Utah Code Camp

Saturday I attended the Utah Code Camp. Despite my previous lack of interest, I decided that this time I would attend out of curiosity if nothing else. I have been invited before, but it never seemed like a good way to spend a Saturday. I have attended a few of the larger software conferences including SD Best Practices and SOA World/AJAX World as well as watching session videos from NDC and QCon. I wasn't really expecting much from a free, local conference.

Wow! I couldn't have been more wrong! Saturday was amazing! I attended 4 sessions that introduced me to new technology and 2 sessions on topics that I a quite passionate about already. All of the speakers were well prepared and interesting. The free lunch (provided by my employer: STG) was also nice. I didn't win any prizes, but I wasn't really that interested in them anyway.

Introduction to Erlang
I have been meaning to learn a little about functional programming for a while. I am reading 7 Languages in 7 Weeks partially for the exposure to functional programming. The fact that Milan Negovian flew in from out of state to provide us with some insight into the how and why of FP was awesome. I am inspired to dive deeper into this different paradigm and especially Erlang thanks to his excellent talk.

Android Development
This was another new technology for me. I love my Droid 2 and I got it partially because of the open platform, but honestly, I haven't seriously considered writing any software for it. Now that I have seen how easy it can be, I am going to take a hard look at doing something there. Thanks to Jacob Glines for the intro.

Software Craftsmanship
Obviously, this is a topic about which I am quite passionate. I enjoyed the solid introductory presentation by Mike Clement. The discussion afterward was quite enjoyable as well. I apologize to everyone if I talked too much. ;-) Anyway, I wasn't even aware we had a local software craftsmanship group, but I have already put the monthly meetings on my calendar, so I hope to see you all there next month!

What is FubuMVC?
I have followed Jeremy Miller on Code Better since I was first introduced to test driven development and the MVP pattern in ASP.NET several years ago. I have been aware of and interested in FubuMVC since its inception, but I haven't really researched it because I haven't had any opportunity to use it at work. I have been missing out. All of the rough spots in Microsoft's ASP.NET MVC are handled so much easier in FubuMVC. The lack of coupling to the framework is amazing. The conventions are elegant. I cannot wait to try this on a serious application. Thanks to Michael Murray did a great job presenting.

Distributed Systems
Jonathan Oliver is like an energetic version of Udi Dahan. I saw Udi speak on How to Avoid a Failed SOA at SD Best a few years ago. I have since been fascinated with the concept of building highly scalable distributed systems via pub/sub. I have worked hard to spread these ideas as a software architect and developer. Know I know who to call in for consulting when I need that outside voice of reason.

RIAs and Node.js
This was new to me. I went with Danny Coates who is the maintainer of Node Inspector perhaps hoping that some of his genius would transfer during the presentation. Unfortunately, I didn't really learn much about Node.js in the talk except that it is going in the queue of things to learn, but not moving to the front for now. It seems interesting as an alternative, but I am not ready to invest much. The website that Jeff Willden presented was pretty slick and the reuse of models from client to server was quite interesting, however.

This was an excellent day of learning and (re-)connecting with other Utah developers. I can't wait for the next one and I encourage you all to attend!


  1. Thanks David, we appreciate the great feedback and are happy you got a lot out of it. We are already starting on the next one and hope to see you out in the fall. Perhaps a presentation is in your future as well. :)

  2. It was a good day - your contributions to the SC discussion were appreciated.

    The community here seems very knowledgeable and I think I'll gain a lot from going to more events, myself.

  3. David, happy to hear you enjoyed the Code Camp!

    We all (organizers and speakers) take Code Camp prep very seriously. In fact, I prefer Code Camps over large conferences because you get to meet the most dedicated people in your local dev community, and there's a nice variety of topics compared to, say, Mix or TechEd. I believe an eclectic world view makes you a much better developer.

    All this makes it well worth the hassle and expense of travel! And, of course, being a former BYU student, I loves me a visit to Utah. :)

  4. Thanks for the review. You're not the first person to call me an energetic version of Udi--I believe the phrase was Udi after way too much sugar.

  5. Pat: I am planning to propose at least one session for next Code Camp. I have a lot of ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while trying to get out. Thanks for all the work you put into a such a great conference.

  6. dc: I LOVE talking Software Craftsmanship with passionate developers. I can't wait for the next Software Craftsmanship Group meeting. :-)


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