Scott's keynote on LINQ was very cool. The concept of using specific keywords for data access (the what not the how) is one of those things that when you see it, you ask why noone's really done it before. I hope other languages and platforms really do pick it up and run with it.
After the keynote I headed to Lean Software Development presented by Mary Poppendieck, which was a great talk and very thought provoking. I look forward to reading some of the books she recommended and at least attempting to put some of the techniques described in practice.
Luckily Bill Wagner's talk, an Introduction to Functional Programming, was in the same room so I got to just hang out while they set up for that. Bill's talk was quite a compliment to Scott's keynote. Bill really showed the power of the LINQ syntax when used against objects and while implementing lambdas. Very cool stuff, I really need to move away from .NET 1.1 as soon as possible.
After that was Lunch, where we got to see Drew Robbin's first python program as they randomly selected the Blogging contest winner (twasn't me). I've seen a couple people complain about the lunches, but for me it was more then good enough. If people really wanted a full blown meal there were restaurants in the resort. And if box lunches keep the price down, then I say change nothing!
Anywho, after lunch it was off to Neal Ford's talk on The Productive Programmer. It was amusing to watch him drink coke out of a pepsi bottle, but the talk was very good. I was happy to see that I was already doing alot of the things he discussed (and can't imagine people NOT doing), but there were alot of utilities and subtle tricks he brought up that I will be sure to use. I look forward to the book!
Then it was on to the last session of the conference (for me), Jim Holmes' presentation on "Improving your testing with Open Source Testing Tools". Lot's of good stuff, and since I hadn't really been introduced to unit testing and what not before, this talk was very interesting. Fortunately I was able to trade in the book I received at the end of mash giveaway for a book on C# and NUnit. Which should be useful.
Speaking of the end of CodeMash meeting, I ended up coming in second place in Pillar's CodeOff challenge. I'm sure I'll put the gift card to full use. The object was to move a company of 100 employees from a building of four floors to a building of six floors while minimizing costs and keeping product teams together. My entry is here, if you're interested.
We also got to see Brian Prince and Josh Holmes shave their heads! That was exciting, even though we didn't quite get 500 blog posts in the time allotted, I think we did pretty good and Brian and Josh were awesome about it (I hope Brian's wife forgives him!).
I must say this was a very awesome experience and I would have never met the people I met or learned the things I learned anywhere else. Thank you for all the organizers for putting on such a great conference, and for just being cool people and to all the speakers I heard and had the honor of hanging out with (even though I'm just an annoying newb). I look very forward to CodeMash 2.0.08 and plan on being there!