Friday, 12 June 2009

CodeStock, CodeStock… CODESTOCK!!

codestock_lowresFor those not in the know, CodeStock is an awesome developer event coming up June 26 & 27 in Knoxville, TN. Michael Neel and his crew of dedicated volunteers have outdone themselves in planning two days of fantastic content across a spectrum of languages and technologies.

My small contribution to CodeStock will be facilitating the Open Spaces track. While Open Spaces are best when nothing distracts from participants’ focus on the Open Space itself, I think events like CodeStock offer a golden opportunity to introduce Open Space Technology to a new audience that might not otherwise learn what it has to offer.

This hybrid approach to Open Space Technology requires some compromises that purists may find distasteful. That’s okay, I can take the heat. I know from experience that the benefits far outweigh the negatives in taking this path.

The organizers of CodeStock are so committed to making Open Spaces a success that the keynote on the first day of CodeStock will be the opening circle for the Open Spaces track. This approach will insure that all attendees are aware of what Open Spaces has to offer and how it works. This will allow them to make an informed decision about whether to participate or not.

For those not committing to the Open Space track, there is an array of sessions offered including Saturday morning’s keynote by the always impressive Josh Holmes. Everyone should leave this event with new ideas and approaches to consider and apply to their craft.

CodeStock isn’t all business, however. Much of the value of a conference is in networking and idea sharing with peers. We have a number of social events planned in the evenings to give ample opportunity for casual learning.

Thursday evening, anyone interested can gather at Mellow Mushroom on Campbell Station Rd. at 7:00 pm for a community dinner. This is typically a time when there would be an exclusive dinner for speakers, but CodeStock is about bringing developers together and exclusivity doesn’t fit with that ethos.

Friday evening from 7:00 – 9:00 pm we will have the CodeStock Social at the Ed Financial training center. There will be multiple XBoxes and various card and board games as well as light refreshments provided. This event will offer interested attendees a destination after dinner on Friday evening.

Saturday evening there is no official CodeStock social event. CodeStock ends at 6:00 pm on Saturday. There is an unofficial event, however. All interested CodeStock attendees are welcome at my house from 7:00 until ???? Saturday night. We will provide finger food, but guests will need to bring their own beverages (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

I need to stress that the after-party at my residence is not an official CodeStock event. It is merely a conveniently scheduled event for CodeStock attendees. Find me at CodeStock for directions and other details.

Often, conference attendees prefer to stay at a common hotel for ride sharing and networking advantages. When people ask about lodging this year, I recommend the Holiday Inn Express on Campbell Station Rd. for its value/quality/location balance. Honestly, there are lots of good hotels at the Campbell Station, Lovell & Cedar Bluff exits. Pick one and join us for CodeStock.

At the time of this writing, there are 46 tickets left for CodeStock. You will not find a greater opportunity for learning and networking in the field of software development for $45 anywhere. I’m certain that this event has something unique to offer. Don’t miss out!