My pictures | Alan’s pictures | Jeff’s pictures
Note: blog post about the T-shirt challenge is coming soon.
What a weekend! Huge thanks to Mike Neel, Alan Stevens, Wally and whoever else helped organize and run Codestock!
It all started for me when I packed things in my neighbors car around 8:30am. Since I was meeting Jason and Jamie in Toledo, my wife and neighbor decided to take all the kids to the Toledo Zoo after dropping me off. It worked out really well, so while we were driving through Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, they were all enjoying the zoo.
The three of us left Toledo right around 10:30am in the car Jason rented. The rental was equipped with GPS, so after entering the address of the La Quinta in Knoxville, we headed out. The drive down was pretty uneventful. While we stopped once for gas and once for food, we arrived at the hotel just after 6. After a quick check-in, we made our way to the restaurant (which was, thankfully, within walking distance of the hotel) and met up with a bunch of people. I’m pretty sure we must have had over 20 at dinner. It was awesome to finally meet James and Scott, although when Scott first introduced himself to me (only as “Scott”), it took me a couple minutes before I made the connection. We had a great time at dinner, if not a just a bit too much to drink.
After dinner, a bunch of us headed over to the hotel’s pool area and hung out, drinking and talking, until the hotel staff
kicked us out asked us to leave. That was around 10:20. After that, we ended up on the second floor balcony, just outside (and inside) Steve Andrews’ room. Thankfully, we were able to stay there until after 2am. I had a great talk with Robert Cain (Arcane Code), Scott Spradlin, Jim Wooley and Mark Watson. There were some other really good discussions and I had a tough time leaving, but I knew the conversations would continue a few hours later at the event.
My alarm was set for 6:30, and since I didn’t sleep too well to begin with, I was up and around by 7. Jason, Jamie and I headed for the event sometime between 7:30 and 8. While I was standing in line, I met Nathan Blevins (Nate and his team kicked ass at Give Camp last month, so it was great to meet him). Check-in at the event went really smoothly, but I have to say, the keynote really felt like a Microsoft marketing speech even though it was given by Jeff Prosise from Wintellect. Silverlight is cool, but I don’t believe it’s the game changer he described.
During the first time slot I attended most of James’ session, “10 Open Source Tools You Should Use”. After that, I spent the rest of the day in the open spaces room for some really great discussions. Chris Williams caught some on tape, but I don’t know what the plan is for them. I’d love to see them posted somewhere. My talk was in the last time slot of the day, and while the room wasn’t packed like it was for James, I think it went really well. Hopefully those that attended agree.
After my talk, it was time for the giveaways. Once again, I didn’t win the 360, but I did win a book, so it wasn’t a total loss.
After the giveaways, me, Jason, James, Justin, Scott, Kevin Hazzard, Jamie and Phil Japiski (did I miss anyone?) went to dinner instead of hitting the after-party. To be honest, I think the after-party sounded kinda cool, but I was hungry and wanted more than hotdogs and chips. After dinner, we headed over to Alan’s house for a few more hours of great conversations. I ended up *not* drinking all night, but instead played poker with some great people including Jeff (he started the game), Jamie, Aaron, Amanda, Dennis, Amy, Rick, Dave and Jay. I had a lot of fun, but expected to be out early. I was definitely short-stacked through most of the game, but ended up hanging in and made it to the final 3. By that time the blinds were crazy-high, so it only took a couple hands before I was knocked out. I was a bit disappointed, but at the same time, I got my money back for coming in 3rd. The heads-up game was between Dennis and Jeff with Dennis winning.
After the game, I went out and hung out with whoever was around the camp fire.
Jason, Jamie and I headed back to the hotel around 1:30am or so. A few hours later (sometime around 9:30) we headed out for the trip back home. I think we arrived in Toledo a bit before 5.
Overall, I had an awesome time at Codestock and I’ll definitely go next year! My biggest complaint? Not enough time to talk to everyone I wanted. :-\ So many smart people, so little time.
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