June 25/26 brought the annual CodeStock event. A big congrats to Michael Neel, the East Tennessee .Net Users Group and the volunteers for their hard work and dedication. As you will note from the previous post I had the honor of being chosen to present two sessions. I appreciate everyone who showed up and participated, lots of great questions and interaction. The new venue at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville really worked out well. The hotels were across the street, and there were plenty of places to eat within short walking distance. The conference center easily held the over 450 attendees, it never felt cramped our crowded.
Thanks also to the many great sponsors for their support. RecruitWise, for their taking the main sponsorship should get a special shout out. I also got to spend some time with the great folks from both TechSmith and DevExpress, it’s great to get to know the people who make the tools you use to get your job done. I had the best seat at dinner one night, sitting right between @BetsyWeber (TechSmith) and @RachelHawley (DevExpress).
I spent quite a bit of time in Open Spaces and “The Lounge” as we began to call it, the area in the lobby with comfy chairs where we gathered in informal discussion. Lots of great topics, including global teams, professionalism, going independent, and much more. I also participated in a open spaces session where Hal Rottenberg did a group discussion and recorded it for his PowerScripting podcast. (Great podcast for learning more about PowerShell, I’ve been listening for quite a while.)
I attended a few sessions when I wasn’t participating in Open Spaces or presenting myself. Jennifer Marsman’s session on VS2010 Tools for Architecture, Modeling and Visualization was quite interesting. I also got a lot of really good ideas from Tim Corbett’s session on the structure of the RDL/RDLC file.
My favorite session though had to be Steve Andrews’ session on T4. If you’ve never heard of T4, it is a code generation language built right into Visual Studio 2008/2010, and available as a download for 2005. It’s easy to use yet also very powerful. There’s also some T4 libraries you can download that will make using T4 easy to use. I can’t wait to begin using this for some of my SQL Server database projects I do with Visual Studio Database Developer (Data Dude). Check out Steve’s blog for more info on T4.
Of course my favorite part had to be “PostStock”, the party hosted by @AlanStevens and his lovely wife. It was quite nice, for the bulk of the evening we sat on his front porch having great conversations. Naturally technology was a frequent topic, but we also touched on other topics such as the importance of family and the epicurean delights from fine food, wine and cigars. Somewhere after midnight we relocated to the Stevens backyard and gathered around the fire pit. (Not too closely, it was pretty hot.) Alan and Steve Andrews broke out their guitars and serenaded us with song after song. The highlight was when they did a rousing rendition of “Code Monkey”.
CodeStock is an awesome event, I’ve been the last few years and will continue to attend. See you at CodeStock 2011!