Next year we are getting tee-shirts made before hand that say "I Survived Concept Camp 2010" because the odds were against us this year. My friend Erika and I got in around 10pm Friday night. Took us about 4 hours to get down to Hagerstown.We set up our tent in the dark (two of them) and blew up our air mattress in the dark (two of them). We hung out for a bit, exchanged some greetings, then we went to bed.
I was woken in the morning by screaming children at 6:30am. Charming. Our morning keynote was unable to make it so I emerged from my tent rather leisurely around 9am. We started breakfast, eggs, bacon, sausage, turkey sausage. It was hard to wrangle but we did it. After breakfast it started raining a bit. No better campers than engineers I say. The guys put up a great fort to protect us from the rain. It did, and it was the perfect place to start our talks. First we heard from Chris Ballance about Design Patterns for Scalability, then from Steve Andrews about Giving Technical Presentations. The rain got worse as the afternoon went on however we were still in good spirits.
After getting some snacks, and picking up our steaks (thank you to our sponsor,Infragistics) we made our way over to a large open air gazebo where Matt Podwysocki taught us all the power behind F# and Functional Programming.
The consensus at this point was that we should cook our beautiful steaks. This was no easy task as the rain was coming down pretty hard at this point. However, geek ingenuity prevailed again as we stacked some "fire rings" on top of each other and cooked our steaks, corn, and potatoes. We found a covered picnic area to eat under and we had a great dinner.
Then I spoke about working on personal projects, we took a break to start playing some drinking games and rejoined back up at the gazebo for an unforgettable keynote by K Scott Allen that really spoke to me. He spoke about when to declare "Victory" in software. He posted it here, I think it's excellent reading it really gave me insight into all of our mindsets when it comes to success. It has made me revisit things I consider successes/failures.
After his talk the night developed into a real party of games, fun, and real community. I left feeling like I bonded with current friends, and made some awesome new ones. The event was better than I could have imagined even with all the rain I wouldn't have changed a thing. I will be posting pictures tomorrow after I get them all together.
Thank you to everyone who made this an amazing and unforgettable event.
Pictures are up!!! See them here.