Session Recommendations for CodeMash '17

One again, the content at CodeMash is going to be fantastic. There are great sessions all over the place. If you are attending, you will be like a blind dog in a butcher shop. Even if you don’t know where to go, you will find good content. That be said, it can be hard to pick which sessions to attend. I’d like to offer some humble suggestions. But before I do that, I’d like to offer a few caveats.

Caveat 1: I am going to limit my suggestions to sessions that I have seen in some previous form. This means that I am skipping over a bunch of great sessions by great presenters because I haven’t seen the content before. It also means that I am not going to mention sessions by the big name presenters like Jon Skeet, Cory House, Seth Juarez, or Jenifer Marsman. Their sessions would be worth seeing, but you probably already know that.

Caveat 2: I spend most of my developer time in the .Net ecosystem so I am less aware of who the good presenters are or what the cool topics are in the other ecosystems like Ruby, Python, Node, etc. I’m sure there is a ton of great content in those tracks that is outside my radar.

With that being said here are some recommendations:

Language Geek Sessions

I really enjoy learning about programming languages and their nuances. So I really like Craig Stuntz’s talk titled Incredibly Strange Programming Languages. It is a fascinating look at some languages that you have probably never heard of. I also like Rachel Reese’s talked called A History of F#: From Euclid to Type Providers It focuses on the history of functional languages with a focus on F#. Both of these sessions will give you a better perspective on the languages you are already using.

If you haven’t looked at using a functional language before, you ought to check out Getting Started with Functional Programming in F# from Reid Evans. He has a great story about he was able to adopt F# in his professional work and how it benefited him.


It goes without saying that JavaScript is a big deal. Hence it is important to know where the language is going, especially because you can take advantage of it now. You can get the intro from Jeff Strauss in Adding ES6 to Your Developer Toolbox and take a deeper look in Deep Dive Into ES6 Generators with Jonathon Mills. Both talks will give you tools that you can start using immediately.

Soft Skills

While I am most interest in the technical side of our profession, I know that the nontechnical side is just as important and CodeMash has sessions to help in that area too. Cassandra Farris will teach you about career growth in Career Growth Questions You’re Afraid to Ask and Jay Harris will share about working in a team environment in Make Donuts Great Again: The Tale of the Broken Build.


If you are an ASP.Net developer, there is a good chance that you will need to deal with Authentication and Authorization in .Net Core. Ondrej Balas will help you understand how this all works in ASP.NET Core Identity Management.


One of the greatest things about CodeMash is that it gives you a chance to learn about things in other tech stacks and you should absolutely check out some topics outside of what you are currently using. And if you are in one of those other communities please comment below about what sessions I should see or tell me I twitter (@pottereric). I would love to know what you think I should see.

The Rest of the Time

Lastly, make the most of the opportunities you have outside of the sessions. Talk to the other attendees. For many of us, this can seem like a daunting task. But Jeremy Clark has some great advice over on his site Becoming A Social Developer. If you don’t know what to say, just ask someone “What kind of code do you write?” There is a good chance they would love to tell you. Take the time to chat with people while you are in line for meals or while you are in the hall. Don’t always sit with people you already know. You will be surprised what you can learn from these interactions.

January 5, 2017 |
Tags : Conferences

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About Me

Eric Potter My name is Eric Potter. I have an amazing wife and 5 wonderful children. I am a Microsoft MVP for Developer Tools and Technologies, the Director of Technical Education for Sweetwater in Ft. Wayne Indiana, and an adjunct professor for Indiana Tech. I am a humble toolsmith.

Microsoft MVP Award