Nebraska Code Camp The Controversy Wrap Up

What a weekend! Once again over 300 software developers in the region found their way to Southeast Community College for the fourth iteration of Nebraska Code Camp. This year was special for many reasons and it felt like Nebraska Code Camp came into it’s own. Some new additions:

  • We had a keynote speaker fly over 20 hours to offer inspiration and motivation
  • We did outreach to future developers with a student track and workshops
  • We engaged with members of the community with Panel Discussions
  • We stirred up a little controversy and received some media coverage
  • Here is a link to the Facebook post and a followup blog post by Rebbecca Stavick

Our biggest concern with the media storm that followed was that the negative tone of the article would embarrass and turn off the community that we work so hard to serve. The thought that we may have let down or disappointed you left me sick to my stomach. Needless to say the outpouring of love and support that we received humbled us. I want to personally thank everyone who stepped up to support us publicly, and who offered us kind words privately.

Lastly I also want to thank everyone who offered to help us next year, and we will be taking you up on those offers. It is easier to state a problem then to put in the work to offer a solution, so those that did that have our undying gratitude.

Thank you to everyone who made the trip to Nebraska Code Camp v4.0. I hope it was as fun and educational to attend as it was to organize. See you next year!







Sponsor Spotlight: Modis

Every day leading up to the Fourth Annual Nebraska Code Camp on March 28-29, we’ll be highlighting some of the awesome companies that make Code Camp possible!

In this edition: Modis!

Tell us a little about your company…

As a global provider of IT staffing services, Modis connects the very best IT professionals to great opportunities at leading companies. And we do it every single day – for both temporary and permanent assignments and across virtually all industries. We use our insight, flexibility and expanded resources to anticipate the needs of leading tech companies and help them make exceptional connections with top tech talent.

We are career coaches, helping every step of the way with resume writing and formatting, mock interviews and preparation to career guidance. Our goal is to help you find the opportunity that will grow you both personally and professionally.

What do you find most satisfying about being part of the Nebraska Tech community?

The Omaha & Lincoln IT community is so small that we have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of our clients and candidates. You are not just a number, you are a real person, with real commitments and goals and a real career. We are able to know each one of our clients individually and to know each of our candidates on a personal level to help make the best possible match for both parties.


Lincoln or Omaha, which city is the best to live in? Why?

Both! It really depends on what you are looking for in your day-to-day life. And bonus! Omaha and Lincoln are so close that many of our consultants commute back and forth to get the best of both worlds! Huskers or Blue Jays—you don’t have to choose!


Why did you decide to sponsor Nebraska Code Camp?

The opportunity to meet and network with our local IT talent is exciting for us! As we’ve touched on, the Omaha and Lincoln markets are so small that we will take full advantage of the chance to help wherever we can. Whether you need resume or interview help, are looking to make that next big career move or are just wanting to expand your network, we want to meet you!


Whose hairstyle do you find more stylish, Kens or Adams? Why?

We’ll have to make that call at Code Camp! Bring your “A” game!

Speaker Spotlight: Joel Kauffman

With just one day to go until Nebraska Code Camp begins it’s fourth annual event, we take a look at one of our workshop speakers – a Nebraska Code Camp veteran…

In this edition: Joel Kauffman

Where are you from?

I was born in Kitchener, ON. Grew up in Goshen, IN, and Beatrice, NE. Now I live in Sioux Falls, SD.

What was the first computer you owned?

A Zenith 8088 with the extra math processor!

How did you get started writing code?

I would copy BASIC programs out of the back of a kids magazine. (321 Contact)

How many Nebraska Code Camps have you been to or presented at?

This is my third year attending and presenting.

Why should attendees go to your workshop “.NET and Open Source: Build a Website with Nancy”

It’s a session about breaking out of the mold of and doing things a different way. If you’re a .net developer this might be one of your first exposures to open source projects. Also, Nancy makes websites fun again. We don’t realize how much ceremony we deal with even in MVC until we see alternative ways to deal with it.

What can attendees look forward to taking away from your workshop?

