I just got back yesterday from CodeMash 188.8.131.52, held annually each January in Sandusky, Ohio at the Kalahari Water Park Resort.
I saw a lot of great sessions, but I focused mostly on a couple of topics. I really enjoyed the sessions on algorithms, parallel programming, and Netflix’s use of AWS. I attended an evangelical (in a good way) session by @jonkruger on Ruby on Rails from a .NET developer’s perspective. I also worked through a bunch of Ruby Koans during the PreCompiler. This is the year I’m going to build some Ruby on Rails projects.
Another favorite session was Functional Programming for Everyday .NET Development by @jeremydmiller. I met him the previous CodeMash in an Open Spaces session on FubuMVC. This year, his presentation on applying functional programming techniques to everyday C# programming was among the most informative and useful for my day job.
An early session on the first day, Asymptotics and Algorithms, by @garyshort was a lot of fun. I dredged up old CS undergrad knowledge as he walked through Big-O notation and measuring some sort algorithms. In fact, his presentation was better than the one I remember receiving in school.
The other keynote I loved was by Scott Chacon (@chacon) of GitHub on what he called the “Developer Driven Development” philosophy of GitHub and why it works. It was an inspiring talk with the core being that the three things that motivate creative work are autonomy, mastery, and purpose and the Open Source way of doing development with decentralized, autonomous developers who can choose when, where, and what to work on is a great model for emphasizing those motivators. It works for GitHub and it an work for you.
I may have more detailed write-ups later, but I wanted to get some initial wrap-up thoughts down while they were still fresh in my mind. I highly recommend this conference. This was my fifth year attending and next year will hopefully be my sixth.