Monday, 31 August 2009

An Eye Opening Experience

Being dissed at the Jacksonville Code Camp (JaxCC) last weekend was the best thing that could have happened to me. I had to ask myself what I was doing and what I hoped would result from my actions. The result: I've decided to find something better to do with my time, energy and money. More on that at another time.

Here's what happened. I drove 8+ hours to facilitate a Community Courtyard at JaxCC. I've hosted Community Courtyards successfully at other Code Camps this year, and I've never made it to a Florida event before. It seemed like a good opportunity to meet some new folks and engage a broader audience.

Here's the problem, after I committed to hosting a Community Courtyard at the Jacksonville event, I started a new job that requires me to be out of town for two weeks at a stretch for the first 90 days. JaxCC fell at the end of one of those two week trips.

I've seen people bail on their talks the day of the talk, when they were already at the event. I've had speakers bail on me the day of a user group meeting and I've had people just not show up. Whenever possible, I follow through on my commitments.

The last time I bailed on a talk I had just flown in on a red eye (it was another case of satisfying a pre-existing commitment). I had two talks scheduled and I asked to do only the second one, so that I could get a nap and at least give one decent talk. My friend Michael Neel filled in for me in the open slot.

I've worked with lots of terrific event organizers. I'm pleased that many of them have become personal friends. I do not commit to participate in an event lightly because I know that organizers will count on my presence, in part, for the success of their event.

So the scene is me returning to Knoxville Thursday night after two weeks away without seeing my wife or kids. Early Friday morning, my wife and I hit the road for Jacksonville as planned. I did not have time to see my kids before leaving.

Saturday morning, I was on site bright and early to check in and get my space organized. I was not on the speaker list. Nobody knew who I was. I asked to speak with an organizer and I was directed to one of two speaker coordinators. After introductions, he said "I got an email from you."

He was referring to the email I sent as I left Knoxville asking for confirmation that they were still expecting me. He did not respond, although he admitted seeing it. Nor did anyone else from the JaxCC respond to my request for confirmation. I copied two other Florida contacts on the email, Sean Chambers and Joe Healy, and both responded to me.

In the end, there was no Community Courtyard at JaxCC, and I traveled 1400+ miles round trip seemingly for nothing. I was furious. I felt like a victim. I blamed the organizers for being disrespectful and disorganized. But in the end, I had to take full responsibility for my situation. When I did, I saw things differently.

As of now, Monday evening two days after the event, I have received no word of apology. I should have seen the signs. When I initially contacted the organizers using the email address on the JaxCC website, I got no response. I contacted Sean Chambers to put me in touch with the organizers, which he did. The entire email thread is copied below.

Open Space/Community Courtyard at Jax Code Camp

Sean Chambers - Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 10:03 AM
To: Eugene Chuvyrov , Bayer White
Cc: Alan Stevens
Hey Eugene & Bayer

I passed along both of your e-mails to Alan Stevens. He is interested in discussing the possibility of him doing an open space within the jax code camp. I also cc'd him on this e-mail.

Just giving you the heads up.


Bayer White - Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 6:49 PM
To: Sean Chambers , Eugene Chuvyrov
Cc: Alan Stevens
Thanks Sean,

Email has been crazy;-)

Alan Stevens - Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 3:05 PM
To: Bayer White
Cc: Sean Chambers , Eugene Chuvyrov , Joe Healy
Hi All,

I'd like to come down for the Jax Code Camp. I can submit talks if necessary, but lately I've been getting good feedback on hosting a Community Courtyard at Code Camps in Atlanta and Richmond. I'd like to host a CC at the Jax event if possible. This will require a space all day and an opportunity to explain the space at the opening keynote. A dedicated room is great, but at Atlanta we just had a conversation area off the cafeteria and that worked fine.

Please ping me back with any questions and feel free to contact Jim Wooley in Atlanta and Andrew Leonard in Richmond on what value they saw in having a CC to their events.

BTW, I added Healy to this thread because if nothing else, he can confirm that I make a good drinking companion. :-)


Joe Healy - Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 3:30 PM
To: Alan Stevens , Bayer White
Cc: Sean Chambers , Eugene Chuvyrov , Kevin Randall
gmail?  I don’t know anyone who uses gmail....

On a positive note, Alan can pull off a openspace deal if ya'll want to gun it.  And he can drink beer on a "kevin randall" level.

Sounds like a good value add to me.

