As I write this, I am immersed in CodeMash 2007, a two day conference for software developers. From the conference web site:
CodeMash is a unique event that will educate developers on current practices, methodologies and technology trends in variety of platforms and development languages such as Java, .NET, Ruby and PHP.
There are plenty of Python fans here as well, and newer solutions like Adobe’s Flex are also on the agenda. There is a lot of talk about frameworks such as Atlas, TurboGears, and Rails. The speakers range from well known people such as Bruce Eckel to people I have never heard of (who are also doing interesting work). In short, there is something for everyone who is a software developer or who aspires to be one.
One of the cool things about CodeMash is that the conference is entirely organized by a group of volunteers who see the value in “cross pollination” among software developers who are working in different areas. None of the organizers will make any money from this conference either. And while there is a full schedule of technical talks, there is also a participant-organized Open Space track taking place in the corridors and in, well, other open spaces. Yesterday afternoon I attended a TurboGears/Flex Widget open space coding session instead of a traditional session. It was fast-paced, fun, and informative.
Every conference has a prevailing culture. At CodeMash, the culture is very relaxed and open. The content as well as the attendees are very technical. Don’t like the session you are in? Use your two feet to move somewhere else. Oops — that reminds me: it is time to get up and go to the next session!