I’m really sorry to be missing CodeMash this year. This is the first CodeMash that I’m going to be missing. I was one of the founders before I joined Microsoft and it’s been on of the things that I’ve been extremely proud to be involved in in a small part and has grown far bigger and better than I could have ever imagined. The fantastic board (Jim Holmes, Jason Gilmore and Brian H. Prince) have been true visionaries and have done an amazing job of walking the balance beam between guiding and pushing CodeMash and letting it remain something of and from the community. It’s inspirational.
The meme with CodeMash is that people are to mash, not to bash. Developers of all sizes and religions are invited from .NET to PHP to Python to Ruby to Java. And everyone is pushed to learn something new. It’s where I learned, as a .NET guy, about Ruby, Python and PHP. That’s in the spirit of CodeMash. Get out of your comfort zone and learn something new. It doesn’t mean that you will be doing that new thing in your everyday job but learning something new will make you better at your full time job.
One of my favorite talks that I did at CodeMash was that I, as a .NET guy, did a talk on Dynamic Languages such as Ruby and Python. My demos were in Ruby. It didn’t matter if anyone in the crowd was ever going to do Ruby for the full time job, learning more about it will make them better C#, Java, PHP or whatever.
Some of the great outcomes of CodeMash were that all of the community has grown stronger and more inclusive throughout Michigan and Ohio in particular. The Ruby guys are going to the .NET user group and the .NET guys are going to the Ruby user groups and so on.
Oh yeah – and it was at the first CodeMash that I shaved my head (well, Jennifer Marsman did it actually) for the first time. I bet the audience that they couldn’t get 600 posts up on Technorati by the end of the conference and they not only did that but we crashed Technorati and were the number one topic for two weeks outranking the announcement of the new iPhone and Hillary Clinton announcing that she was running for president.
Oh yeah – and I met some of my best friends in the industry at CodeMash. I’ll miss all of you this year…
I’d love it if something like CodeMash started up here in Ireland.