CodeMash 2015

I had a great time last week at CodeMash 2015!

This year I was priviliged to give two talks. The first one was Asynchronous? Parallel? Reactive? HELP!, a brief introduction and overview of various .NET concurrency libraries and when to use which.

The second talk was on Async Unit Testing. This was the first time I ever gave this talk, and it went quite well! Actually, this talk had quite a bit of personal meaning to me… My very first CodeMash was in 2012, three years ago. I almost did not attend at the last minute because my two-year-old son had been diagnosed with cancer just a month before. I did end up going to CodeMash 2012, and on the spur of the moment, decided to do a lightning talk on Async Unit Testing.

And let me say, unit testing async code is a lot easier in 2015 than in was in 2012! And my son is doing much better now, too! In fact, just about one month after my Async Unit Testing 2015 talk, he will be finishing his chemo!

Anyway, I just thought that was an interesting parallel.

Highlights

There were lots of little improvements at CodeMash this year, primarily around efficiency. Everything from the meals to the vendor booths to the sessions to the raffles flowed more smoothly this year - this conference just gets better and better!

CodeMash is always a good time of learning, and it’s a great time for meeting and seeing other developers!

My publisher set up a book signing, and brought 25 books to give away. At first I thought that sounded like a rather large number, but I guess they know what they’re doing! We gave away the 25 copies, plus the display copy, and then there were four or five people still in line who only got a discount coupon - sorry! One cool thing is that I got to give a copy to the famous Eric Lawrence, whose book I own.

KidzMash was totally awesome this year! It really is a conference-within-a-conference. They had excellent track of sessions all their own covering a full range of ages. My kids were old enough this year to actually participate a bit. Oh, and of course they blew up a trash can on stage with liquid nitrogen.

The Big Highlight

It sounds funny to say this about a tech conference, but the real highlight for me was actually playing a game. In every other CodeMash I’ve gone to, I’ve always run from session to session, trying to attend everything. This time I settled back a bit, and actually spent some time in the game room, where I was introduced to Settlers of Catan.

I only played about 15 minutes, but I’m already hooked! It was really nice to take some time to relax (CodeMash can be really brutal), and MayFair Games had a great selection of games to help developers unwind.