One thing I’m hearing from a lot of people who attended CodeStock last Saturday is how well the open spaces "track" was. This is one area I can’t take any credit for, my only role in planning open spaces was requesting a room from the college; all credit for success goes to Alan Stevens the facilitator.
An Open Spaces conference is explained as the "un-conference" – a very hippy, free flowing conference where the sessions self organize and the topics are chosen by the attendees. This in contrast to a traditional conference of set speakers and topics. Each have an advantage; an open space isn’t the best place to get a first look at a technology but once you’ve used a technology an open space is a great place to discuss with others how it should be used.
Rather than choose one format, CodeStock featured both. This worked out better than I could have imagined because it mixed two camps – the open space people hung out with the "straight laced" conference people. This created a stage for some great conversations with all views represented and an exchange of ideas can commence. Wally McClure was breaking in a new Flip, and managed to capture an ORM discussion for the latest ASP.NET Podcast – I would have loved to have been there, but I was fighting gnats at the time.
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