Category Archives: Conference Notes

Missing OSCON Due To Travel Problems

I’ll be missing OSCON this year because of travel problems. The main thing is my talk is tomorrow, Robotics Programming 101, and my flight from Columbus to Chicago was delayed past when my other flight was due to leave. According to the Southwest Gate Agent at the time, there were no other guaranteed flights to Portland, which would either leave myself or my robot (in bagage) stranded in Chicago while my talk was going on.

I think that if I had another day and more time I would have been OK, but not leaving today and maybe arriving.

I was really looking forward to this conference. In fact I’ve been looking forward to it since I applied in March, I’ve built a robot just for the conference (Feynman-Mini). I’ll have to demo the robot in a few days and give a you tube talk about Robotics Programming 101 for those missing my talk.

I’m so sorry to everyone I will not be able to attend.

(Updated) In hind sight the call was correct, the flight was delayed and although I might have made the PDX flight my baggage would not have… Travel Note: Ship Robots ahead of time via UPS. Pick a larger carrier i.e. Delta.

CodeMash 2010 – Conference Wrap-Up

Overall Great Conference. Thanks to all those who organized it and all the speakers that volunteered to speak!

The only big downside was VERY POOR Wi-Fi and 1 Bar of Edge on AT&T. This meant that my blogging had to wait until after the conference.

The Thursday party was very cool, but it was a little disconnected with the tables and the band vs. the huge gatherings we use to have in the halls outside the rooms. Those seemed to be more social than this year.

I think that next year I want more intermediate and advanced talks, less beginner talks unless the amount of new technology is abundant and fun.

CodeMash 2010 – Clojure

Presented By Howard M. Lewis Ship

This was an OK presentation. I was a little distracted by the Neal Ford reference Ceremony vs. Essence. Perhaps Neal was not  the only person to use it, but because I heard it a few years ago at a CodeMash keynote, it distracted me. I wanted to learn more about the syntax of Clojure, but it did not go into that. I did gain some insight into the functional aspect of the language, but not enough I’m afraid.

I did get a book on the language by Stewart Holloway, I hope to read that in the coming weeks/months. Hopefully to learn more about how I can use this language for my robotics projects.

CodeMash 2010 – The Mother Of All Bugs

Presented by Andy Hunt

It was a pleasure seeing Andy speak. He’s one of the co-authors of The Pragmatic Programmer and it’s nice to see his perspective on things. Today’s talk was a pleasant surprise. No talk about Java evils or process improvement, but a discussion on cognitive science and why we think the way we do and how this thinking (or sometimes lack of thinking) leads us to certain paths in our programming or our project management structure.

The talk included a number of examples, but some of the most striking were videos that were used to illustrate points on lack of attention or diverted attention. One example had us focusing so hard at a certain group in the video, that a gorilla walking through the scene was just barely noticeable. Other examples asked you to notice something different or something that changed. Again, I did not get most of them and it really makes you think.

The talk ended with a great quote, actually more of a conversation between himself and his boss. He was asking for something, (I don’t know exactly what), and his boss responded “What’s stopping you?” he said “Nothing” and his boss replied, “that get’s in my wall a lot too”.

Nice talk, hope see others at some more conferences this year!

CodeMash 2010 – Refactoring The Programmer

Presented By Joe O’Brien

Another great talk by Joe, The theme of this talk was how to improve your career as a programmer if you are finding that you hate/dislike what you are doing. I was fortunate to get a 2nd shot at this talk since it was packed in yesterday’s session.

Joe gave a number of personal examples about what inspired passion from his own career from sales rep to Java programmer, to now business owner and Ruby evangelist.

What I found amazing about this talk was the attendance, I mean Joe always has a nice turn-out but the number of people that are not liking their jobs is at an all-time high. You couple this with recent job satisfaction surveys and there’s something to people not liking their jobs even if it’s in a career that’s full of excitement and opportunity. I will have to write more about this in another post.

CodeMash 2010 – Thursday Wrap Up

  • The only negative is lack of WI-FI connectivity.
  • We are having dinner, drinks and a live band after the sessions, Thursday’s always good for that.
  • I would definitely vote that I learned the most from the Griffon session, only because I never heard of it.

CodeMash 2010 – Funky Java, Objective Scala

Presented by Dick Wall

This was my second language talk, although the talk was more about Genetics and the calculations required for genetics than it was about Scala. I can imagine this talk much more interesting if it were a little longer or we had less of Genetics 101. Still I plan on downloading Scala and learning more about this language.

CodeMash 2010 – Keynote: PHP and Other Adventures

Presented by: Hank Janssen

I was surprised to find out that Microsoft is actually doing a lot for open source, they’ve even contributed to the Linux Kernel in July of 2009.

But most notably my favorite language (PHP) they’ve done quite a bit of optimization and contributed greatly to PHP 5.3 on Windows. After this talk I actually plan on getting a copy of the source and building PHP myself.

CodeMash 2010 – The case for Griffon: developing desktop applications for fun and profit

Presented By: Andres Almiray

This was a cool session. I have been in web development so long it’s completely eluded me that there might actually be desktop application frameworks for Java (Groovy).

There were a number of cool features and plugins available to this framework, one particular one I liked was the ability to make Swing apps use CSS mark-up for styling the form. How cool is that?

CodeMash 2010 – What Makes Ruby Different

Presented by Joe O’Brien, Mark Peabody, Leon Gersing

I always enjoy listening to Joe talk, his enthusiasm about Ruby is admirable. The talk focused on the differences in how to solve many programming problems with different languages. The ones demoed against Ruby were C# and Java.

I did not walk away with learning anything new about Ruby, ironically I learned more about C# in this than I did anything else. But for those new the Ruby it was a good talk especially since most of the developers here are either .Net or J2EE.