CodeStock 2013It’s that time of year again!  One of my favorite conferences has opened early registration, and once you register you get to vote on the sessions you want to see.  I’ve changed the theme of my submissions this year – instead of focusing on PowerShell stuff I’ve submitted several more general talks about developer and independent life.  I’m expounding on them here in case you need a little persuasion to send some votes my way.

An Honest Look at Being Independent

This talk is about the changes that comes with being independent of an employer.  The goal is give you a very clear picture of what changed for me – financially, psychologically, and legally.  Part of the talk will include a near-pornographic look at my cashflow and expenses – where the money comes from and where the money goes, and how this folds into the choices I make around my time and my family.

If you’re considering the move to independence, please vote for this session.

Programmer Body Issues

We don’t usually think of the programmer’s career ending because of injury, but it happens more often than you know.  The human body wasn’t designed to sit and type for long periods, and the effects of doing that can have career-ending implications.  This talk is about what your job is doing to your body, how to recognize the warning signs before stress turns into pain and then injury, and how to keep yourself healthy and happy and productive with very little effort.

This isn’t about diet & exercise, nor ergonomics.  It’s about undoing the damage you’ve already done.

Giving it Away: How Publishing OSS Helps the Independent Developer

It may not make sense at face-value, but spending your time on open-source projects can be a huge boon for your business.  This talk is about treating OSS as a business opportunity, and how I’ve managed these give-it-away efforts to generate more income than the “regular” consulting and software sales facets of my business.

Creating Mayhem!

This one is just for fun – Mayhem is an open-source project that allows you to “wire up” events to reactions.  Use your phone to turn on your lights, or your XBox controller to run a PowerPoint presentation.  I’ll show you how easy it is to get started with this framework, and how quickly you can fold in your own creations.

For our summer project this year, my oldest daughter and I will be creating devices for our dog’s kennel that will allow us to dispense treats, sense his movement and barking, etc.  Part of this talk will feature how we’re using Mayhem to read from and drive these arduino-based devices.