Hopefully they come away with the ability to build a website in an alternative framework, but also an appreciation that there are ways to do things other than the “Microsoft way”.

What makes you passionate about NancyFX?

The ease of use with Nancy is the real benefit.  You can go from zero to a full site in just a hours and host it anywhere you’d like.

Where can people go to learn more?


Thanks, Joel.  We’re thrilled to have you back for this year’s code camp.  Come learn about Nancy and over 60 other topics at this year’s Nebraska Code Camp.  We have an amazing line up this year.

It’s not too late to register!

It’s late, but late is better than not registering and showing up anyway.  If you plan on coming, PLEASE take the time to register.  See you this weekend!

Nebraska Code Camp After Party!

We’re excited to announce the return of the Nebraska Code Camp After Party!  Our after party has become the one of the best networking and social events  of the year for developers.  We’re be back in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket District again this year, this time with our own private loft in the Apothecary Building – 140 N. 8th Street, Suite 500.

We’ve hired a wonderful and talented bartender, and she’s even helped us develop a drink just for Nebraska Code Camp – The Unhandled Exception!

So join us for an evening of free food, open bar, and central access to the best entertainment Lincoln has to offer for what ever comes after the party.

after party

Friday Workshop Requirements

For those of you gearing up for a great day of Friday workshops, you might be wondering what you need to bring with you.  We’ve asked the presenters what they’re expecting you to bring with you, and this is what they told us:


Beginning MVC Workshop

Laptop with Visual Studio 2012 or 2013


.NET and Open Source: Build a Website with Nancy

Laptop with Visual Studio installed, and an idea of what you’d like to build!


Build a Windows 8.1 Application in a Day

Laptop running Windows 8.1 with Visual Studio 2013 installed


Rock Your Technical Interview

The Rock Your Technical Interview workshop will prepare you for your dream job! We will be doing mock interviews during the workshop and more. Please send your resume to before Friday. Also come prepared as if you were going on an interview… including dressing properly.


 Android Jump Start – Your first App in Four Hours

Please download and install Android Studio ( before coming to the workshop.


F# Dojo – Machine Learning

  1. Laptop
  2. Visual Studio 2013 (if using express, Desktop or Web is preferred with the F# tools installed is preferred –


Architectural Katas

Laptop or mobile devices are permitted but not required. No software or special preparation is required.


 Intro to mobile web development with MVC 5 Jquery Mobile and Knockout.js

For my workshop I would prefer everyone to have a laptop. I am trying to load up on demoes and stay away as much as possible from Power Point. So if anyone wants to follow along that would be great for their learning experience.

They will need VS2013/ 2012 with MVC 5 or 4 at the least.

Sql server 2008 preferably R2 and above. or another way of storing data like sql express MySQL mongo db etc.

Last thing they will need is either a mobile device or better a mobile emulator. They can use the android SDK but for our purpose I really recommend the free and simple download from keynote

It just requires a simple registration but is free.


MongoDB Jump Start Lab

All they need is their own laptop. OSX, Windows and Linux are all fine (although OSX or Linux are preferred). We will be installing MongoDB, and that is all they’ll need. We’re gonna do everything from the Mongo Shell.


Getting started: Future-proof Windows Phone with MVVM

Please bring a Windows 8.1 computer with a Visual Studio premium or ultimate (there is a trial) and install Blend as well (under options when you install VS).


Agile Planning

  • Laptop with web browser
  • Tablet or second screen for Hand on Lab document (optional)


Developer Productivity

  • Laptop with highest edition of Visual Studio 2013
  • Tablet or second screen for Hands on Lab document (optional)

Speaker Spotlight: Matthew Renze

Our speaker spotlight blog series focuses on our many great speakers and sessions available at Nebraska Code Camp!

This this Edition: Matthew Renze

Where do you work?

I have a one-man software consulting company called Renze Consulting located in Des Moines.  I’m currently spending most of my time working on a project for a client that involves intelligent lighting control software using Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology.

How did you get started writing code?

I started writing small programs for fun on an Atari 800 using Atari Basic when I was a kid.

What was the first program you ever wrote?

20 GOTO 10

What is your favorite language to write code in and why?