Bayer White - Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 10:36 AM
To: Joe Healy, Alan Stevens
Cc: Sean Chambers, Eugene Chuvyrov, Kevin Randall
I am game Alan and I think we can accommodate! I need to work out the space as we are trying to get more based on the number of speakers that have shown interest. Can you let me know the details?


Alan Stevens - Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 4:01 PM
To: Bayer White
Cc: Joe Healy, Sean Chambers, Eugene Chuvyrov, Kevin Randall
Sorry this thread got deferred for a while. I've been wrangling a new gig that starts Monday.

A Community Courtyard would ideally replace a speakers lounge. It is a place for people to gather and discuss topics of their own choosing. It is entirely appropriate to have a projector in the room for people to share code.

A CC is a great place for speakers to invite their audience to join them for further discussion after their talks. I typically make an announcement before the keynote, or during the opening gathering. I like to talk to speakers directly about the CC at the speaker's dinner if their is one, but I can email the speakers list if you have one.

I only require a space typically a room, but a conversation nook, or a hallway with chairs will work too. I start the day by having people suggest topics and we build a backlog of topics that is added to throughout the day. People can schedule a topic during a given time slot if they like. I also ask the group at the beginning of each time slot what they want to talk about and we break up into groups around the chosen topics.

This differs from an open space in that there is no open or closing and I am an active participant. My role is to act as a catalyst for discussion and sharing. I try to keep people engaged and occasionally I push peoples buttons to make them react. I'm happy to be the devils advocate on any topic. :-)

I encourage people to share code as the highest fidelity way for developers to communicate, and these exchanges are often the most satisfying. I'm stoked about the opportunity to engage the FL community. Thanks for letting me do this.



Alan Stevens - Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 8:50 AM
To: Bayer White
Cc: Joe Healy, Sean Chambers, Eugene Chuvyrov, Kevin Randall
Hi All!

I'm about to embark on an eight hour road trip to Jacksonville. I just want to confirm that you guys still want to do a CC. Do you have a space set aside? I'll be there either way.



Joe Healy - Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 9:38 AM
To: Alan Stevens, Bayer White
Cc: Sean Chambers, Eugene Chuvyrov, Kevin Randall

Call me on cell when you get in.  Cell is below.  Looking fwd to some beers.  I'm here now, pickup up Kabza around 100p.  Prob be at orange park poker room until party time (if I get my work done).

As is tradition, Jacksonville is doing its best to draw in a hurricane for codecamp, but it looks like they won't succeed this time!

Sean Chambers - Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 7:26 PM
To: Alan Stevens
Did you ever hear back from them? Did you make it to jax?

Was I too trusting? Should I have followed up sooner? Of course! This experience has only served to confirm what I knew already; that I’ve worked with some fantastic event organizers in the developer community. These folks just weren’t among that esteemed group.

A Course In Miracles teaches that to see differently is the definition of a miracle. I am grateful for the gift I received. I will make improvements in my life as a result. I am still organizing my thoughts on the new perspectives this experience spawned and I hope to share them here soon.



Monday, 31 August 2009 21:04:47 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
How were you "dissed"? Do you take no responsibility at all for what happened?
Monday, 31 August 2009 21:13:22 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
@Michael Read the second to last paragraph again.
Monday, 31 August 2009 21:22:33 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
@alan, I did read it...a couple times. I'm struggling to see how you can give them this treatment based on anything you've written.
Monday, 31 August 2009 21:27:18 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Hi Alan

I hate to say it, but from the thread, I see no commitment to bring you down or to host a CC at the codecamp. There was also a good chunk of time in-between communications, so they may have thought you had given up. Remember, they're not privvy to your gigs, and shouldn't be.

I wouldn't have made the trek without a firmer "Yes". A phone call may have helped.

The place where this fell down was your failure to reply until 3 weeks later. They were trying to arrange space right then, so surely timing was critical.

I don't see a dis here, just a failure of communication on both parts. Joe was the only reply, and he doesn't set up the code camp - just helps support it via DPE.

Monday, 31 August 2009 21:44:30 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
First of all your last correspondence was more than a month prior to the code camp. I would have expected an e-mail at least a week prior from you to confirm that they had your space allotted and make sure that everything was ready. This would have provided them ample time to make adjustments and to ensure that everything was still a go.

