I'm organizing a little conference called NodeConf SummerCamp. It's different enough from what you might expect from a conference that it's worth an explanation.
Almost a year ago I organized CouchCamp, which was the first conference or meetup I'd ever been involed with. The idea was simple, take a bunch of CouchDB people up to an off season Summer Camp in Marin for a few days and have a conference. The content was a mix of formal talks and "unconference" style discussions. I didn't do it alone so I certainly don't deserve all the credit but people still come up to me and say it was the best conference they've ever attended. It was so well received that word got back to Chris Williams, organizer of JSConf, and he reached out to help me put together a conference for node.js which is how NodeConf started, but that's a whole other blog post :)
As much as I loved NodeConf, something was missing. It achieved the goals I had for building a stronger community and the content and speakers were even better than I could have imagined but one thing I feel we didn't do was make any dramatic leaps forward in understanding node.js and what direction we should move in. People, including myself, still don't fully understand how to move forward with streams and other core concepts. We're also still working to identify a lot of simple best practices and modules. This is true up and down the stack. Core has a lot of direction and is moving forward rapidly because Ryan is driving it so well, but the community still hasn't found it's footing and it seems like everyone is still doing their own personal experiments to figure out what works and what doesn't.
When I look back at CouchCamp we had a very similar distance in understanding between the people working on CouchDB and the people using CouchDB. CouchCamp helped dramatically. When people left they had a much greater understanding and spead that understanding across the community.
It wasn't just the format, it was also the venue, the beers around the bonfire, the late night foursquare (not the checkin service), the fresh oysters. It all got people talking and learning and excited enough about it all that they wanted to share what they learned with others when they left.
So, I decided it's time to bring the node.js community up to Walker Creek Ranch, where we held CouchCamp.
I'm varying up the format a little. There will be almost no formal talks. Instead, we'll break out in to unconference discussions and at the end someone from each session will take a few minutes to share with the entire attendance what conclusions they came to.
I've got some of the most prominent members of the community on the attendance list to make sure we have all the ingredients we need to make these sessions a success: Ryan Dahl, Issac Schlueter, Elijah Insua, Matt Ranney, Visnu Pitiyanuvath, Tim Caswell, Charlie Robbins, Marak Squires, Paolo Fragomeni, Kris Kowal, Tom Hughes-Croucher, Daniel Shaw, and others I'm sure I'm forgetting.
Tickets are incredibly cheap if you keep in mind that they include accommodations, 3 meals a day, all you can drink good beer, and transit up from San Francisco. We're also beefing up the significant other track. Bring your whole family, at no additional cost, and my beautiful fiance Anna Maier (by the time conference comes around she'll be my beautiful wife) is putting together activities for them while the geekery is happening elsewhere in the camp.
More info can be found on our website, designed by Wil Everts. I'd also like to thank Chris Williams for being the bank account and for his sage like advice. Also wanna give some love to Visnu Pitiyanuvath for helping me organize this event. We couldn't have put this together without our wonderful sponsors: Nodejitsu, Uber, Joyent and Yammer, with two more sponsor slots open if your company would also like to participate.