Another super-duper New England Code Camp has come and gone. Best ever? You betcha! I know it had more attendees and sessions than any that preceded it, but I’ll wait for the official word from Chris Bowen. Check out the photo below of the opening 10-minute welcome session with Chris Bowen and Chris Pels kick-starting the weekend. That’s a lot of geeks!
I spent the first two sessions with Patrick Hynds, Index Optimization and Performance Tuning and What a Developer should know about IIS 7. Patrick is one of those guys that it doesn’t matter what he’s talking about, you just go. After lunch I went to Boyan Kostadinov’s No Pain Database Access with SubSonic. I was so surprised he was using SubSonic on a production app. Then it was my turn with Patterns of Splendor: Advanced CodeSmith. It was a typical Dave Burke presentation: High energy, all code all the time, we covered a lot of material, and I was all over the frickin’ place. A good time was had by all and most people stayed. Then onto Jason Haley’s Extending .Net Reflector: writing your own addins. Jason’s Reflector and Friends: An overview of Lutz Roeder’s .Net Reflector and its add-ins was the same time as my session, which sucked because I really wanted to see it and I knew I would never, ever write a Reflector add-in. If I were to do so, I would know my career had taken a seriously wrong turn somewhere along the way. Still, I wanted to catch my pal Jason in action. To close out Saturday I caught Steve Andrews’s Visual Studio 2008 Tips and Treats. Great session, though many of the tips demonstrated were introduced in 2005, not 2008.
Sunday at Code Camp is always Richard Hale Shaw Day for me. Best Practices in ASP.NET 2.0/3.5: Defending Yourself From Worst Practices and Functional ReFactoring: Adding Clarity and Grace to Your Code started the day. In Functional Refactoring Richard demonstrated a Data Provider framework he recently built for demos that blew me away. There was a session between Refactoring and Richard’s final LINQ isn’t just for Breakfast, anymore: Applying LINQ and Strategies for Migrating to It, and while I should have stayed the extra hour-and-a-half to catch it I wanted to get started on the 4-hour drive back to Burlington to be with my little girl before bedtime.
Technically speaking, you leave New England Code Camp with an enthusiasm about being a .NET developer, wanting to go back home to start a new side project or something. Yet even more important is that you leave each Code Camp with new friends. So here’s my sign-off to friends new and old: Chris L, thanks for saying hello. Steve, love the shaved-head look! Fred, thanks for returning from Syracuse and for bringing television star David Krumholtz back to Code Camp. Mark, thanks for bringing Sean with you from Maine. Sean is one of the most pleasant and friendliest persons I have ever met. Speaking of Maine, thanks for the Great Taste, Less Filling! lunchtime treat Bill, seriously, and for the SOA Sidekick who taught us the valuable lesson that we need a distinctive hat if we want to score points with the presenter. Aaron, another cool business card and good luck with the new venture! Bonster, sorry I missed the blueberry pancakes. Gary, you know I only pretend to not like you. Ex-Navy Pat, you have a great crowded bar voice! Richard N, I wish my last name only had two letters. How cool! Jason H, The Big Switch is in my Amazon Wish List. Rob H, guys with crutches who say they broke their leg in a skiing accident are so sexy. (How did you break your leg, really?) SBC, you’re still too groovy for your own good. And finally, Chris Bowen, that remark at the Westin party about Vermonters not having much experience in social situations was brilliant, but stung me deeply. I’ve gotten over it though. At least you didn’t bad-mouth our cows again.
That’s about it, oh, except for one geeky anecdote. I was standing in line in the bathroom waiting for a urinal to free up when the guy in front of me who I never met turns to me and says, “Dave, may I ask you a question? What’s the best way to handle multiple languages in ASP.NET?” Talking about having celebrity in all the wrong places.