Midwest GiveCamp and That Conference 2013 Recap

The 2nd annual “That Conference” software development conference held in the Wisconsin Dells was a few weeks ago and I personally think it was even more successful than last year.  I met a lot of great people and attended some fantastic sessions.

This year I was able to come up to the Dells the weekend before the conference for Midwest GiveCamp.  I was fortunate enough to work with a great team on a web application for Humanitarian Toolbox, a newer charity focusing on disaster recovery via software solutions, building a system for tracking and assigning volunteers during disasters.  In less than 2 days, we built a fairly solid version 1.0 that I’m happy to say I contributed to and hope to continue contributing to.  Code is available on GitHub.  

Once again, there were a great variety of sessions available across 3 days.  Even given that there are high levels of .NET developers that show up, a wider range of topics was available this year.  Some notable ones that I attended:

Beyond the sessions, I really tried to meet even more people than last year.  Between GiveCamp and random conversations during lunch and in between sessions, this proved to be the most valuable portion of the conference.  Focusing for a few days solely on development and breaking away from the typical work week really helps energize and motivate me.  I always come away with new ideas that propel my work forward!

On a fun note, myself and a few others gathered at 6am each morning for what was dubbed “That5k” - a few mile run around the Kalahari resort.  Monday there was just a handful of us, but by Tuesday the group had doubled!  Nice to meet some fellow developers concerned with good health.

This year’s That Conference was absolutely stellar and I cannot recommend it enough. This has become the software development conference for the Midwest!   

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