CodeMash 2009 – In Review

I had the chance to attend CodeMash 2009 in Sandusky, OH at the Kalahari Resort.  Apart from being truly impressed with such a fantastic venue I had the chance to attend a number of remarkable sessions with some great speakers and enjoy great conversation with a number of influencers in the industry.

Among the topics I had the chance to take in were Microsoft Surface, Test Driven Development, Groovy and Grails, Soft Skills, and Water Sliding.  I mention the last one because the hotel has an awesome and tremendously large indoor waterpark and I had the chance with some downtime on Wednesday to take it all in, complete with at least 10 water slides, many of which are at least 5 stories tall. 

But back to technology, I really did enjoy the Surface presentation the most out of all the great presentations I attended.  It was interesting to see how the NUI style interface is developing and how computer system interfaces have continued to evolve ever closer to the ultimate goal of interacting like real objects, from old Command Line Interface systems, to some of the great Graphic User Interfaces of today, and to the Natural User Interfaces (NUI) of tomorrow. It was especially impressed with how easy it is to convert normal WPF XAML to Surface XAML, it really is no more then including a new namespace and preceding control names with “Surface”.  Special thanks to Jennifer Marsman (@jennifermarsman)

But perhaps the one session that opened my eyes the most was the very first session I attended in which we spoke about Test Driven development and the idea of exploring how a system COULD be laid out through mocking.  Basically starting with no real code, just interface definitions and gaining an understanding of how you could architect the system to determine what makes sense and what does not.  I really wish this was something that we could do in the future at RCM, I think it might help many design a more concise set of rules around their code and build the principles and habit essential to TDD.  Special thanks to Phil Japikse (@skimedic)

But for all the great sessions, CodeMash 2009 would not have been complete without the people and the many friends I have made in the tech community over the past year.  I got a chance to get a hands on lecture about Dependency Injection (using Ninject) from the master himself: Nate Kohari (@nkohari). I got to sit down and eat with some of the greatest minds and the most awesome people, such as Leon from Telligent (@fallenrogue) whom I shared JavaScript horror stories with and talked about Prototype and its future in the industry with the rapid adoption of JQuery.  Everyone was nice, even when I asked them to teach me to play poker, they were nice enough to not take all of my money or laugh when I had to play Rock Band on the easiest settings cause I am terrible, LOL.

In the end, it was a great time with great people and I learned a great deal.  I cant wait to go back to RCM and start to permeate these ideas and explore the new technologies and techniques that I have been exposed to.  And finally, I express my most sincerest and profound gratitude to the innumerable number of volunteers who made it so awesome.  Thank You and we will see you next year.

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One thought on “CodeMash 2009 – In Review

  1. Laying out a system by mocking is a fantastic (and my preferred) method of programming. I used to call it ‘turtles all the way down,’ but I recently found out that the LISP-ers called it ‘programming by wishful thinking’ at least 25 years ago. Google ‘programming by wishful thinking’ and you’ll find some great stuff. Also watch the sicp videos.

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