Once again, I had the privilege of attending CodeStock in Knoxville, TN. last weekend. The CodeStock team really knows how to put on a great conference. In 2014, there were about 450 attendees. This year, 900 attendees! Yes, doubled in one year! That should give you a good indication of the popularity and the quality of the conference. Also, the conference relocated to the Knoxville Convention Center and I must say, the facilities were great.
This year it was our pleasure as attendees to hear from keynote speaker Scott Hanselman, @shanselman. (hanselman.com) If you haven’t had the please of hearing Scott live, add it to your bucket list. It was an absolute treat and he is hilarious. I have a little something extra to say about Scott but I will save that for later.
CodeStock’s sessions were broken down into five categories: Design, Development, Entrepreneur, IT Pro, and other. I mainly work on Web projects, so I focused on the Design and Development categories. (Although, I did attend a couple of Entrepreneur sessions given by some folks I respect.) Day one for me consisted of talks on Dependency Injection by James Bender, @JamesBender, AngularJs by Dave Baskin, @dfbaskin, ASP.NET vnext by Sam Basu, @samidip , and An Honest Look at a Successfully Software Consultant by Jim Christopher, @beefarino . All great talks by some of the best presenters out there. Day two was more of the same, Diving into Angular 2.0 by Josh Carroll, @jwcarroll , Deep Dive into ASP.NET 5, Jeff Fritz, @csharpfritz , and Web Application Security by Steve Brownell. Again all great presentations!
CodeStock is a jewel of a conference. Great talks, great attendees, great team, great value, and great price! I have attended this conference for the past three years and it has only improved year after year. The CodeStock team has earned my respect and support and I plan to continue to attend. If you are looking for a great return on your conference dollars, CodeStock is a conference you should have on your list.
One last thing. I was sitting in one of the conference rooms waiting for the next talk, actually looking down at my laptop, and Scott Hanselman stopped by and said hello. Of course, I was a quite surprised when he said “hey, we follow each other on twitter, right?” I don’t send 100 tweets per day, barely 10 per week but he recognized me out of his 130k+ followers. I thought that was incredible given his popularity and just the number of people he comes in contact with. He and I shared a 10 min conversation. During our chat, he asked me what I was working on and even offered some advice. (invaluable advice) I’m writing this because I have “mad” (great) respect for someone of his caliber that is genuinely attentive to the community. As I said earlier, if you haven’t heard Scott @shanselman (hanselman.com) speak live, add it to your bucket list. It will be a real treat.