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Feeling out Bahamas Code Camp possibilities

What’s the first thing you think of when I say "Bahamas in February"? If you said "code", then you’re my target audience for this post.

First, a recap of the BahaNET meeting last Thursday night. We finally hit double-digit attendance for the first time which is very exciting, even if the number includes yours truly. A midway surge of three people added 40% to the numbers to bring us to the coveted "ten people". It was very exciting. Especially considering the topic was version control.

But that’s not what I came here to talk about. Something that’s been nagging in the back of my head for some time now is the possibility of an event in the Bahamas, hopefully next February or thereabouts. I don’t want to call it a code camp just yet because I’m not sure that’s what I want to do. A code camp seems local in scope and I’m still trying to figure out if we have the user base to justify it.

Another option is to make it more summit-y. I.e. invite people from around the world for a nice little software development love-in. What can we offer that other conferences don’t? Well, nothing from the professional development side of things. But just the same, I think we’d have a decent turn-out for some reason. I’ve had a *lot* of interest in this option. Not sure how much of that will translate to actual plane tickets being booked but it’s encouraging nonetheless.

There is a downside to the latter option that I think is pretty important. We would lose the local focus. I think there is still work to be done within the country before we start inviting software heavyweights down here to talk about functional programming and DDDD.

Which leads me to another option, and I swear I had this in mind before Kaizen came out. Instead of a code camp where there is presentation after presentation, I’d like to hold two days (minimum) of practical workshops. A workshop would be four hours long and ideally, we’d have at least two or three "tracks", with at least one of them geared very much toward beginners. At least on the first morning.

I believe this would offer the best of both worlds. The local development community could benefit from some hands-on training and the global community could pass on their knowledge in between margaritas on the beach.

I do have a medium- to long-term plan for the industry in the Bahamas. Realistically, a full day of 75 minute presentations doesn’t fit in with that goal right now. And as much as I would love to invite the world to the Bahamas for Caribbean TechFest so we can debate the pros and cons of IronRuby, that isn’t going to help the fledgling software industry in my adopted homeland.

I’ve been talking with some people rather vaguely about some of this already for some time and I suppose this is simply a way to try to crystallize things in a semi-permanent format. I’d be eternally grateful to anyone who can provide constructive feedback and/or advice on any of this as February is not quite as far away as I would hope.

Kyle the Planned

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  • Kyle Baley

    Mrs. L
    I dunno, I was kinda hoping to specifically avoid Spring Break. Wouldn’t bode well for our attendance.

  • http://mrsloquacious.blogspot.com Mrs Loquacious

    Conveniently, my birthday falls in late Feb. :) However, I will be mighty choked if we cannot attend due to my work (you know, teachers aren’t on holidays all the time!)

    How about around Easter time? Or Spring Break?!?!? 😀 You know, just in case.

  • Ken

    This sounds like an excellent idea! I think a mixture of both having a code camp kinda setting along with talks of software development giants will do the trick. The code camp for the practical side of things and the speech and presentations by SD greats for inspiration, which I think locally we need more of.

  • Kyle Baley

    Yes, I know who this is. And it took superhuman effort not to bring up our months-old conversations on this.

    So the question is: What are *you* gonna do about it, playah?

  • You know who this is

    OH YES.

    We will make this happen!!

  • http://www.walkspoiled.com Jim Bonnie

    I like the idea of longer workshops vs the shortish presentation style. OpenSpace may be to loose. The workshops could have tracks that go from beginner style to more advanced. And February is always a vacation (training) month for me. Sorry but Beach and Golf were slightly ahead of Code…

  • http://www.persistall.com Brian Donahue

    I volunteer for the SCUBA workshop!