CodeStock 2012 Recap

Once again another great CodeStock conference has come and gone.

Day 0

I managed to drop the cat off at the pet boarder Pet Palace and after a relatively average drive I was in Knoxville, TN by 4pm. I meet up with a few people and we went to a local range, Coal Creek Armory, to exercise our 2nd Amendment rights.

I ended the day with drinks and cigars on the hotel patio. It was truly one of those great “man” days.

Day 1

The first session I attended was “I see patterns” by Matt Ruma (@mattruma). It was a very cool talk. Instead of just dumping a bunch of different pattern definitions on the crowd Matt did a great job of covering some of the history of patterns and pointing out that there are patterns everywhere and not just computers.

Next Up I saw “3 Simple Things for Increased Productivity” by Michael Eaton (@mjeaton). Michael as always was a great speaker. He has a talent for being a straight talker and inspirational. The biggest point he pointed out was the need to take a break and relax. I completely agree with this. We techies have a tendency to push ourselves to the point of collapse to prove to others and ourselves how awesome we are. That’s just silly!

After lunch I attended “Home Automation w/ Netduino and Kinect” by Dan Thyer (@logicaldan). This was a very interesting presentation. I used to play around with electronics when I was a kid. After seeing some of the cool projects Dan has done with a Netduino I’m tempted to pick up a few to play with myself.

I ended the day with “Winning Resumes and Interviews for IT Pros” by Glenn Zahn (@recruitwise). Glenn provided a few useful tips and tricks to writing a better resume. I’m sure I’ll be making a few changes soon to my resume.


Unfortunately, I skipped out on the keynote to take a short nap and get dinner with a group of people. I hear the keynote was very good but the conversations at dinner were also great so I don’t feel sad about missing the keynote.

The day ended once again with drinks and cigars on the hotel patio. There was plenty of nicely aged scotch to sample, some legal moonshine and as always we had Alan Stevens (@alanstevens) to serenade us with his guitar.

Day 2

Day 2 started out very slow from being up late hanging out with everyone.

The first session I went to was “Introduction to Twitter Bootstrap” by Michael Kimsal (@mgkimsal). Bootstrap is a very interesting framework of html, css and JavaScript to simplify and ease development of webpage design. I will be doing some work in the upcoming weeks to learn more about this.

I spent much of the day in the Open Spaces sessions talking about such topics as; Books to Read, How not to hate JavaScript, How to Learn, Big Data Hosting and Software Craftsmanship. I had plenty of great conversations with people and learned many new ideas from sharing with people. This is one of my favorite things at conferences, just talking to smart people.

The final session of the conference was “Protect Your Sites – Hack The Planet” by Dane Morgridge (@danemorgridge). Dane did a great job of talking about security risks and covered the OWASP Top 10 list and did some demos of hacking tools that anyone can download and use to test their systems.

A group of us headed out for dinner at Dead End BBQ, where the the pulled pork was fantastic but the biscuit was just ok. After dinner a few of us decided to get some ice cream and we managed to end up in a sketchy area of town thanks to a crummy GPS restruant food list. We did manage to locate a Baskin’ Robins and get back to the hotel safely.

And as expected the day was ended with drinks and cigars on the hotel patio with plenty of music and conversations late into the night.


As always CodeStock was both fun and educational. There was plenty of time to socialize and talk shop with fellow devs, learn about new technologies, give a few Microsoft employees a hard time about the new Windows 8 and just hang with fellow techies, nerds and geeks.

Congrats and great job goes out to Michael Neel (@vinull) and company for putting on a great event.

Next up is DevLink in August, I hope to see you there!

Alan P. Barber
Software Developer, Computer Scientist, Scrum Master, & Crohn’s Disease Fighter

I specialize in Software Development with a focus on Architecture and Design.

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