Second, You sent an e-mail asking to confirm the DAY before the code camp, along with the text "Do you have a space set aside? I'll be there either way.". This leads me to believe that it wasn't too big of a deal if they didn't have a space for you. Again, you didn't get a response so you came anyways. YOUR fault for coming without confirmation. No confirmation == no space. You should have made that assumption.

Also, a couple of things here that were "omitted" from your blog post.

Third, When I arrived at the code camp and asked you if they had your space ready (at which point I saw Bayer standing 15 feet away), you told me no they didn't and then you began speaking obscenities targeted at the event organizers and were acting completely disrespectful all within feet of several people that included volunteers and event organizers. Then several minutes later you proceeded to walk up to myself, Joe Healy and several other enthusiastic community members and continued to berate the event and telling us how it was crap and that it wasn't really a code camp and how it was a sad excuse for a code camp, again with the organizers and several volunteers standing within an earshot.

Finally, you begin a twitter rant targeted at the event and then to my knowledge left sometime around the first set of sessions for the day.

Yes, there was a communication breakdown but you are as much to blame for that as they are and this post is completely out of line and disrespectful. I can guarantee that if people that were present at the event that saw your behavior or spoke with someone who did, would not be inviting you to any future community event anywhere in Florida.
Monday, 31 August 2009 21:54:45 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Is this the entire thread? Did you clip anything out? Were there any phone calls or voicemails that you didn't mention?

Assuming this is "it", here's the problem that I see: You start your 3rd paragraph by saying: "Here's the problem, after I committed to hosting a Community Courtyard at the Jacksonville event...", which of course is incorrect. You didn't commit to hosting a Community Courtyard. You offered.

I've been involved in the technical community for 15 years, and my single biggest gripe of techies is also the biggest lesson to be learned here: Why don't techie's pick up the stinking phone?. You embarked on a trip for Jacksonville more than 2 MONTHS since your last communication from the event organizer, which consisted of "I think we can accomodate", and at no point during that 2 month span did it occur to you to take 5 minutes out of your day to place a phone call, or at least more than a single email? I respect that your new job and travel is probably leaving you with considerably less free time, but you spend more than 5 minutes per day on Twitter so clearly you have time for a phone call. Quite frankly the lengths that you took to publicly expose the organizers and their names is dissappointing, and actually suprising for a "professional". I hope the improvement in your life that comes as a result of this is simply learning to make a phone call or two. You're making a really big deal out of something that you yourself could have prevented, very very easily.

One of your tweets today accused someone having thin skin, but I think you're the one that needs a sensitivity check.

Ben Richards
Monday, 31 August 2009 22:08:33 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I'm going to keep it short and sweet. I've attended many code camps, in Florida and Ohio. Out of all the cities I've been in, Jacksonville's community of developers is pretty much the farthest behind on good topics, and sadly the worst organised code camp I've seen by a long shot.

The people involved are great people. I just think they need to find some better corporate sponsors and people who may not want to speak to get the conference organised. And be a little more choosy with their topics so that they are more relevant.

The lunch and learns that most companies up here, in Ohio, are more engaging than JaxCC.
Monday, 31 August 2009 22:11:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I don't see anything wrong with the thread. But I can empathise with a general lack of communication when trying to get things moving at JaxCC. That was my point.
Monday, 31 August 2009 22:17:50 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I am one of the recently de-friended on Twitter, so I've lost touch with what has happened on Twitter land since this morning (unless there is GREAT value in following a person, I don't follow people who don't follow me... keeps my Twitter world in order).

But... here goes a flame of a comment, not meant specifically at you but it certainly does relate.

What I've seen from developers, and several big names, in the community is a total lack of professionalism in their mannerisms when they should be 'professional' at all levels. People seem to think since its a community event, and they are part of the community they can act as they would with their best buds. Personally, I think that is unwise. If you are in a position of 'leadership' then I personally expect professionalism from you, even if you are 'off duty.' I have actually stopped following some great people because they talk like fourth graders. We've grown up, and course language isn't cool. Abusive language will get a person punched in the face if you catch the wrong person on the wrong day.

Now onto this issue. Unlike other commenters I do see where you took ownership of the issue as well as putting some on the organizers, which it belongs on them as well. I too take your comment that you'd be there either way as you being OK... either way. Then you threw a fit when you weren't used. With the 'fuller' story, your reaction to it does seem over the top just as theirs seems way too non-existent. Its a shame really, you are a talented fellow and I'd say the chances of you spreading your influence south has just reached nill when it comes to Jacksonville. A loss for all involved.