I like C# for my production applications.  It has the best parts of many languages.  I dislike the verbosity and noise of some aspects of the language though (e.g. curly braces), so I keep leaning more towards Python for scripting.  Python is my favorite language syntactically; it’s very elegant language.  The more I learn about functional programming though, the more I like it, so my guess is that I might say F# in a few years.

What is your least favorite and why?

Visual Basic is my least favorite language.  It’s just looks like a sloppy mess to me now since I’ve worked with languages like C#, Python, and F#, for many years.  I was not a huge fan of COBOL either.  There were parts of both of these languages that I liked, but in general it was very difficult to write clean or elegant code in either.

What advice would you give to aspiring young coders?

Half of everything in our profession is technical skills (i.e. programming, frameworks, etc.)  The other half is soft skills (i.e. communication, time management, social skills, etc.).  You must develop both to be successful in this industry.

Where can we go to learn more about you?

My personal website is:

My open-source project is:


Which session are you presenting at this year’s Code Camp?

“Why Agile? The Economics, Psychology, and Science of Agile’s Success.”  I like it because, unlike most Agile presentations which just explain the “what” and the “how” of Agile, this presentation attempts to explain “why” Agile is so effective.  It also synthesizes insight from various fields of study that I’m really interested in like Information Theory, Game Theory, and Complex Adaptive Systems.

My hope is that attendees will leave my session with a deeper understanding of the underlying principles that make Agile successful.  With this knowledge, they should be able to evaluate their Agile practices, assess why some of their practices are working or not working, and take action to improve their practices based on their new understanding.

Who is going to benefit most from your session?

Anyone who is new to Agile, has been practicing Agile for a few years, or needs to convince others of the value of Agile practices.  This session is geared towards software developers who want to have a deeper understanding of why Agile is successful and how to make their Agile practices successful as well.

What experience do you have Agile?

I’ve been doing Agile software development in one form or another for many years.  I’ve had a lot of successes, and a few failures, with these practices.  In addition, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on why these Agile practices were either successful or failed, and I kept notes along the way.

Speaker Spotlight: David McCarter

We’re only TWO days away form the fourth annual Nebraska Code Camp!  That’s when we’ll kick off the Friday workshops.  It’s not too late to register!  Check out our registration information page to make sure you don’t miss out.

Speaking of Friday workshops, our speaker spotlight is on one of our workshop speakers.  David will be giving a 4-hour workshop on “Rocking your Technical Interview!”  This is a great option if you’re in the market (don’t worry – we won’t tell your boss if you go to this one…), and probably a can’t miss option if you’re nearing graduation.

In this edition: David McCarter, aka “dotNetDave” (

How did you get started writing code?

Long story, started towards the last year of so while I was in the Navy. Coding was NOT my job in the Navy.

What was the first program you ever wrote?

On my own, it was called WinDIZ that I released on BBS systems. My second was Same<>Same that was reviewed by PC Magazine in February 1995

How did you get involved in technical speaking?

Long story too… I had a feeling that I needed to do this some day so I forced myself into it and helped start my usergroup… almost 20 years ago.

 What is your favorite language to write code in and why?

Still is VB.NET. Allows app to be written fast with less problems so I can move on to the next feature.

What is the favorite development project you worked on?

The order delivery system for that allowed them to grow to millions in sales a day. The best part the users loved it and found it easy to use. It was later patented, so I am the inventor.

What was the worst?

My last company… just about everything at the last full-time job was the worse. Hense why I work consulting now.

Who do you look up to professionally?

My fellow Microsoft MVPs

If you could have only one movie, one book and one music album to watch/read/listen to for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Office Space, Lord of the Rings, AC/DC – Back In Black


Thanks David.  You can see David, as well as 50 other excellent speakers from around the globe speak at Nebraska Code Camp this weekend!  See you there!

Sponsor Spotlight: Deliveron

Every day leading up to the Fourth Annual Nebraska Code Camp on March 28-29, we’ll be highlighting some of the awesome companies that make Code Camp possible!

In this edition: Deliveron!

