We hope you are looking forward to CodeMash! It’ll be here before you know it. Ready to Get your CodeMash on? Read on!
- Emails. As we get closer to CodeMash, more details will be sent out. If you purchased a CodeMash ticket, you will be included on all e-mail communication. Not getting emails? Make sure you white list firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also go to http://www.codemash.org/, click on “Attendee Mailing List”, and sign up for the mailing list. Sorry, we no longer use carrier pigeons (budget was diverted to help pay for more coffee).
- Social Media. We use social media (twitter, facebook, slack are the main ones) for announcements, chatter, and occasionally, random pictures of cats. If you have a question, check out one of those channels. All articles, like this one, can also be found in our blahg. We use duct tape, baling twine, IFTTT and a few other magic tricks to auto tweet and email articles to the attendee list.
- Mobile App. There will be an official CodeMash mobile app, but it takes time to get ready (look for an announcement late in the year). We’re just going to get this out of the way now: we’re 99.89% sure there won’t be a Windows Phone version, but it will be available on both iOS and Android. The app will include session information and have the latest schedule in it. It will also include a useful map, including all session rooms and sponsor info/locations. Sometimes, the community creates mobile apps as well, but they aren’t officially supported.
- Communication Flow. Many people find the website, articles, and emails most helpful prior to the conference, and the mobile app most helpful during the conference.
- General Info. The schedule will be available on the CodeMash web site once it is available. Prefer dead tree formats? We print out a daily schedule in the morning, and have them available at registration. Although the rooms/times have not yet been published, you can start looking at this year’s session descriptions: http://www.codemash.org/session-list/ The session schedule time slots won’t be published until early December.
- General Format. The general format of the schedule is: breakfast, morning sessions, a lunch break, and afternoon sessions, plus evening activities. Dinner is open to registered CodeMash attendees only, and will be served on Tuesday night and Thursday night, but not on Wednesday nor Friday.
- Other Activities. Wednesday evening, there will be a Welcome Reception and Lightning Talks. Thursday evening, we host a CodeMash Party after dinner. There are also other fun things going on during the evening besides the reception/party, like the Game Room, Laser Tag, Artemis Simulator, etc.
- Special Registration. Some activities (Laser Tag, Artemis Simulator) require additional registration (tickets) via EventBrite, which will be made available as we get closer to the event. Other activities (Game Room, 3d Printing Lab) do not require registration. There is no additional charge for these activities, unless otherwise noted.
- Family / Kids? Attendees and their families may attend any of the evening parties/events. KidzMash also runs in parallel to CodeMash, having its own sessions and activities.
- Pre-Compiler Format. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the session format is Pre-Compiler. Sessions will be 4 hours or 8 hours long, with a lunch break. Some sessions may be split into morning and afternoon. Pre-Compiler sessions are instructor led, and most will have hands on activities/participation.
- Pre-Requisites. Many Pre-Compilers will have prerequisites, which need to be installed on your own laptop prior to the event. We typically announce the prerequisites in late Decemberish. We strongly recommend you install ahead of the session, if you wait to do it at the conference, you will be at the mercies of the wifi.
- Main Conference Format. For Thursday and Friday, each session will be one hour in length.
- Safety First. A safe environment for all attendees is very important to CodeMash. Know and abide by the Code of Conduct. Also: if using the waterpark, watch out for sharks in the deep end.
- Free your mind. Are you a .NET developer? Go to a Ruby or Python session. If you’re used to working with Java, mix it up a bit with some Erlang or .NET. The point is: you might learn a thing or two about problem solving with a different set of tools. Check out the official Session List here. A full schedule will be published in December.
- Networking. (Not the digital kind). If you don’t meet someone new at CodeMash, you’re doing it wrong. There are plenty of networking opportunities at CodeMash. During lunch, find a table with people you’ve never met, and politely ask if you may join them. Venture out of your comfort zone a bit. If you are in a session, you are surrounded by people that have similar interests- you may want to ask them how they are using a technology.
