I really love CodeMash. It is by far one of the most fun and interesting events that I get the opportunity to attend during the year; and it happens on my birthday, so its doubly fun.
My main focus this year was Mobility as I am really diving head first into the mobile application development. I got the chance to meet a lot of amazing people and attend some amazing sessions on HTML5 for offline mobile app development and my first real look at MonoDroid.
I am making a promise to myself this year that I will learn about HTML5, it really appears that it will be an essential skills, regardless of what area of programming you are using. I got a chance to see it in action with JQuery touch, and thus another chance to kick myself for not making enough time to fully explore JQTouch.
MonoDroid shows great promise, though still not mature enough where I would consider it a viable alternative to Java programming. The biggest problem for them, that I see, at the moment is the necessity to include the Mono framework with the apps. I don’t agree with this approach and I have every confidence that they will change this. If you look at MonoTouch, Mono is not required for those apps, thus the same should be true for Droid apps.
That said, it amazes me how much cleaner .NET code looks compared to most other languages. Looking at an Android app being developed with Mono compared to Java is like comparing a Picasso to an amateur painting. It just feels so much nicer with the bevy of language features provided by .NET.
Outside of the sessions, I got meet a lot of consulting companies and other vendors whose products I use; really nice to put a face with those products and see what’s in store for the future, ReSharper 6 looks amazing.
However, the conference would not have been complete without the standard competition for prizes where developers choose to make fools of themselves for prizes. This year Quick Solutions brought a Kinect to the conference and challenged developers to go for high scores and win cash prizes. In the end, despite having the highest qualifying score, I came in second when we played the hardest Reflex Ridge level from Kinect Adventures. But honestly, I was fine with it, really loved the guys I met and the other competitors were just awesome.
SmashDroid also did very well, though not as well as I had hoped. Some small problems with the app, but overall it was stable and did its job. But the clock timer didn’t always work. In the end, it really validated that I need to take a new approach to notifying users with more a service based loop approach.
But CodeMash is CodeMash and it just gets better every year. Great sessions, great people, great times. Awesome. Thanks to everyone for attending and I will see you all next year.