One time at SV code camp…

Just kidding!  No American Pie band cap experiences here.  Last weekend was the annual Silicon Valley Code Camp at Foothills College.  I unfortunately couldn’t attend most of it, but got a chance to sneak out of the house to attend Saturday morning.  The two sessions that I picked were 1) MapReduce and 2) Web Analytics (I left my notes somewhere else, so I’ll have to fill in the gaps at a later time).

I was interested in the MapReduce session because Google and Facebook both use this software framework to support distributed computing on large data sets on clusters of computers.  If you want to work for either of those companies or the like, you better have some idea of MapReduce.  The speaker was Rahul Agarwal.  He seemed pretty knowledgeable about the topic since his company has implemented MapReduce for analyzing logs.  The speaker basically went through the MapReduce paper and its examples.

It was interesting to hear the questions from the audience.  They were asking about specific implementations about MapReduce and the speaker kept saying, “Yes, it’s how you implement the methods”.  I was wondering why people weren’t getting that you can implement Map and Reduce however you wanted.  Hmm.  My assessment of the talk on scale of 1-5, I would say 3.

The other session that I attended was Web Analytics given by Massimo Paolini from MP Three Consulting.  I’ve been reading about Google Analytics a bit, so I guess the class was too intro for me.  It was 30 minutes into it and I was wondering when I should leave.  I never did though.  Luckily a buddy of mine from Startup Weekend was sitting next to me.  That helped killed time.

I actually think Google Analytics is awesome.  Imagine being able to pinpoint how long visitors stay on your site or where did they originate from.  Massimo did show me a thing a two like setting Google Analaytic goals and setting business goals that feed into your analytics goals (more details to come when I get my notes).  My assessment of the talk on scale of 1-5, I would say 2 only because I knew some of it already.  My fault for taking an intro talk.

So this being my first time at Silicon Valley Code Camp, what did I think?  Well, you can beat that it was FREE with free food and raffle prizes during lunch time.  I would attend again.  I did notice though that the demographics were skewed to the older side of the house, probably 60% of the attendees.  Oh and it seemed like a lot of Microsoft folks.  It was kind of fun running around to the talks like going to college again.  There were over 600 of us attending about 25 sessions at each time slot.  Pretty nice of Foothills College to lend a helping hand to the tech community.  Also, thank you to the code camp organizers.  I enjoyed myself and hoped that I could have attended more sessions.  Code on!

Sessions that I would have attended had I attended the whole time:

  • HTML5 Crash Course
  • How to Product Manage an Agile Team
  • Dancing with iOS SDK: iPhone & iPad
  • Fundamentals of Good UI Design
  • In-depth Survey of HTML5 Features
  • Lean-Agile Adoption: save it from failing or, better, don’t let it fail.
  • How to take your current JavaScript/PHP app and make it scale

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