CodeMash 2022 Recap – Sessions Day 2

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There were 2 days of precompiler (workshop) sessions and 2 days of conference talks at CodeMash. These are my tales from day 2 of conference talks.

Performance Tuning for Azure Cosmos DB

I was excited to hear that Hasan Savran was presenting on Azure Cosmos DB. I’ve known Hasan for a few years now, as he’s local to me and used to run the SQL Server Users Group out of Akron. I was also excited to learn more about how others are working with Azure Cosmos DB. Hasan had his son with him, who carried an awesome advertisement for the session.

There were many things Hasan covered for performance tuning. From choosing the right partition key to including the partition key in queries, doing partial document updates, and making use of good indexes, these are a few of the many tips and tricks that Hasan covered for making the best working with Azure Cosmos DB queries. It was also great to see his Cosmos DB SQL Studio VS Code extension in action. From running queries and seeing results to looking at execution profiles, it’s a nice interface for working with Azure Cosmos DB within VS Code. If you missed this talk and want to catch him delivering it again, he will be presenting it this Wednesday, January 19 at 4:00pm Eastern Time for the Azure Cosmos DB Global User Group. Check it out on Meetup: Performance tuning for Azure Cosmos DB | Meetup

Stand Back: I’m Going to Try Data Science

Over the past few months, I’ve been encouraging Matt Eland to get involved with the community and have been supporting his adventures. While I missed his session in the morning slot, I was determined to catch this session. Matt is going for his masters soon and has been taking many courses online in the data science and machine learning realms.

Matt talked about his many adventures with machine learning and data science, including his posts at AccessibleAI.dev and MattOnDataScience.com. He talked about his tendencies towards Azure, being a Microsoft guy. He talked about ML topics can be used – such as regression to predict windshield scraping times and classification to determine whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie. He mentioned clustering, anomaly detection, forecasting, image classification, recommendation engines, facial analysis, OCR, and translating between text and speech.

This was my second CodeMash where I had my youngest with me in a talk that I really wanted to see. (Eric Lawrence’s Fiddler talk many years ago was the first.) I sat towards the back to make sure I could catch the session without him being disruptive. His Nintendo Switch battery died, and he looked tired from the week. He curled up in my lap while I caught the session. Thankfully, his snores weren’t audible at the front of the room.

For the parents out there looking for a family-friendly event, CodeMash, THAT Conference, and TechBash are community-organized, family-friendly events at Kalahari Resorts.

You’re Not Just Tired: The Psychology of Burnout

My last session for CodeMash 2022 was Arthur Doler’s talk on burnout. I had been catching some of his drawing sessions on Twitch. I also talked with him about my past experiences with burnout, as I had gone through some dark times and managed to narrowly escape burnout in my last role.

Some of the things that Arthur referenced in this talk included the Maslach Burnout Inventory, works by Veninga and Spradley, and works by Freudenberger and North. He mentioned the various stages of burnout and how burnout manifests differently for people. No amount of self-care will cure burnout – it may help, but self-care alone isn’t enough. You have to come to grips with burnout in addition to trying to recover. He offered some solutions to assist with dealing with burnout – including finding worthwhile work, setting work/life boundaries, and taking time to give yourself time to heal. Be alert. Be aware. Protect yourself.

Conclusion

It has been a long time since we’ve had a conference. I know many people think ill of the decision. However, after weighing my risks, I took the opportunity to attend CodeMash 2022. I learned a lot and feel a bit rejuvenated for getting back into the community. I also learned a lot from watching the CodeMash organizers and plan on taking back a lot of notes for other event organizers as well. Thanks to all of those who made this happen.

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