On Saturday, May 17th, we held the first Cleveland Day of .NET and it was, from all accounts, a success. It sounds like everyone had a good time, met a lot of new people and learned about technologies they would not have been exposed to in their normal jobs. This is exactly what we were trying to accomplish.
How it got started
All of this came about because a few community members were talking on twitter about Cleveland needing a Code Camp or something similar and deciding to do something about it. Myself, Sarah Dutkiewicz and Michael Letterlie, none of whom new each other in person, decided to create this. A few days later was an ArcReady where Joe Fiorini and Corey Haines also joined in. By the time we had our first meeting Sam Nasr was also an organizer and by the second meeting, Mike Slade was with us as well. From the very first meeting, where most of us actually met each other, until the Cleveland Day of .NET took place was just under three months. This group of people pulled off a great conference without any of us having done anything like this before. If you see any of these organizers out in the community, thank them, they all deserve a big congratulations.
A Good Day
In the weeks since Cleveland Day of .NET I have heard directly and indirectly from many people that all say it was a good event. Sponsors, speakers, attendees and organizers alike all feel that it was a good day. Of course there are things that can be improved upon for next year, that is true of any event, but the day did accomplish what we set out to do: Provide a locally hosted developer focused event for fellow developers.
In addition to the people that worked so had to pull this together, plenty of other people are deserving of our thanks.
When we were first organizing this, we dreamed big but were skeptical of getting very many speakers. We were wrong. After deciding on time and tracks there was room for 24 sessions and 4 vendor sessions. When we placed the call for speakers, hoping to get 24 good responses, we had almost 50 talks proposed, it ended up being quite a task to trim that down to the 24 that we had room for.
Some drove long distances, some spoke at very little notice, some were speaking in front of a group for the first time. All of them did it completely for free, no gas money, no free hotel. Ok, so some of them may have just come for the opportunity to drink with fellow geeks :).
Please thank all of these speakers when you see them around:
- Richard Broida
- Joe O'Brien
- Dan Hibbits
- Sam Nasr
- Dan Hounshell
- Alan Stevens (Drove furthest - from TN)
- John Stockton (Yea, that's me)
- Josh Clark
- Brian Shura
- Nate Kohari (First big presentation)
- Carey Payette
- Jason Follas
- Chris Woodruff
- James Bender
- Michael Eaton
- Amanda Laucher
- Joe Brinkman
- Joe Fiorini
- Dave Redding
- Len Smith
- Brian Prince (Cursed me during presentation, not the first time, probably won't be the last)
- Sarah Dutkiewicz (Worked on presentation until the very end)
- Leon Gersing
- Joe Wirtly
Without the support of the local development community this event would have been pointless. Both of the relevant user groups, the Cleveland C#/VB. NET SIG and the Cleveland .NET SIG helped to spread the word and offered any support we needed. The community members that attended put up with the narrow hallways, lack of lunch and no good meeting place yet offered nothing but praise.
There was also a lot of support for Day of .NET from local companies as well. Without the generous sponsors all the effort put in would never have been enough since it always ends up coming down to money. We had a great bunch of sponsors that all were very supportive and adaptable, even when we weren't sure what we were doing. If you would like to thank them yourself (and please do) here they are:
- Hyland Software
- Bennett Adelson
- Beacon Hill Staffing Group
- Robert Half Technology
- PreEmptive Solutions
We also had a number of companies donate books, software and swag to give away:
It's all over now, we're all finally caught up on rest and back to life as normal. But let's not let the momentum die, we've started something here, lets keep it going. And I'll see you in the community.