Why I’m Going to CampJS Next Year

This post is being written in the euphoria immediately after campJS IX has just wrapped up (edited and posted a couple of weeks later because being busy). I wanted to get quick sketch thoughts down on why I am going back to camp next year, to help you decide whether this sounds like something that would be good for you to come to.

Wait, what even is this about?

Our campsite for this year (photo courtesy of Ticiana Andrade)

Karaoke (and other non-coding activities)

The other campJS staple if you want to get to know some other programming-people is werewolf, which I completely missed this year, and definitely need to make sure I catch next year. (if you encounter me in a game of werewolf next year, please remember I have never once been a werewolf at campJS and killing me in round one is mean).

Random Conversations

Inclusivity

Seeing Cool Projects

Camp IX had a coincidental overlap with a game jam ludum dare, which led to seeing some amazing things people made over just a weekend. I hacked something together last year and not this year, but just seeing all the creative coding was inspiring.

I wish I remembered who made this incredible little game (photo courtesy of Anai Araya)

Location, Location

A developer stares into nature (photo courtesy of Ticiana Andrade)

Validation

This conversation and others really helped me reflect on how awesome the work my team has done really is. It was great to find that other people were running into similar problems to the ones we have been, and opened up learning about how others were solving them. It’s really easy in the middle of a project everything you wish was better, and hard to remember the bits which are great.

Behold! A rogue speaker considers his slides (photo courtesy of Anai Araya)

If you’re thinking on going yourself, consider:

  • It’s dorm accomodation. You’re going to be sharing rooms, and the beds will probably be uncomfortable.
  • They are normally in places quite out of the way. Like the above point, but with the added ‘you might not be able to stay offsite’.
  • This is definitely an event with alcohol. Not everyone drinks, but quite a few people do, and combined with the above point, probably makes this not an event for people who want to avoid being around people who are drinking.

If you have other questions or concerns about going, feel free to tweet me, and I’d be happy to answer. (twitter link goes here)

🎶 Karaoke story time 🎶

I quietly sidled up to the person controlling the songs, and got to look through a list. After ten minutes being disappointed by songs that weren’t there, I found “Pompeii” by Bastille, which I was like ‘this is probably in my vocal range, and I don’t know if I’ll see these people again so sure, let’s sing.”

I sang three songs that night, and got down off the stage (there was a full on stage!) uplifted, needing to sing more, aghast at how much I had forgotten why I like singing so much. The next year trundled along, and my work did several karaoke events, and there I was, picking songs, singing with people again, and it was such amazing.

Two weeks before this campJS, I finally joined a choir again, and coming back to camp this year reminded me of how it put me on this crazy journey.

I can’t wait to see what I’m looking back on next year.

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Writer of code, ramblings, and occasionally fiction. Here to share thoughts that excite me, and listen to others sharing ideas excitedly.

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Ben Conolly

Writer of code, ramblings, and occasionally fiction. Here to share thoughts that excite me, and listen to others sharing ideas excitedly.