I mentioned in a previous post that I was dreaming up a new presentation.
I had a great time at CodeMash last year and really enjoyed doing my first presentation at a conference along with Joe. The CodeMash organizers will be taking submissions for presentations soon and I recently learned that a November date has been set for the Cincinnati Dayton Code Camp. I would really like to follow up last year’s success with my first solo venture. I need to put something together now, though, if I want to be ready.
While I could try to jump into something new, learn as much about it as I can and put together a presentation based on that, I would rather not do so. I’m not all that comfortable with learning something directly for the purpose of being able to present it. I’m afraid that I’ll learn just enough to be able to talk about it but not really dig into the details. I would much rather present something that I know, something that I really like, and something that I do on a daily basis more-or-less. So a few nights ago I began thinking “what am I good at”:
While the validity of those points could be debated (whether or not I’m actually “good” at any or all of them), that is not the point of this post. I’ve built sites and I’ve used CodeSmith and .netTiers so for today we’ll say that is sufficient.
I would like to do some Community Server presentations, but I think that right now I want to focus on doing something with CodeSmith and .netTiers. Because CodeMash is a fairly platform agnostic conference, I think the basic premise of code generation will be a good topic.
My last venture with CodeSmith and .netTiers involved building the WhatIWantMost site and blogging about it every step of the way. Instead of just doing a “this is how CodeSmith/.netTiers works” presentation, I began wondering if I could somehow parlay that experience into a presentation for CodeMash. Maybe I could build a site from scratch using the tools for the presentation. That would be really cool. I saw Scott Cate do a presentation recently where he started with a blank slate and it was impressive as well as informative. Doing so would really show the ease of use and display the power of the tools. But build a site from scratch in an hour? Of course I could have most of it pre-built and then just press a couple of buttons to finish it off, but that would kind of defeat the purpose.
I’ve been tossing this idea around in my head the last couple of days and I really think I can do this. Of course the site would have to be fairly simple (or at least whatever I planned to do in that hour would have to be simple), but some baked-in ASP.NET goodies will really help. Creating and adding membership/logins will be easy enough. Navigation and site structure can be handled with the sitemap. Master pages make a consistent UI much easier. I think that I can probably start with a site skeleton (like I would any other project) and go from there. In fact, I think what I will start with is a site that is mocked up in HTML just like a developer would tend to get from a designer or HTML producer.
I have an idea for the site, too - a social networking site (of course) with an interesting twist (don’t they all). How about a teaser? The domain name will be LinkedDog.com! I was hoping for a couple of others first, but some good ones were already taken: MyDogLog, DogSpace, DogBook.
I ran this idea by a couple of colleagues today: Joe, Ken and Chad. They seemed to like the idea and said I should go for it. That seals it then.
I better get started - I need to figure out what I can and can’t do in an hour.