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Scenes from #TampaCC / Tampa CodeCamp 2022

Keiser University Tampa’s building and palm trees.

The 2022 edition of Tampa Code Camp (a.k.a. #TampaCC) took place on Saturday, October 8th, and Anitra and I were there to give presentations, attend presentations, catch up with some old friends and colleagues, and make some new ones.

TampaCC logo

Organized by Kate and Greg Leonardo, Tampa Code Camp has been a local tech tradition for years. While it’s been the de facto local conference for people building on Microsoft/.NET/Azure technologies, it goes beyond that to include Open Source, data science, AI/ML, and soft skills sessions. (My own first presentation at Tampa Code Camp was in 2016, when I presented an introduction to React.)

Tampa Code Camp 2022 took place at Keiser University Tampa, who’ve been gracious enough to make their space available a venue for tech events with 100 people or more for the past few years, including Tampa Code Camp and the BarCamp Tampa Bay unconference. They have a spacious lobby that makes for a great reception/registration and sponsor booth hall, a good-sized auditorium for opening keynotes and lunches (made even better by a patio area), and classrooms of all sizes to accommodate all sorts of talks, each one with a reliable audiovisual setup for presenters.

Some of Tampa Code Camp 2022’s presentations

I was so busy either prepping for my presentation, presenting, or just chatting with people that I took all of two photos. Luckily, a number of people who were there took some and posted them on Twitter; I’ve shared them below and they’re linked to their source.

Here’s the opening keynote, given by co-organizer Greg Leonardo, who talked about the unexpected (and often untold) consequences of moving your back end from on-premises to the cloud, often known as the “lift-and-shift.” There are good reasons to move to the cloud, but the rationale (or more accurately, sales pitch) of cost savings has been oversold — in fact, there’s often a cost increase.

A view of the auditorium at the keynote talk at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo by Yours Truly.

Another key message from the opening keynote: running things on the cloud isn’t simply a matter of “our old stuff, but now on someone else’s servers.” It often requires a different approach and some re-thinking about how you do implementation and architecture. Some of the things you did when your servers were on-prem can be much worse when moved to the cloud. Watch out for these “onions in the varnish!”

Greg Leonardo delivers the keynote talk at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo via Chris Cognetta. Click here for the source.
Greg Leonardo delivers the keynote talk at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo via Adnan Masood. Click here for the source.

Here’s Chris Ayers, Senior Customer Engineer at Microsoft, giving his presentation, Dev Containers in VS Code, a handy feature that gives you a Docker container as a development environment:

Chris Ayers gives a talk at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo via Marsinah Ahmed. Click here for the source.

We caught Sam Kasimalla’s session, titled IT life cycle and a bit of devops – Industry notes, which presented a solid overview aimed at people who are just entering (or pivoting to) our industry:

Sam Kasimalla gives a talk at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo via Joey Hernandez. Click here for the source.

After Sam’s presentation, I raced to my room to give my talk, Build cross-platform visual novels, simulations, and games with Ren’Py, where I walked the group through the development of a “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style infosec training manual and a turn-based “Florida Man” RPG-style combat game:

Joey deVilla gives a talk at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo via Marsinah Ahmed. Click here for the source.

While I was talking about Ren’Py development, Art Garcia was a couple of rooms over, giving his presentation, Azure DevOps APIs: Things you can do with the APIs, where he covered ways to do things that you can’t do using the Azure DevOps UI, but can if you use PowerShell, the APIs, and some tricks that aren’t well-documented.

Art Garcia gives a talk at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo via Chris Cognetta. Click here for the source.
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I’d like to thank Tampa Code Camp for not just providing a free lunch (and breakfast coffee and donuts — much apprecated!), but for estimating high in order to ensure that everybody could get a free lunch. It’s little touches like these that add to these events.

Russ Fustino’s “about me” slide from his Algorand presentations.

I don’t have a photo for Russ Fustino’s session, Web3 – Blockchain Myths for Developers, but we attended that one. Russ has been a local fixture on the tech scene ever since I’ve lived here (nearly a decade!) and we definitely want to catch him. His brother Gary (also a tech scene regular) recorded video of the session, so it should be online soon.

In the same time slot, Chris Cognetta gave his Power Apps in the Real World talk, where he covered Power Platform and Power Apps:

Chris Cognetta gives a talk at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo via Marsinah Ahmed. Click here for the source.

After that, Anitra Pavka gave her talk, Manage your manager for fun, profit, and career success, which covered the valuable, vital, yet often-overlooked topic of working with the one person who has control of half your weekday waking life:

Anitra Pavka gives a talk at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo by Yours Truly.

At the end of the day came Joey Hernandez’ Cyber Incident Response Exercise – From Tech to Exec talk — an excellent topic, because so many companies get this wrong for a multitude of reasons. He talked about TTXs — tabletop exercises, which in cybersecurity are preparedness exercises where you go through the steps of a simulated security incident.

Joey Hernandez presents at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo via Joey Hernandez. Click here for the source.

Also at the end of the day: Jared Rhodes gave his fourth talk of Tampa Code Camp 2022: Homelab – Private Cloud on a Budget! I’ve been meaning to give homelabs a look.

Jared deserves a prize for being the busiest presenter at Tampa Code Camp 2022, because he also gave these talks:

And he came here from Atlanta to give his talks. I think the Azure team should at least send him some of their nicer swag for doing all this work on their behalf.

Jared Rhodes gives a talk at Tampa Code Camp 2022.
Photo via Marsinah Ahmed. Click here for the source.

Thanks to the sponsors!

Events like this don’t happen without sponsors. First, thanks to Keiser University Tampa for providing a venue!

Events like this go even better when the presenters get a chance to catch up beforehand, hence the long-standing tradition of a speaker dinner. Once again, it happened at the always-reliable, always-fun Tampa Joe’s. Thanks for the food and drinks!

Starbucks was the coffee sponsor. Free coffee? Bless you.

Photo via Leah Parrott.

Thanks to Pomeroy for helping make Tampa Code Camp 2022 happen, and for providing one of the raffle prizes: a Meta Quest 2 VR rig!

Photo via Leah Parrott.

Pomeroy also provided some swag that I needed:

Photo via Leah Parrott.
Photo via Leah Parrott.

Algorand also had a table, and when Russ wasn’t giving his Algorand presentation, he was at the Algorand table, and he answered a number of my questions and hooked us up with nice T-shirts. Thanks, Algorand!

And finally, I’d like to thank Webonology — which is also Greg’s company — for being a sponsor and contributing the grand prize, an Xbox Series X!

Photo via Kate Leonardo.

Please check out these sponsors. They do great work, they supported this great event, and they’re helping to build the Tampa Bay tech scene!

Tech scenes don’t happen by themselves — they need YOU!

What makes a tech scene?

In the end, it boils down to a single factor: techies who take part in building a tech community. There are cities out there with sizable populations of techies that aren’t tech hubs — these are places without people who help build a tech community. There are also smaller places with smaller numbers of techies but have a vibrant tech scene, and these are the places with a handful of active organizers and people who show up for tech events.

Among these active organizers are Kate and Greg Leonardo, who’ve been consistently stepping up and doing the (often, but not always) thankless work of putting together events like Tampa Code Camp and upcoming events for 2023. Thank you, Kate and Greg, for everything you do for the Tampa Tech Scene!

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