Reflections on Orlando Code Camp and BarCamp Orlando

In the last two weeks I’ve had the great fortune to attend two fantastic conferences here in Orlando.

Both completely free events, and both were fun, inspiring, and eye-opening in their own ways. I came away feeling inspired, invigorated, and with a couple of new nerdy (read: cool) t-shirts!

Orlando Code Camp
Orlando CodeCamp was incredibly educational and informative with it’s tech-heavy, hour-long formal presentations. I can’t imagine all the hard work put in by the speakers and volunteers to have such a large and superior quality event run, and run so smoothly.

There was a definite collegial vibe (taking place at the beautiful Seminole County College campus didn’t hurt!) but oh how I wish my university experience was as interesting, efficient, relevant, and productive.

Team Foundation Server
Special thanks to the ONETUG president Esteban Garcia for patiently and thoroughly answering all my inane TFS questions. I’ve avoided TFS talks in the past because I thought they would be boring, but boy was I wrong! It really cool to see everything up and integrated like that!

Also another special thanks to SubMain for the CodeIt.Right licensce I won. I’m already putting it to good use!

BarCamp Orlando
If CodeCamp felt like school, then BarCamp felt more like…Woodstock. The event took place in the Wall Street Plaza, with talks taking place in local venues like One-Eyed Jacks, Slingapours, and The Gibson Showroom. The presentation times and topics were updated throughout the day on a giant white board, and there was a great little mobile site for keeping track of the ever evolving schedule the on your iPhone. (I’m an Android fanboy, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Apple products in one place before!)

The talks ranged from the technical to the artistic to the entrepreneurial, and there were strong revolutionary, community and outside-the-box undercurrents behind most talks.

The session that most picqued my interest was done by Stan Schultes, Microsoft MVP and organizer of the BarCamp Sarasota. He led a ‘birds of a feather’ style centered around software start-ups, and what cities like San Francisco, Boston and New York have that we in the “Greater Central Florida Region” don’t….and how we can organize to fix it!

The biggest take-away for me however is getting to see and meet so many inspired and passionate makers, shakers and enthusiasts out there trying to make a difference.

Topics and Times

Photo Credit: Nick Pettit

I’m looking forward to checking out recently discovered entities like Orlando Coding Dojo, Urban ReThink, and Familab events in the near future.

Big shout out to ONETUG, ORUG, and Envy Labs for being such big drivers behind these events and a big thanks to all the organizers, sponsors and community. Fantastic job!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the best part about these two events: They’re recurring!

I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon!