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Jekyll and Hyde Code Camp Experience

April 29, 2007 Leave a comment

So I went to the Deer In The Headlights Code Camp in Waltham, Mass at the end of March.  I’m originally from New England so I thought I would take a long weekend, see my parents and a few friends, then give a talk or two at the Code Camp, stop in to see my twin neice and nephew, and then head home.  Coming out of this I’ve decided something for sure at Code Camps in the future:  I am never again giving more than one talk at a a code camp.

For starters, the car I rented decided to blow a tire just after all the businesses closed on Saturday afternoon.  Now, I’m scheduled to give two talks in succession the next morning at 9 am, two hours away.  I considered driving down to Waltham on the spare donut, but I’ve done that in the past with disastrous results.  Which leads me to being up all night worrying and finally deciding to borrow my dad’s Impala, drive the two hours to Waltham, give my two talks, drive the two hours back to my parents, get the tire repaired, the drive the two hours back to Boston to spend the night with my sister and the twins before flying home to California the next day.

In addition, I hadn’t given either talk in months and I realized looking at the schedule that while my talks were built around 60 minutes speaking and 15 minutes questions, the schedule indicated I would need to speak for closer to 90 minutes…and now with a flat tire I had little time to prepare and adjust.

In any event, the first talk I gave was on Generics and I decided to scrap my entire powerpoint and just do code samples, and it went fantastic.  Even though I was on 4 hours’ sleep it had to be the best talk I ever gave.  People afterward were even coming up and telling me it was the best review of Generics they had ever seen.  I was very satisfied.

And then I followed it up with the worst talk I had ever given.  My talk on Reflection is very dry and hard to do code samples because you either get it or you don’t.  You either understand the situations where you would use Reflection or you don’t.  Reflection can be a very powerful tool if you can recognize it.  In the past I’ve had audiences who had enough people in the crowd who understand that enough dialogue was generated to demonstrate effectively.  However, I felt that I was not communicating well enough this time to draw out the group, and I had not had the time I had put into my Generics talk because of my tire issues.  I felt like no one really got anything out of the talk, and because of the lack of dialogue, the talk ran well short.  Basically a disaster and I owe everyone who saw that talk an apology.

So the moral of the story is, don’t do more than one talk unless you know they are both crisp and ready to go!

I’ve attached links to the Generics code samples and the Reflection demo.  Someone asked me to port the Generics code over to VB.NET but 80% of my demo was based around leverage anonymous methods and VB.NET doesn’t support them, so it didn’t make much sense to do the porting.

Also, sorry about the delay in getting these to you…it’s been a hectic month.  My wife is due in 8 weeks and my company is about to put its first major project into QA and I’ve just been swamped, but in a good way 🙂

Thanks for your patience!

Generics Code Sample

ReflectionDemo

Rob

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Categories: Code Camp, Informational

Back to the Blog

April 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Ok, so I know I’ve neglected this thing for a while now…and I’m due to post several things here from past code camp talks (one of which went extremely well, the other of which was a completely and utter disaster), but the business has completely taken off the last few months and I haven’t had time to devote to this…however, last night at the Softec meeting (www.softec.org) Roberto Monge did a presentation on Web 2.0 that was very intriguing and got me motivated to try and get back to posting things here.

This video on YouTube sums up the presentation Roberto gave very well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE

Roberto highlighted a lot of what Web 2.0 is really about:  the ability to collaborate on content, to teach and alter how the web works through tagging and ratings of content and so forth, and how Web 2.0 is not really anything more than a living platform for web content…the presentation was great in that it was the first one in a while where the group hung around to talk after the fact thanks to all the good questions and the timeliness of the topic.

So now, I’m motivated 🙂  Let’s see how long it lasts!

Rob

Categories: Informational