- Follow the rule of 1,2,3. One shower a day. Puh-leeze. Two meals a day. We know it’s hard to break away from sessions, board games, and open spaces, but please eat at least two meals a day. Three hours of sleep. Many are up early for breakfast, go to sessions all day, hit the Artemis simulator, attend a reception, and then go to an after party later on. That’s cool if that is how you roll, but getting three hours of sleep each day is a bare minimum to keep you functioning. Plus you need time to charge your phone.
- The Law of 2 Feet. If a session just isn’t doing it for you, don’t feel obligated to stay. The speakers won’t mind, and you should do what you can to get the most out of CodeMash. Simply head for the door and find another session to go to. If you are doing some kind of pair programming activity (or something collaborative in nature), please be courteous and give a heads up.
Other Helpful Suggestions
- Sponsors. Take time to talk to sponsors. Besides the obvious perk of swag, it’s helpful to know who’s out there doing what. Maybe you have no interest in a company selling an IoT solution for tracking red pandas, but if that day arrives, you’ll have an idea of who to talk to.
- Open Spaces. Take time to listen in to some of the open space sessions. These are ad hoc, informal sessions that attendees organize while at the event. Perhaps a talk on building pillow forts for fun and profit isn’t going to advance your IT career, but it helps to take time and listen to a completely different topic. Too much focus on a single area of study makes it harder to keep that focus over extended periods of time.
- Team Building. If you’re traveling with some coworkers, use the time for a team building activity. Schedule a meeting at the game room one evening. Have a team dinner. Whatever it is, get together and talk about things besides what’s happening at the office. Get to know your coworkers as individuals and not just fellow coders, analysts, or project managers. Teamwork makes the dream work and this helps build the teamwork.
- Don’t over do it. It’s pretty much impossible to do everything on the agenda. We recommend having a few goals in mind for what you want to accomplish while at the conference. For example: improve a technology skill, learn about a soft skill, make a new friend, or learn about something you’ve never heard of before. Some attendees plan on a few “must attend” sessions, but leave the rest open. To help meet your goals, you might have to skip a session or two and just spend time in the game room.
- Weather and Delays. It’s the middle of winter in Northern Ohio, so there is usually ice and snow. Speakers are driving/flying in from all over- and occasionally, they might get stuck and miss a session. We will utilize Twitter, the Mobile App, and on-stage announcements during meal times to communicate last minute schedule changes.
- The Crud. Wash your hands, and/or use a hand sanitizer before meal time (provided near the buffet lines). It’s the middle of winter, and the plague can take out even the hardiest of attendees (especially if the rule of 1,2,3 is not followed). If you happen to come down with something communicable, please keep it to yourself. Stay in your hotel room, wrap yourself in a warm blanket, make yourself a warm cup of tea, and marathon Sherlock on Netflix. If you have a coworker at the event, send them an email and ask that they share notes from some sessions.
- Feedback. Please use social media in a positive way. Use it to talk about the sessions you attend. Share pictures of your team standing by the lion, swimming with a shark, or petting a Llama. Connect with presenters and fellow attendees. It helps keep the conversation going even after we’ve all gone home.
- Take it back with you. Share what you learned with your colleagues when you return to the office. This helps increase the value for your company in allowing you to attend CodeMash and therefore helps make the case when you request to attend next year. A side benefit is that teaching helps reinforce what you learned. Plus, sharing is caring.
- Device Charging. Charge your devices when you get a chance to keep them topped off. There is also a “Recharge Station” in the sponsor area intended for this purpose.
- Presentations. Ask the speaker if they are going to make their slides available later. If so, just keep notes about key things that aren’t on the sides rather than trying to transcribe everything.
*A special thanks to Dan Roth and Todd Hensley for contributing “Other Helpful Suggestions” content, and Rick Clymer’s tweet for helping to inspire this post. And last but not least: a thanks to Amanda Stamper for copy editing!