CodeStock 2010: The Year We Connect

It’s that time again. The ever-awesome CodeStock is coming to Knoxville again this week. This is the third year for this technology community event and this is sure to be the best event yet!

CodeStock is at a new venue in the heart of Knoxville this year, with walking access to hotels, restaurants and downtown nightlife. The event will be held at the University of Tennessee Conference Center with the keynote held Friday evening at the historic Bijou Theater. This will be an excellent opportunity for people to experience authentic Knoxville culture. Can you tell I’m jazzed about the location change? 🙂

Another change this year is an expansion of the CodeStock program. CodeStock has always offered content for software developers and Open Space for attendee directed content. Last year the program expanded to include entrepreneur content. This year will include all of the above and include content specific for IT professionals. If you are interested in technology or business, then CodeStock has something for you.

Because I live in Knoxville and I’m active in the technology community, people often assume that I am involved in organizing CodeStock. That assumption is false. Michael Neel works year round along with his wife Cicelie to make CodeStock happen. They deserve the credit for bringing this terrific event to Knoxville. If you haven’t registered, there’s still time.

My primary responsibility at CodeStock is to facilitate the Open Space. This role has proven personally fulfilling. Feedback from participants in the Open Space has been positive as well. If you have never experienced an Open Space, then this is a great opportunity to get involved.

My secondary, and totally unofficial, responsibility around CodeStock is community social organizer. In this capacity, I host a get together the night before the event for people to gather and meet when they arrive in town. CodeStock is all about community and we don’t discriminate between speakers and attendees. There is no exclusive speakers dinner.

This year we will be gathering at The Downtown Grill & Brewery on Gay Street. We’ll meet upstairs in the banquet room Thursday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Please note that you can check in for your CodeStock registration at the Hilton Thursday evening from 4:00-8:00 pm. Please check in first, then head over to the brewery. We’ll most likely migrate downstairs or to another downtown location after 8:00. You can join us even if you don’t get in until late. Just check Twitter to see where we are and what’s going on at the moment.

The other community social event that I organize around CodeStock is an “after-party.” It isn’t really an after party, since it isn’t part of the official event, but with so many friends and potential new friends in town, I can’t pass up the opportunity to extend our time together. PostStock is held at my home and is hosted by my lovely wife Michele and myself. It is not officially associated with CodeStock or East Tennessee .Net Users Group, Inc. Got it?

Anyone still in town on Saturday night is invited over to my house from 7:00 pm until ??? If you didn’t attend the conference, but you are interested in meeting some of these incredible people, then you are invited too. Michele and I will provide light finger food and a location. Please bring your own beverage of choice. We will have the ping pong table set up, the fire pit burning and the acoustic guitars tuned up. If you can’t figure out where I live, then feel free to contact me for details. We live on a narrow street so please park in the school parking lot behind our house and enter the yard from the rear.

This will, without a doubt, be the best CodeStock yet. I look forward to seeing everyone here in Knox Vegas later this week!