One Time, at Code Camp ...


By David Riggs


When I was a kid my family often went camping at some point during the summer. Growing up in Northern California, we were never too far from the coastal redwoods, the mountains, or the beach.


We had a routine for years: We d drive north to camp in the majestic groves of Humboldt Redwoods State Park, then dip south to the coast to pitch our tent at Van Damme State Park. Each location offered something different. In the redwoods we hiked shady trails, rode inner tubes down the lazy Eel River, and laid on our backs in a meadow at night to watch shooting stars. Over on the coast we d walk along the beach, watch divers going after abalone, and poke around the shops and galleries in the quaint village of Mendocino.


Although the opportunities and experiences were different at each campsite, the experience of spending time as a family was always valuable. To this day we still have family jokes about things that were said or done around the campsite, and some of my most vivid memories are from those camping trips.


We learned about plants and animals, local history, and how to cook, clean, and set up camp. These family camping trips instilled in me a lifelong love of the outdoors, respect for nature and our place in it, and the value of spending time together as a family. These experiences may not have been life changing, but they certainly helped to shape who I became.


It s funny how a camping trip or two can help you grow as a person maybe even professionally. If you didn t know it, there are camps available to you to help you develop your skills, network with colleagues, and build community. Appropriately named Code Camps, these events are community-driven. They are held on weekends, are free to attend, and always focus on code. These camps provide a forum for the development community to share ideas and learn from each other. Those who choose to share do so without expectation of any compensation, other than knowing that by participating they are contributing to their community. There are no hidden agendas, no ulterior motives. Pure and simple, it s about the code and the community.


The opportunities and experiences will be different at each camp. But there will always be one constant: with each and every participant, the development community will continue to grow and benefit. I m not saying it will change your life, but I m not saying it won t.


Check out the Code Camp Manifesto at http://bostondotnet.org/codecamp/default.aspx/CodeCamp/CodeCamp%20Manifesto.html, as well as the schedule of upcoming camps at http://bostondotnet.org/codecamp/default.aspx/CodeCamp/CodeCampSchedule.html.


When I lived in Green Bay, WI for a year I always regretted never camping in Door County. It is renowned for its abundance of natural beauty; I simply never took the opportunity to get out in it. Don t miss your opportunity to get to a Code Camp near you. You ll regret it if you don t.


Thanks for reading.


David Riggs is editor-in-chief of asp.netPRO and its companion e-newsletter, asp.netNOW. Reach him at mailto:[email protected].




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