PostStock 2013: Again Like The First Time

Well this is weird.

Not CodeStock, CodeStock 2013 was great.  What's weird is I normally spend the day following CodeStock reviewing notes and making a post about the tactical details of the event.  This year though I was a speaker, not the coordinator. 

I want to thank Nathan, Denny, and Andrew for taking over and running the conference.  And to their constant statements that all they did was step into the system I created I call bullshit.  Running a conference is hard as hell and take credit for a job well done.  The challenge of running a conference is not the big items of dates, sponsors, or venues.  It's the one million and one little problems that come up and threaten to overwhelm you in a title wave of paper cuts via emails and DMs.

I also want to thank Glenn, the silent partner of CodeStock.  Every year he has helped behind the scenes, be it finding a venue for the attendee party or stuffing bags.

Just because I wasn't running the show didn't mean it wasn't chaos.  I decided Thursday to completely rebuild my talk "What is Fun" into "Quest for Fun" and ended up creating a 57 slide deck less than 12 hours before it was given.  My wife said "you are the best person at being unprepared I've even seen."  I wonder if there is some deep seeded issues I have that require intense pressure on myself before I feel like I'm really making progress.  I probably should speak to a therapist, but who has the time?

I feel like "Quest for Fun" went great.  Of course I don't have any feedback and this is just my gut, but I trust my gut.  It was interesting listing to Julie's keynote about her process for learning and seeing just how different it was from mine.  She focuses on taking one bite of the elephant at a time and doesn't get obsessed with how much or little there is left.  Every bite taken is a victory.  I tend to start by getting a whole herd of elephants and committing to having them in a three ring circus by the end of the week.  I have no idea how I will do this, but my gut tells me I'll figure it out as I go.  Rachel captured this perfectly when she quoted me on twitter: "Learning is about being so stupid you don't know you can't do something."

If you were at my Quest for Fun Talk you know that I believe each approach is just as valid, and it's what ever works for you.  And it's key  to remember no matter what method you use have empathy for the other.

My next talk was "Kickstarter: Crowd Funding by the Numbers".  This one went great as well, but it's not where I want it to be yet.  I'm still crunching numbers on the data.  I will be giving this talk at DevLink and it will change between now and then (though I'll try not to start over the night before).  Interesting side story, there is an image I use on a slide about raising awareness I found just from a Flickr creative commons image search I use in my talk.  While taking a walk with Julie and Rachel we stumbled upon the location the photo was taken.  Yea, it's in my home town and I never knew!

Saturday I did a session on Unity which was a last minute addition to the schedule to fill an open spot.  This one was not a planned session, but a tour of the Unity IDE and some concepts so everyone who went home that night could install Unity and have an Idea how to get started.  I was a little surprised at the applause my game Quest got.  I think it's the yellow castle.  It speaks to us on a subconscious level, telling you "all will be okay - you're safe here".  Maybe I should call that therapist.

I managed to attend a few sessions and open spaces but also spent a good amount of time just hanging out and talking with friends new and old.  And that's what it's all about, sharing stories, experience, and knowledge.  Looking forward to CodeStock 2014.

Speaking of sharing, here are the slides and notes from my talks:

Slides: Quest for Fun

Slides : Kickstarter: Crowd Funding by the Numbers

Unity Notes:

Posted By Mike On Sunday, July 14, 2013
Filed under codestock games kickstarter unity | No Comments

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About Michael

Michael C. Neel, born 1976 in Houston, TX and now live in Knoxvile, TN. Software developer, currently .Net focused. Board member of ETNUG and organizes CodeStock, East Tennessee's annual developers conference. .Net speaker, a Microsoft ASP.NET MVP and ASPInsider. Co-Founder of FuncWorks, LLC and GameMarx.

Proud father of two amazing girls, Rachel and Hannah, and loving husband to Cicelie who inflates and pops his ego as necessary.

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