANOTHER person to add to that."

"Then Aaron, why are you writing a blog post about Codestock???"  Because this was the best conference experience that I've had since I started regularly attending conferences three years ago.  In fact, the first conference experience to start it off was Codestock 2008.

There are a couple of things that made this the best experience for me.  One of them is me.  I'm not being arrogant, self-centered, egotistical, or whatever term you may think of.  This conference, I went out of my way to make sure that I introduced myself to people.  So instead of being some creepy, awkward guys hanging out nearby, contributing to your conversations once in a while, I made sure that you had a name to put to that creepy, awkward face hanging out nearby...

Seriously, I'm a shy person.  I like to meet people, but I usually let people approach me.  Jeremiah Peschka wrote a blog post about doing just that.  It felt good, and nobody rejected me.  That's the real fear right?  Rejection?  Even the people that really are full of themselves will talk to you.  You may just get tired of hearing about them and how great they are is all.  But again, they're not rejecting you, and you've just potentially made a friend.

The other thing that made this experience great is the people.  That was the real theme for the conference this year: community.  I spent time with people that I have met briefly in the past at previous events, and spent time with people that I met for the first time at this one.  I feel like I really got to know people this year, and that they got to know me too.  It was great!

I'll be honest about my attending sessions.  I went to sessions in most time slots on the first day, but only half of one on the second.  The sessions aren't what bring me to conferences though.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy most of them and get good information from some of them.  For example, Dane Morgridge's session on Entity Framework 4 was totally worthwhile.  This goes back to loving the conference for the people, but later he went out of his way to let me know that he was prepping a blog post on how to use the Entity Framework Repository & Unit of Work T4 Template that he created and put on CodePlex.  It's possible that he just remembered my face because I was in the front row, but I hope he told me about it because I was genuinely interested in the subject and asked questions during his talk.

Some may ask why I don't just go to the area that the conference is being held instead of paying the money for the conference itself.  The answer is, while I feel that most of the time sessions are too low-level for me to really gain anything from them, I do still get a sense of what the community is interested in and the direction the technology I work with is heading.  Plus, they typically provide lunch, there are prize giveaways, and the people are inside the building where I wouldn't be able to get to talk otherwise.

Speaking of giveaways, this was one of my lucky days.  I'm used to winning nothing, or even a book.  Which I love getting the books.  I do actually read them.  This year though, I won the Telerik Ultimate Collection.  Will I use any of that stuff, or will it just sit around collecting dust?  Hells yeah I'm going to use it! That's right: I just used "hells yeah" in a blog post sentence.  I'm going to write blog posts as I evaluate some of the products in it, like JustCode, which I will start using instead of CodeRush Express.

To wrap this up, I loved Codestock this year.  I'm going to make an effort to continue going every year, while it's around.  I'm also going to continue "coming out of my shell" and spending time with new and old acquaintances at conferences (not just Codestock).  I loved the experience so much that I had to write a blog post about it, making me a liar.

But please don't hate me because I'm now a liar (or more of one).  Hate me because when I buy anything at PetSmart, when the pay terminal asks me if I would like to donate money to help homeless animals, I select "no thanks."

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