I've been home from CodeMash four days now and I'm still absorbing all I learned there.
The speakers were great, sessions were interesting, the open spaces were stimulating, but the chance to interact with so many smart people in a short period of time was what made this conference so special.
I asked the following question of a number of people at CodeMash: What is the best part of this conference. Without exception, each person responded that it was the people. I cannot disagree with this.
This was the first conference I've ever attended in which I spent an entire day without going to a single organized event. Friday I stayed away from all the scheduled sessions and open spaces - not because I didn't find the topic compelling - but because I wanted to spend some time in one-on-one conversations with smart people in my field.
I discussed paired programming with Corey Haines, Alt.Net with Leon Gersing, web site performance with Steve Smith, building community with Mike Wood, recording interviews with Carl Franklin, open spaces with Allen Stevens, and many more. I brought my video camera and recorded many of these conversations and more. I hope to share these videos with you on this site in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, here are some photos of the event: