Code Camp 2009

Well it's over and it was a great success. What am I talking about, Jacksonville's Code Camp 2009. This past Saturday I had the chance to volunteer at Code Camp. If you missed out well let's just say you missed one of the greatest events of the year. First of all I would like to thank UNF for playing host to this year's Jax Code Camp. They were gracious to let us have use of their facilities and equipment. Next I want to thank all those who came out to volunteer at the event, without you this event would not have been possible. There are a couple of special volunteers I would like to mention. First I want to thank Brandy Kerby, for coordinating the whole event. It's my understanding without her leadership and drive, and the occasional whipping too, this event wouldn't have been as great as it was. We also need to thank JaxDUG president, Bayer White, for being instrumental in getting all our speakers. We had so many speakers wanting to attend we actually had to turn some away, thanks Bayer. To my knowledge this is Bayer's first year as Jax DUG president and I feel he's done a great job. We also have to thank Mark Ewer for our Code Camp website, if you haven't seen it go check it out, www.jaxcodecamp.com. Eugene Chuvyrov, president of the Jax Arch SIG and Kevin Randall, Vice President of Jax DUG, did a great job of getting all the sponsors for the event, thanks guys. I could keep going on and on about all those who helped, just realize all those who volunteered made it possible. There is one more person we really have to mention, without him the event would not have even really gotten started, James Adams, for supplying us with the coffee. James is owner of Coffee Roasters, located on the corner of San Jose and Crown Point. Without James's coffee I really don't think we could have started setting up as early as we did, 6:00 A.M. We also need to thank Newage Solutions for sponsoring the Code Camp volunteer party at Island Girl cigar bar. If you were a volunteer or speaker and you missed it, just program yourself out of existence. It was a fun fest full of food and drinks. Thanks again Newage for giving us such a great party, didn't think programmers could drink so much did ya? Lastly we need to thank United Teleplex for hosting out after party at Sneakers Sports Grille. Thanks guys it was a lot fun and the food was great.

I want to take this moment to tell you a little bit more about the event. Each year JaxDUG plays host to Code Camp, Jacksonville's largest programming networking seminar. This was the fifth year that the event has been put on but, what made this year extra special was that not only was it a record turnout, 661 registered users, but, also the money we raised for Wolfson's Children's Hospital. Our goal was ten thousand dollars, after tallying up all the donations from sponsors and the silent auction at the after party we were able to give them over twelve thousand dollars. Code Camp is not just a big networking fest it's also a chance to see new ideas in programming, software, and technology. There is something there from the very basic beginner in programming to the architect guru. Code Camp is also a great way to show off your skills as a speaker and a programmer. If there was something that you wish was presented, well start preparing and sign up for next year's event. Code Camp is only as good as you make it.

With volunteering I really didn't get a chance to sit in on too many sessions but there were two, I would like to mention. First one was put on by Pete Langlois from Solomon Page Group. Pete gave a presentation titled So I'm a Developer Now What; the focus of his presentation was to give insight on where you wanted to go and what type of developer you wanted to be. I loved his presentation not because it was the only session where a lot of us volunteers who got to get a chance to take a break but, he addressed at lot of good ideas. The session was very interactive; Pete gave us a chance to speak about all the pros and cons of what we deal with in our position. He talked about the importance of how you project yourself on the web with social sites such as Facebook. We were told about one client who was being offered a job but, after the company looked him up on the web they decided to rescind their offer. Why, all because of one photo he had on Facebook, of him holding a bong. It's things like that, that can really hurt your potential for getting a job. If you make it out to next year's event be sure to see Pete if he's presenting. Another session worth mentioning was done by Mark Ewer and I. When we first had the idea of doing a presentation Mark and I talked about what we were going to do and we had the idea of doing a beginners session. Why because so quite a few people come to these events looking for help or just brushing up on some of their skills. In our session we covered some of the very basics in programming and how to use some of the tools in Visual Studio. One of the things we covered was how to use the debugger. You ask yourself well I already know how, maybe you do and maybe you don't. A lot time people just run it but, don't actually know how things work. For example do you really know what the Step into, Step Out Of, and Step Over do? If you do then great if not then you really should learn and look for a future blog posting on how to properly use them.

If you did attend Code Camp but missed out on the after party well, what can I say? Not a whole lot, the after party held at Sneakers Bar and Grille was just an all around great time. The food was great and there was plenty to go around, if you were there then you know what I'm talking about. The buffet had more than enough types of wings to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Besides wings, there were mozzarella sticks, quesadas, fruit, veggies, and deserts of different types. Tell you what after that event nobody should have gone home hungry. Besides food there was also a silent auction held with a lot great things going up for bid. We had a football signed by some of the great Jaguar players, vacation packages, two paintings, just all sorts of things available. Now it was suppose to be silent auction but if you know Pete Langlois, he just couldn't let that happen. Somehow Pete managed to get a hold of a microphone and that's when the real fun began. Let me tell you what this was a man who really pushed us to start bidding on those items to raise that money for Wolfson, thanks Pete. Well there's not much more I can say other than if you missed too bad and if you made hope you had a great time. Just remember the next time you decide to pass on something like this you may just be passing on you next new job. Once again thanks to all those who made it possible and hope to see you there at next year's event.