I had the pleasure of attending CodeMash for the first time this year and I can certainly see why it is so popular with the developers here at IBS. I walked into CodeMash hoping to get a few tips on being a better developer and possibly learning a bit about a couple of languages I am not that familiar with. I came out of CodeMash with a renewed vigor about development as a whole.
There is something to be said for the creative spark that can ignited by being around others in the kind of atmosphere that CodeMash provides. The event brought out the kid in me who really loved the idea of building something from scratch and the challenge that creating something new provided. I would have to say that my favorite sessions of the week were the Arduino sessions (http://arduino.cc/) as they did play to the engineer in me that just likes to build things. But most importantly I learned that the development community as whole has a strong interest in passing along knowledge. I am a frequent visitor to sites such as Stack Overflow and Code Project and to get that kind of information in an interactive manner was quite refreshing.
I would also have to say that although CodeMash may seem a bit overwhelming it is a great opportunity for new developers to learn. Many of the sessions are geared toward more advanced developers but there are so many sessions at one time that a developer fresh out of school would not have any difficulty finding sessions that provided them with great information without feeling lost in the coding. All and all I had a great experience at CodeMash this year and cannot wait to do it again.