Whew, what a weekend! I’ve just got home from this thing called
What is a CoderFaire? Think of a bazaar for
technology and ideas – people, dusty from their travels, that come
together under one big tent to share in a common love for computers
and the wonderful things we make them do. Though we come from
different backgrounds, a common language is spoken – geek. Everyone
is accepted, everyone contributes and learns and leaves a little
richer in knowledge gained and friends made.
For some of us, this heaven on Earth. I cannot thank the organizers
(Cal, Kathy, Jacques, Ben, Chris, and everyone else) for their vision
and for making this event happen.
Here’s one small thing that sets CoderFaire apart from other
conferences – sponsors are ONLY allowed to send their developers. No
marketers, no BS. I spoke with the guys from GitHub (hey
Kevin!), Mashery (hey
Neil!), Twilio (hey
Keith!), and Basho (hey
Hector!), and am still inspired by
their commitment to the development community, their willingness to
pitch in and help, and their infectious good attitude. It’s one of a
thousand things that made this weekend such an amazing experience.
In the course of two days I learned:
How intuition fuels the development process, the importance of
slowing down, and the importance of pursuing a career you
love. Thanks Ben, for the incredible keynote (and the ace beer
How MailChimp handles MySQL problems, courtesy of Joe. It was
incredible validation to learn that the problems I’ve run into as
we’ve grown at FoxyCart are typical MySQL issues, and to get a peek
inside a business that handles 6000 signups PER DAY. Wow.
That people are REALLY interested in web security and the OWASP
list! Not only that, but Atlanta has a monthly OWASP meetup (thanks
Shauvik!). I had an absolute ball
giving my talk and am humbled that my audience enjoyed it as well.
At some point during the talk schedule I stepped for air. Panting for
breath, I came to Cal and said, “ARGH, you’ve given me too many great
talks to choose from! How can I possibly see them all!” This is a
great problem to have at a conf. There were three rooms with
simultaneous talks on a wide variety of topics, which was a great way
to organize things given the mix of students, non-technicals and
professionals – everyone sees what they want, everyone has a blast.
Then I went back in for round two:
How showcase moved from a single dedicated
server to a redundant multi-AZ Amazon Web Services solution,
courtesy of Alan. Having worked ops
for FoxyCart for the past few years it’s nice to see others having
the same pains (and joys!) of moving to a completely virtualized
architecture. Plan for failure.
How to build near-realtime multiplayer games with Ruby /
CoffeeScript / HTML5, thanks to
jweissman on GitHub. I love game
programming, and I love the web, so this was a tasty treat combining
the best of both. Joseph’s got huge ideas for this and I found his
talk both interesting and inspiring.
All about Riak CS, thanks to
Hector. If you don’t know, Riak CS
is a “host your own” S3-compatible clustered storage system built on
top of Riak. Thanks to some awesome hacking, Hector’s made it
possible to fire up a full featured local cluster in a matter of
minutes. I haven’t even begun to digest what this means for my
development process – I can have my own private S3 that works
offline with existing tools! Amazing.
Huge and interesting things about community leadership and
development from Keith,
Jacques, and the rest. I’m
amazed and excited about the healthy growth of the Atlanta and
Nashville tech communities. Thanks these leaders, technical
communities are alive and well outside of the “Big City / West Coast
/ Silicon Valley” venue. It’s a great time to be a developer.
The ins and outs of running an international design firm courtesy of
Maarten, who wins my “furthest
traveled” award – he flew out from Amsterdam for the conference!
I’m so fired up right now that my typing can’t keep up with my
brain. Atlanta has an amazing tech community, and hanging out with
this crowd has given me great hope for
what we’re doing back home in little ol’
I’m sure I’ve forgotten details – a high concentration of awesomeness
can do that to a person. Can’t wait for CoderFaire ATL 2014!