But I do think, from this email, you committed with very little commitment from them. Lets hope this issue doesn't linger, because it has the potential.
Monday, 31 August 2009 23:07:30 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
As someone that organized a few OpenSpace / Community type of gatherings at CodeCamps and notably the FL Tweener weekend OpenSpace which had 5 events running along side it - I understand a few things about the track you attempted to host. Pause here. two key words: you & host.

There is a huge need to publicize and spread the word about such a happening. It needs to be clearly messaged to the attendees and almost have more prep then the scheduled speakers need to gather interest.

Also, as someone who pushes to run such a gathering, it's ones job to basically make it happen.

All you did was ask for space and stopped, as organizers as just as busy as you are. Plus in your line of communication the ball appeared to have dropped. As it wasn't the organizers idea, why should they set up your event track for you and do all the work? C'mon now!

I saw and heard none from you online or the twitter-verse for that matter on any sort of Court Yard anything.

Your last chance was at keynote when everyone was there to announce your thing and get some people rounded up somewhere. You are already there, make it happen. It's not your first rodeo.

As volunteers and speakers, helping a cause and running this event profit-free - someones' disrespectful tirades because of last minute showing of a un-publicized and un-promoted side-event are complete garbage!

Now it sux that you drove 8hours and expected to see your event publicized, setup and ready for you, with one day's notice. But seriously, this must be a joke. I don't think a single person appreciates your reaction.

PS: @DevelopingChris - the list of sessions was posted. So not sure why you are so grumpy about, no one made you come by force.
Monday, 31 August 2009 23:29:32 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)

Its Bayer, one of the organizers of the JAXCC you showed up to last Saturday. To bad you had to go through all of this trouble to bash our code camp instead of just saying what you felt you needed to say face to face to me. The first problem you made was not getting back with me soon enough to let me know what it was you wanted to do. Second, you assumed that you had the go ahead to do your court-yard event at our code camp and you did not. I never gave you the go-ahead because it was too late once you replied with a random email three weeks later on what you wanted to do....I dropped it between waiting on you to reply. As time gets closer to a code camp event, things start getting real crazy so here is my, "Sorry" for not getting back with you.
A couple of things you failed to mention that you have now given me the opportunity to share is how you sat outside the main doors of our registeration area and ranted to anyone that could hear you. You pretty much made a fool out of yourself, as you will soon realize that others that are hosting code camps in the future might not be as tolerate as I was if you continue to do that at events we work so hard organizing. Finally, you and I still have a common passion about Microsoft .Net Technologies and I am cool with shaking hands with you over this if you will change the tone you have set towards us and take back what you have said about the successful code camp we put on last Saturday. Ball is in your court pal!
Bayer White
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:26:32 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I couldn't imagine driving the distance you traveled on as little confirmation you showed in the email chain. I read and re-read the email chain over again but couldn't see where you were "dissed" or anything that would trigger you to think you had commitment from the Jax group. I'm sure you've run many events yourself and you know how insane getting ready to accomodate hundreds of people is. Having not received a response from you for three weeks, I imagine I would have given up on the concept and moved on to the many battles that were on my plate with my daily job and preparing for the event. This event raised a ton of money for charity and gave people technology education they coudn't have received in this economy elsewhere. Yes there was a communication problem on both sides but if you're going to rant in public like this, you need to take some personal responsibilty for your own lack of communication for 3 weeks for an idea you were advocating.
Brian Knight
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:52:43 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)

Since my name appeared in several of the e-mails you pasted, I felt the need to respond to your post.

First, I'd like to apologize to you for what happened. As a person who facilitates Jacksonville Architecture SIG, I value all of the people willing to volunteer their time for the benefit of the community, and I don't like to see their feelings hurt and expectations not met.

Having said that, I know firsthand that we had an overwhelming response to our call for speakers, and by the time your e-mailed came in on July 17th, we were completely booked and had to turn quite a few speakers away. I am not sure if it was possible to locate a room for your event at that point, since the University of North Florida gave us a fixed number of facilities to use. We should have probably communicated that to you, but between regular jobs and trying to get the event rolling, it slipped through the cracks.

Again, I am sorry for this breakdown in communication. I hope you reconsider your views on events in Florida and continue contributing positive energies to the community.

