My first code camp

02 May

Yesterday, I attended my first code camp. I heard about the Iowa Code Camp a few months ago from a tweet by Chris Sutton, one of the organizers (@chrissutton on Twitter).

First off, I really don’t consider myself a “coder.” Most of the time, I can look through a Javascript or PHP script and manipulate it to my liking, but I’ve only dabbled with creating my own code. I’m more of a web developer if anything. So, I was a little hesitant to go to camp. Less than an hour and a half drive and the awesome price of free convinced me that it was worth my Saturday.

For anyone that hasn’t been to a code camp, there are no tents or firewood involved. Basically, it’s a conference with a keynote and tons of breakout sessions. I chose the following topics:

  • Zen and the Art of Coding Standards by Dylan Moonfire
  • Hands on iPhone Development by Kirschen Seah
  • Intro to WordPress’ Architecture and Plugin/Theme Development by Kenny Younger & Andy Brudtkuhl
  • Writing your first application for Windows Phone 7 Series by Brad Tutterow
  • Being a Technology Entrepreneur by Scott Davis
  • All of the presenters did a great job and I couldn’t believe how much I learned. My favorite, of course, was the WordPress session as I was able to understand it best. It filled in a lot of gaps for me and sparked my interest in developing new themes, which is pretty much what the code camp is designed to do, I’m guessing.

    In many of the conferences I’ve attended, the discussions between sessions are often as helpful as the presentations themselves. The same was true with Iowa Code Camp. For example, I was able to talk with Kenny and Andy for a while before and after their session and found each more than ready to answer any question I could come up with. I’m very grateful for their time and willingness to share their expertise. Thanks, guys!

    I also met a couple of people that shared some of the same challenges as I’ve faced. Through those types of discussions, problems are not always solved, but new perspectives often lead to solutions or workarounds.

    I had a great time and learned a ton, and the crew that put the event on did a nice job. I’m already looking forward to the next code camp and am excited about WordCamp Iowa that Kenny is organizing for early August.

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