Hashtag conference life

posted by Jeff | Thursday, January 9, 2020, 5:30 PM | comments: 0

Wrapping up on the third day of conference activities at CodeMash in Sandusky, Ohio. Let me first say that it's a staggeringly great conference that goes deep, it's diverse in experience, people and technologies, and it's run by a non-profit. As a speaker, there's nothing to worry about except to show up. That's pretty great. This is my second time speaking at it, and I can't say enough good things about it. It started out many years ago as a small, regional, off-season thing, and now it's huge.

The first two days are long-form sessions, then the last two days are your typical hour-long deals. As a speaker, it's all included for me (they cover the room, too!), but I'm pretty sure the number of attendees doubles for the second half. This year I ended up kind of half-assing the long sessions, because I couldn't really clear all of my work obligations. I regret that, but it did give me time to finish up the deck for my talk, which was definitely not presentable when I landed at CLE. In fact, I really just got it to a good state an hour ago.

With tomorrow left, I'm mentally already pretty spent. There's a lot of content to take in, and then you fill up the in between times with conversations with people from all over. If you find time to talk to any of the vendors (which I've tried to pay more attention to this year, given my career stage), then you add that too. If that weren't enough, I'm trying to catch up with people from my old Ohio network, because so many are here. It's one of the few big driveable events around here.

The one positive about it being rural Ohio in winter is that it's not like there's a bunch of other things to distract you. Vegas conferences are kind of too much, the opposite extreme, where by the second day, you're kind of done with it all just because of what's outside the venue. Three days for these things is the sweet spot almost anywhere.

I'm satisfied, but ready to go home. The dry air I think gave me a sore throat, and Kalahari, where the conference is, has pretty bad beds. Today is also Diana's birthday, 50th no less, and no matter how many times she told me to go to this, I still hate missing the day. It'll be nice to see my little boy, too.


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