The Lit Maven

Archive for May 2012

DirectionsWe’ve come to the end of another Code Camp in the Philadelphia area.  Nothing is left of the 550 attendees, boosters, sponsors, students and staff that came to Penn State University, Abington Campus except lots of  pictures, memories and heads filled with new knowledge and ideas.  Featuring twelve tracks, from Architecture to Web Development, and  an Open Spaces Forum, attendees were treated to choice tidbits of technology like Windows 8, Azure, PowerShell, KnockoutJS, Razor and, of course, SharePoint. These terms were bantered around all day like pencils at an SAT exam.   Located in the Philadelphia suburbs, Penn State’s Abington campus is a woodsy oasis – a perfect retreat for a peaceful day of nerding.  And, nerding they did!  Some classrooms were filled to capacity – yes, I’m talking about YOU, Javascript and jquery!  Others, like the Lap Around Windows 8, were punctuated with gasps of wonder at viewing a beta before anyone else has seen it. The classrooms I visited as unofficial Code Camp photographer featured seasoned speakers presenting live demonstrations of code, Lares, Penn Statecode, code with attendees in rapt attention.   This is the beauty of Code Camp: learning about new stuff, manipulating the old, prettifying the ugly and phasing out the obsolete.   Want to find a job or a product?  Code Camp was the place to be!  Our 24 sponsors financed the event and spent the day meeting and greeting attendees, offering job opportunities and presenting products for enhancing productivity in virtually any industry.  Keyword for this Code Camp?  METRO, a tie-in to Windows 8.  Everything from the tall banners in the classroom hallways to the ending slides in the auditorium featured the metro feel inviting all to get ready for Microsoft’s newest bombshell.  Metro speakers touted intros, but also ways of creating applications using HTML5, jQuery, and WPF XAML.  Another popular trend?  The Cloud – plenty of buzz!  And, although Web Development is always a huge draw, the Mobile Apps track was not far behind – just don’t build apps and drive at the same time. And, let’s not forget Tools and Data (where the REAL developers hang out!), Architecture (for those who like to plan and build) and SharePoint (for practically everyone).   Throughout the day, breakfast, lunch and snacks were served in the Lares Building, an amazing stone faced structure that looks out over an idyllic pond.  The day was sunny and warm, perfect for Code Campers to stroll leisurely between Lares (food and registration) and Sutherland (sessions), Classroompassing the sculpture of the Nittany Lion on the way – breathtaking!  At the end of the day, attendees were treated to a description of Penn State’s Information Science and Technology program (IST students attended Code Camp in force, helping to direct traffic, handing out USB drives and chatting with sponsors), a heartfelt thank you by a surviving cancer patient’s father (on behalf of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, our charity) and prizes, prizes, prizes! Members from each group – boosters, students and attendees – won LogiTech headphones, Kindle Fires and XBoxes along with generous prizes from our spoGrand Prizensors.  The day was followed by a wrap-up party at The Brick House in Willow Grove with lots of smiling faces to be seen and compliments overheard.  If you attended, please complete the evaluation. This helps to improve Code Camp for next time.  Any negatives?  Yes, one being that the classrooms were too small and attendees were turned away.  Your PhillyDotNet board will work on that. Until then, join us for our monthly meetings, register early for the next Code Camp and stay tuned for more good things to come!