@DevelopingChris: As someone who was very actively involved in selecting the tracks and sessions for each track, I take offense to your statement about JaxCC 'being the worst organized by far.' Have you actually attended the event this year? Do you have concrete recommendations on making the event better? Please e-mail me personally if you'd like to constructively discuss this topic further.


Eugene Chuvyrov
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 01:23:42 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
You drove a long ways and ran in to a frustrating, disappointing situation. Your irritation is understandable, but your reaction was unconscionable. Venting your spleen in public onsite and on Twitter was an awful way to deal with things. You could have tried to work something out the morning of the event, but from all accounts other than your own it appears you made zero effort to do that.

Deriding the event, its organizers, and the attendees does nothing but further the image you've earned as a petulant, negative, self-centered singleton.

It's a loss for everyone.
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 08:12:40 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Let's take a breath. Emotions, you see, can either serve or destroy us. Alan Stevens is not wrong, my friends. I have only met him once so I have no vested interest in joining this conversation except to say if Alan showed up at my event unexpected, I would personally make sure he got an audience and a beer on me.

Mistakes and miscommunications happen all the time and I've been on both sides of that argument, which gives me a certain perspective. I read through the emails and, in my opinion, Alan was spot on in believing that he needed to be there. When a conversation like that one is ongoing, one can assume the positive unless he hears a negative such as:

Sorry, Alan, We couldn't secure a space for a community courtyard group. I hope you can still attend the camp!

That would be definitive and Alan could have taken it easy over the weekend.

Dim peace as string
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 08:56:20 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
So it appears as if Florida is finding out what Knoxville has known for quite some time ... Alan is a douchebag.

Pompous ass.
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 09:34:28 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
You offered to host a Community Courtyard.

You let approximately 5 weeks go by with ZERO effort on your part to confirm whether or not you were on the speaker list, and did absolutely nothing to promote YOUR session that YOU wanted to host.

You drove 8 hours only to discover that you were not on the speaker list, and then you threw a childish temper tantrum that only accomplished making an embarassment of yourself to the event organizers and attendees that saw you.

Take some accountability for your actions, and get over yourself.
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 11:35:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
As the Vice President of the Jacksonville Developer User Group (jaxdug) I was personally responsible for helping put together the wonderful team of volunteers, speakers and sponsors who all helped make this event a complete success. I will share the ownership in the good, bad and ugly that will come out of this event. Just so you know, we had over 700 people register for the event, over 460 people attended, tremendous support from our sponsors, a diverse group of speakers and topics that included our local MVP’s and some green speakers getting their feet wet, a pre-party (that you were invited to and chose not to attend), an after-party (that you were invited to and chose not to attend) ( After our expenses for this event (this was not free, people actually contributed time, money, knowledge and leadership) we were able to raise over $12,000 for Wolfsen Children’s Hospital (
I remember greeting you early in the morning as the 460+ people who attended our Code Camp began to arrive. Our conversations were more elaborate than “I got an e-mail from you.” I am sure you remember sitting with me and talking about the event and some of the positive discussions that you had had with folks early on that morning. Although you had the opportunity to discuss any issue’s you had with our Code Camp directly with me, you chose to talk about development practices and other random topics.
Even after your complete lack of follow through and communication (Pick up the phone and put down your laptop) up to this point I was willing to help you set up and even began the process, until several of my colleagues pulled me aside and let me know that you had started to bash our Code Camp on your blog. I would have listened to you and let you vent right there in person but in order to make that happen you would have had to have shown some backbone, but you did not. The passive aggressive behavior that you have displayed has only made you look like a spineless fool.
You have displayed and continue to display a complete lack of respect in your personal blog attacks towards our Code Camp, speakers, volunteers, Wolfsen Children’s Hospital, our community as a whole and me personally. This event was a tremendous success due to the high level of communication, coordination, blood, sweat and tears that went into it. We understand that it was not perfect and we are open to any positive feedback that will help make future event’s even more of a success.
It is more important to give a little bit more than you’ve got to give, rather than take all you can. The world would be a much better place if more people took this simple advice.
-Kevin Randall
Kevin Randall
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 12:44:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)

I am also one of the volunteers who helped organized JaxCC. In fact, I think I was the first volunteer that Alan ran into the morning of the event. I am personally insulted by the fact that the VOLUNTEERS have to defend themselves against a speaker that failed to register himself as a speaker at Speaker registration had been open since June. You failed to register for the event as a speaker, so I failed to accomodate your space requirement.