Tell us a little about your company…

Deliveron Consulting Services is a project-based consulting organization that delivers business-driven technology solutions.  Our high success rate is the result of our:

  • Team approach with client engagements
  • Integrated client partnership and collaboration
  • Deep expertise in core Microsoft technologies
  • Leadership and guidance with Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)
  • Agile delivery framework
  • Strategic offerings

We provide solutions across five primary areas:

  • Custom Application Development using Microsoft technologies
  • Portals, Workflow, Collaboration, and Social
  • Cloud and Hybrid Platforms
  • Enterprise Application Integration
  • Analytics and Business Intelligence

What do you find most satisfying about being part of the Nebraska Tech community?

We have hard working “Husker Red” in all of us.

Lincoln or Omaha, which city is the best to live in? Why?

Regardless of Omaha or Lincoln, we are firm believers that “there is no place like Nebraska.”

Why did you decide to sponsor Nebraska Code Camp?

We wanted to geek out with the rest of the Code Campers!

We can’t wait to be there as a sponsor on Saturday.  We are excited to answer any questions you may have about Deliveron.

Whose hairstyle do you find more stylish, Kens or Adams? Why?

We don’t find either very stylish…we would like to see both of you with some hair extensions and some big frilly bows next weekend.  We also suggest taking some hairstyle tips from Iris Classon.

Speaker Spotlight: Nate Taylor

Every day leading up to the Fourth Annual Nebraska Code Camp on March 28-29, we’ll be featuring a couple speakers and sessions on the blog to give you an idea of what you can expect at this year’s code camp!  We’ve asked our featured speakers some questions about themselves and their sessions at this year’s code camp.

In this edition: Nate Taylor!

Where do you work?  What do they do?

Aviture.  We actually have work in both the commercial and governmental sector. We do a lot of solutions development for STRATCom, but we also have several commercial contracts as well.

What makes Aviture an awesome place to work?

First, we’re largely language agnostic. I was hired with a .Net background, I’ve yet to write .Net code. I’ve been dong NodeJS development with MongoDB, BackboneJS and other cool technologies.  However, the coolest thing, I think, is that we have a start-up incubator called the Garage.  Our full time employees get the chance to work on start-up projects and help them flesh out their ideas and provide technical guidance.

Who do you look up to professionally?

Uncle Bob Martin and just about anyone that takes development seriously and doesn’t want to just do things the way you’ve always done them.

How did you get started writing code?

My dad was an electrical engineer and had built our first PC clone.  He showed me QBasic and I started writing apps.

What is your favorite language to write code in and why?

I’m really enjoying JavaScript right now, although I enjoy C# as well.  I really want to enjoy Haskell but I’ve had a hard time putting it to real use.

Where can we go to learn more about you? is my software blog. is a blog about what I do in my spare time.

What is the name of your favorite session or workshop you are presenting?

TDD is about more than testing.

What makes your session great? What will attendees take away from it?

We’re going to be doing LIVE CODING!  We’re not just going to talk about TDD, but demonstrate it. Also, this isn’t a talk telling you that you should be doing TDD, it’s a talk that’s going to show you how TDD’d code looks, and how it looks A LOT better than non-TDD’d code.

They’ll take some encouragement for why we should do TDD. They’ll take the (anecdotal) evidence of higher job satisfaction. They’ll also get some tips on cool tools to use.

 Who is going to benefit most from your session?

Developers, developers, developers, developers!  If you don’t write code, like ugly code, want to hate your job, or want feel miserable, don’t attend.

What makes you passionate about TDD? What experience do you have with it?

The desire to be a professional at my job. The desire to not leave a trail of bad code in my wake. The desire to see things done in a sustainable way.

This talk came directly out of my frustration with a project that has been described by several people as “a typical software project.”  I decided things had to change so that I didn’t hate my job. Since then, I’ve been practicing TDD.


Thanks, Nate!  Sign up to see Nate talk TDD at Nebraska Code Camp on March 28th and 29th, along with more the 50 other speakers presenting on more than 70 topics.  This is our biggest code camp ever – be a part of it!  See the Nebraska Code Camp registration page for information on registering.