If you were to look around Florida at the various cities technology based User Groups, and their accompanying local conferences you will see some of the best in the land. Orlando started SQL Saturday since 2007 with Tampa following closely thereafter. South Florida has hosted Code Camp for 10 years now, Orlando recently held their 9th annual Code Camp. One thing you have not seen is a continuous Code Camp in Tampa.
One would think that given our rich community of .NET Developers, Mobile and Web, Server and Desktop we could pull together an annual event, but we as community have dropped the ball over the last few years, until now.
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of volunteering and presenting at Tampa Code Camp 2014. Greg Leonardo ( b | t ) and his lovely wife Kate, have put a lot of work into breathing life back into the Tampa Code Camp. I was not privy to the attendance numbers, but the website says 156 folks were registered, which is a good start for a revival year.
While the lead up time between the event announcement (early June from what I can find) and the event was very short, the event was quite nice. There were three on-site vendors, which made getting signatures for the raffles quite easy. The event was held at KForce’s national headquarters here in Tampa. Since they are a staffing firm, they prevented any other staffing firm sponsors from being on site, which was likely a limiting factor to other sponsorship.
Attendees were greeted by volunteers and directed to a spread of Dunkin Donut’s and coffee before the keynote at 830. The official start of the day was lead by local speaker extraordinaire Kelvin McDaniel ( b | t ) who shared his keynote on the topic of Community. Afterwards, attendees were split into three morning sessions across three tracks, Web, Mobile and .NET Misc.
Lunch was a nice boxed lunch from Firehouse subs, with four sessions after lunch. I had the last session in the .NET Misc track. Considering the number of attendees, there was a decent turn out in my session, with good questions throughout and lots of follow-up since.
Per the norm, the day ended with a few words from Greg, and a few giveaways. All in all I was quite impressed with the output of their efforts. I have some ideas that I’m going to share with them for next year and hopefully, we can make it better than ever. In the end I hope that the various obstacles preventing this event in the past years have been banished for good. Tampa has a solid tech community and can easily support this event in the future. With Greg and Kate leading the charge, I don’t see any way but up from here. Kudos to you both.
For those that attended my presentation, the scripts are below.