What Alan fails to mention is that we did TRY to make a space for him. We set up a location for him to speak about 15 feet from our main registration desk where every attendee would have to walk directly past his courtyard. I personally offered to bring some desks over to the area for him to use from the classrooms at UNF. Alan said "desks create a barrier" and declined my offer. I also told him that if he wanted to move any other furniture around that he could feel free to get whatever he needed and I would return it to it's proper place after the event.

I know that everyone thinks Code Camps are free events. But, in reallity they are fairly expensive ordeals. We were fortunate to have a great charity organization behind us and we got some things donated for free but it still cost a lot of money to put on an event like this. Any bad we did to Alan is more than offset by the good we did for Wolfson Children's Hospital with the $12,000+ donation we were able to make.

Alan, I am sorry for your ordeal. Next time you are in Jax look me up and the beer is on me.

Mark Ewer
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 12:58:28 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Developing Chris,

Did you actually come down from Ohio this year and attend our Jax Code Camp this year? I don't remember seeing you there.

-Kevin Randall

Kevin Randall
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 13:12:23 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I think that this picture really says all that we, as the Jacksonville developer community, need to say.

Thanks to Joe Healy for taking this picture.
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 13:12:36 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
JaxCC krewe. I'd personally like to thank you for putting on a great event for the community. Not only did the .NET gang come out in force, I saw you welcome with open arms members of the jax php and ruby communities as well. Knowledge was shared, friends were made, acquaintances renewed, community was built. And over $12k was raised for the Children's Hospital in Jax. I'm proud of all you did, all the volunteer time put in, and all your effort. I know we also had speakers in from South Carolina, Georgia, and a few other places in addition to "all over Florida". You are the teachers, the sharers, the givers of your time. You did this selflessly, and without any asks back from anyone. You are part of what makes it great to be the DE in Florida. 660 of 661 registrants agree. Roughly. I'm proud of ya'll. Carpe diem.
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 13:59:55 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
One thing this post, assorted tweets, and side discussions have shown me over the last few days is what an amazing community of developers and organizers there are out there, and how much passion there is for high quality interactions and events. But that in the end we are just a bunch of human beings who are trying to do our best within our constraints, limitations and occasional failures.

I wasn't involved or in attendance at JaxCC, but have been directly involved with coordinating three regional events in Michigan. I know first hand how much time and attention they take to pull together with 100% volunteer effort on a shoestring budget. Especially in the last week it can be anything from a juggling act to a full-blown circus with details being ironed out in real-time on the day of the event.

I also have met Alan and participated in a very successful Open Spaces session at CodeMash 09. The Open Spaces format is one of the best ways of dialoging about real, valuable and timely topics. Alan's facilitation of the event was very effective and our brief personal discussion was warm and encouraging.

I won't excuse or defend either side here, except to say that I hope we can capture and channel all the energy and emotions of this incident towards future events with positive outcomes. It seems evident that what happened here is an "outlier" and is out of character for both code camps/conference and key participants. To discourage others from attempting to host events like these, or to have less passionate people present or facilitate at such events, would be a huge loss to all of us.
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 15:05:09 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
To everyone who has made a substantive comment on this post, Thank you. I will be absorbing your feedback for the next day or so, then write another post responding to your insightful comments.


Tuesday, 01 September 2009 15:47:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
2 weeks of not seeing your kids & you instead drove 8 hours for a conference instead? Focus on real things, not superficial things like a codecamp.
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 18:38:00 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
If you're going to post rude comments anonymously make sure there's no link to your site...
Friday, 04 September 2009 14:00:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)

On Tuesday you said this, "To everyone who has made a substantive comment on this post, Thank you. I will be absorbing your feedback for the next day or so, then write another post responding to your insightful comments.



Today is Friday Sept 4th. Have you thought about following through with your coment above? You have offended many people and I think that you owe it to the community that you represent as an MVP to respond to the many comments above.


Kevin Randall
Kevin Randall
Friday, 04 September 2009 14:55:26 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
@Kevin: Thet post containing the apology that you are looking for is here:

As for responding to individual criticisms, I did so in my original draft, but feedback from reviewers convinced me that it came off as defensive and I needed to simply admit fault and leave it at that.

If there is a particular issue you are concerned about, please let me know and I will do my best to satisfy your request.


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