CodeMash Pre-Compiler Recaps pt. 2

Duane OdumOver the past two days I have had the pleasure of attending some excellent workshops at CodeMash. I do not normally do the “session hopping” thing but there were just too many workshops that I was interested in and it was really my only recourse on day 2.

Day 2:

Develop a Cross-Platform 2D Game presented by Jennifer Marsman and David Giard

I originally went into this session with the intent of using Construct2 as a means of getting my kids interested in development.  I still have the intention but it will probably only happen after I create a few more games over the next month or so☺.

The UI is very easy to pick up on and because it is HTML5 and JavaScript I can just export it as a web site.  Which means I am not confined to the out-of-the-box functionality and can add my own customizations.  This is one of the coolest tools that I have seen in quite some time and as much as I want my kids to get involved in development I think they are going to have to wait until daddy finishes “tinkering” before they can get in on this one.

Going Indie 101 presented by Michael Eaton and Jeff Strauss

First things first…Dear IBS, please do not be concerned that I am going to quit my job and go independent.  I have been there, done that and I am presently very satisfied in my career choice.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way…

I very much enjoy going to sessions regarding independent work because I think that in some ways being self-employed is far superior to working for an organization.  Ultimately it just depends on what you really want out of being independent.  When I was self-employed I was simply doing it for the money and hoping to work less than everyone else, what ended up happening was I made a lot of money but worked a lot of hours and by a lot of hours I really mean a lot of hours.  I was still relatively young (early to mid-twenties) and my “work ethic” really resulted in me getting burnt out.  I love that these sessions really make young developers think about what they really want out a career and life before making the decision to be independent.  I also enjoy getting a refresher on all the legal/financial aspects that go along with being self-employed as I sometimes forget what a process it as to get going.

The other intriguing in this workshop is that I was somewhat surprised by the ages of folks in the room.  Of the 25 or so attendees about 15 were obviously early to mid-twenties and the other 10 of us were quite a bit older.  I am used to seeing “seasoned” developers in these sessions and it was quite refreshing to see the younger generation exploring their options.

A Lap Around the Cloud with Microsoft Azure presented by Mike Wood and Michael Collier

Last year I attended the Amazon Web Services (AWS) workshop so it only made sense to check out the Azure session this year.  I had already setup an Azure account and done the free trial but I never really dug into the nuts and bolts.  After this session I have a renewed sense of the “cloud first” nature that is coming to IT.  It is easy to manage and as Microsoft and Amazon (and others) compete for business it will more than likely become less and less expensive to run in the cloud in the future.

The one underlying concern in every cloud discussion is security and it appears that Azure has an edge there as hybrid environments are really the only thing that are going to “push” the folks that view the cloud as a security risk over the proverbial edge into the cloud.  As most organizations are already using Microsoft based products it is only natural that they would implement a hybrid model in Azure and I think this might be the “year of the hybrid” environment for Microsoft.  One of the attendees asked what the deciding factors were when comparing AWS and Azure and of course the answer was “It depends” but in looking at both cloud solutions it is obvious that Microsoft is “catching up” with its service offerings and saying catching up might be an understatement as in many areas it has surpassed Amazon.

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