South Dakota Code Camp 2012 Recap

The free, one-day event focused on computer programming and hosted more than 100 local and regional developers.

  • Nov. 14 2012

While most professional conferences seem to happen several hours away, South Dakota Code Camp was designed to be a local, hometown-run conference that focused on professional development within our blossoming software community.

Code Camp Camper

This past Saturday, Nov. 10, marked the second annual South Dakota Code Camp. The conference — a free, one-day event focused on computer programming — saw over 100 local and regional developers descend upon Colorado Technical University to see 19 speakers wax poetic on the finer workings of web development, backend services, native mobile apps, and database optimization.

The event — which started as a brainstorm between Blend’s Seth Larson and Chris Ortman of Innovative Systems — wasn’t a 100% local event, however. While 16 of the speakers were local, three flew in from as far as Austin to help shape what has become one of the bigger development conferences in the immediate region. More than that, Larson and Ortman understand that the next closest outlets for serious professional development — Des Moines, Minneapolis, Lincoln — are often too far to travel for a simple one-day conference.

“The point of the conference,” says Larson, “is to help raise the baseline of what developers in our area understand. I have been fortunate to attend conferences like Twin Cities Code Camp and Heartland Development Conference, and meeting with the organizers of those events has helped us develop a more local event.”

It’s this focus on hosting a variety of speakers from different backgrounds that has made South Dakota Code Camp such a fast success. With support from both Blend and Innovative Systems, South Dakota Code Camp is poised to become a permanent fixture on the coding landscape in Sioux Falls.

The key, however, has been to learn from past mistakes. “We both attended some other conferences and events and made changes to the format for this year,” Larson said. “We’re already getting some feedback and deciding what we want to change for next year.”

Look for it Fall 2013, and follow @sdcodecamp on Twitter. Until then, you can peruse the slide decks from Blend's speakers.