CodeMash 2012 Changed Me

Every CodeMash has changed me.

This CodeMash was no different.

I’ve attended every codemash. Each is unique and special. I have memories from each that I can point to and say “This is when I realized…” and it is something significant that changed who I am or what I am doing or how I approach code and life.

This year I feel the focus of change was definitely softer. It was not some deep technical conversation that I had at the attendee party with someone able to explain to me something in a way which I can see applicability for myself like it has been in most years past. This year I didn’t focus on the mash part of CodeMash.

CodeMash, to me, has always been about learning from outside your normal circles. If you are a .NET person, go learn something about the ruby world. If you are a Ruby person, go learn something about Java (assuming you’ve never lived in that world). If you are a Java person, find a PHP or Perl session (there weren’t too many this year). ‘Mash not bash’ has always been the underlying philosophy that CodeMash has taught me to adopt.

I’m done mashing for a while. I’ve been doing C# for day work for 7 yrs. Of course, to me, mashing that also meant making sure things would run on Mono. I’ve explored Ruby and Rails for at least 6 years now. I pay attention to the Ruby world. In fact, I have more Ruby podcasts in my subscription than I do .NET (or any other). I watch the Java world (to not do so as a .NET dev is foolish IMO). I long for Akka in .NET (although I think Stact and MassTransit might get me there). I long for… Heroku. I long for.. I mash… I long for… many things.

This year I didn’t mash at CodeMash, and I didn’t miss it. Ok, sure, I did a javascript precompiler where I felt like I finally understand JS as a language. I finally grasp the deceptive simplicity of prototypical inheritance. But beyond that, I went to C# and .NET sessions. I loved seeing Bill Wagner and John Skeet present some deep inside and outside C# async. I loved seeing PhatBoyG present Stact.

During his keynote, I believe I heard Barry Hawkins say “Depth trumps breadth”. Its not that I don’t feel some depth in some areas in which I play, but I want more. I feel like I have enough breadth.

So I leave CodeMash, like I do every year, with new direction and a new sense of purpose which I hope to utilize to become a new person. I want to be a different person than I wanted to be a year ago… again.

I cannot overstate one influencing factor which has had a profound effect on me coming to the above determination. Leon Gersing. I met Leon 4 or so years ago at a Columbus Day of Dot Net event. Of course even then I thought, “What a cool guy.” But if you have known Leon for that long (and I don’t know him very well) you know that Leon too has changed over the years. At the GANG 10 yr anniversary event, I got to listen to Leon give a talk on the topic of “You”. It was similar to the short and less serious topic he gave as Pecha Kucha on “Love”. I think a lot of the underlying message is the same and so I’m walking away with that on my mind.

CodeMash 2012 was huge win. It was also HUGE! I know that there were people there, who I know, who I did not see the whole time! Scott and Gary are a couple guys I didn’t see until the after party! So if I missed you, lets hope we run into each other next year. I’ll be the guy who is a little different than last year.

Thanks for the great conference, CodeMash!

1 thought on “CodeMash 2012 Changed Me”

  1. Jay you are amazing! Great hanging, chatting and experiencing life with you and I can’t wait to do it again soon. Be well, brother!


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