I went to CodeMash this year. Last year I did not. Sure, I knew that there would be a lot of good talks, but can’t I earn the same information by reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts, etc.?
Now I see why I was wrong. People I work with talk about the value of being involved in the .NET community, and now I see why they are right.
Sure, the talks were great. But by far the best part is being able to sit down with people who know way more than me and ask them about problems that I’m having right now on my current project. That kind of free advice is invaluable.
In the technology world, there is always tons of new stuff out there, and there’s no way that I can keep up with it all (especially with a wife and a kid on the way). If I want to be someone who can make good architectural decisions, how can I do that without having knowledge of what’s out there? Since I can’t keep up with it all, I could use some other people that can help out.
So I plan on trying to be more involved in the local .NET community (user groups, blogging, etc.), and I’m really excited about it. Hopefully I can make some worthwhile contributions of my own while I’m at it.