I am not even sure to where to begin! Any attempt to clearly convey the thoughts, emotions, and experiences from this past weekend would seem to be a futile endeavor. Yet, it is my hope that this write up will give you a glimpse of what DerbyCon is for those that attend. With that, let’s talk about DerbyCon 4.0 Family Rootz.

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This is the fourth DerbyCon and it keeps getting better and better. I decided that I would arrive early this year so I could hang out more and really enjoy my time in Louisville, KY. Waking up at 0400 is a pain, but I figured that was better than paying an extra $150.00 for another night at the Hyatt. I arrived around 1000 local time and was immediately greeted with “Hey Ben, I can hear you but can’t see you. Stand up!” đŸ™‚ After the laughter subsided I checked in and received this year’s badge. This year’s design resembled the Tron movie. So naturally I totally geeked out.

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Trainings

I did not get a ticket to Carlos Perez‘s PowerShell training, but figured I could sneak in and no one would notice. I was correct! đŸ™‚ Even Carlos didn’t recognize me. I eventually yelled “PowerShell is for wimps” and ran out of the room as fast as I could.

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I didn’t sign up for any of the other trainings but I talked to several people who did. They really enjoyed them. All of the trainers did a fantastic job. I will say, it was funny to experience a guy running out of @corelanc0d3r‘s class. The dude had to use the restroom so bad. Of course DerbyCon tweeted this as we all laughed.derbycon_tweet

The Bags – Lots and Lots of Bags

So, being down there early I was able to be privy to all sorts of fun information. Partly is the fact that I can listen in to conversations without people noticing me. (insert short joke here). I found out that the bags were shipped to @purehate_‘s house instead of the Hyatt. Which meant someone had to drive over there and get them. I drove down to DerbyCon this year and had my SUV. I volunteered to go over and help out.

When I arrived I found out that only some of the boxes were delivered and they were expecting another shipment by “the end of the day”. Now these were already 2 days late and we still had to stuff all of the bags with the vendor swag. This was not going to be good. So I told Dave to let me try and get some information so we could get the boxes faster.

I quickly searched the area for any business numbers for UPS. I found a local office and began to tell them that I was “already” on the phone with dispatch and got disconnected. Having a kid sounding voice, it helped that I faked as though I was in an area that I was unfamiliar with and really needed someone to help. I may or may not have suggested that purehate scared me. đŸ™‚

Taking pity on me, the person on the phone gave me the direct number to the dispatch. We were able to get the boxes unloaded from the truck and purehate, @hackingdave, and I drove over to the UPS location and loaded all of the boxes in our SUVs. Crisis diverted.

Wal-Mart

After getting the bags, and stuffing all of them, I was starving. I had the honor of meeting @EddieTheYeti while we were stuffing bags. After seeing @jayonstreet we all decided to go get some noms. While we were eating Eddie mentioned that he needed to get to a store to get some art supplies to make some more awesome drawings for HFC. I told him I could drive him if he needed. So, we grabbed @sehnaoui and off we went. (pictures all from Eddie’s twitter timeline)

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PSA: DO NOT LET EDDIE NAVIGATE….

We headed to Wal-Mart and let me tell you, it was a lot of FUN. The poor ladies in Southern Indiana were not prepared for Eddie. The looks he received were classic. The best part is that he’d make eye contact with every. single. one. of. them. HA! He even had an old lady photo bomb him. (She quickly looked away when she saw Eddie, we were LOLing).

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It was also a pleasure to meet @sehnaoui for the first time. What a fantastic guy. He was so caring and selfless. Even though he wanted me to rip up the Exit Only lane and cut people off to avoid traffic. (He was like, Do it Ben! Do it Ben! Go!!) Let me tell you, shopping with him was fun! He was like, I need more beer for the party tonight. So we got more beer. Then he said, let’s get some chips. So we got more chips. Then he said, let’s get some candy. So we got some candy.

Then… he saw a giant roll of bubble wrap. His eyes grew big and he said “Lets… get… some… bubblewrap!” I replied “pilgrim knows how to party!”

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I really appreciated both Eddie and Pilgrim. What a great way to spend a few hours. Some of the nicest people I’ve met. HUGS.

This Is DerbyCon (#ThisIsDerbyCon)

From what I could tell, registration went extremely smoothly. Everyone loaded in to the main room and it was no where near as tight and crowded as it was last year. In fact, besides the whole bag issue, I don’t think anything else went wrong. The talks were really good this year. I sat in on several talks that were well prepared and delivered. There was so much content, I have @irongeek_adc‘s youtube page open in another tab with videos waiting for me.

I could continue to outline all of the details of the amazing events, tracks, etc. I could talk about the amazing party with @dualcoremusic, @djcyfi, and @infected. I could talk about all of that, however, I want to take the last part of this article and focus on what makes DerbyCon, DerbyCon.

DerbyCon is family. You see, for a lot of us, our families sucked. Our school experiences sucked. We don’t fit in. We are looked at differently. We are judged by our appearance, intellect, and passions. We just don’t fit in. Yet, when we come to DerbyCon, we are home. With friends and people who do not consider themselves to be better than others, but accept anyone. Don’t get me wrong. There are still people that don’t mesh well together, but they “live” with them for the short time that DerbyCon is running. You see, DerbyCon isn’t about the parties, the talks, or the “things” to do. DerbyCon is the people. The community. A community where, even though all do not agree, we at least can get along. Where there is a real desire to show we care about each other. It’s not fake. It’s not just for show. It’s real.

DerbyCon is about caring about someone more than yourself. We raised over $60,000 for @ihackstuff! That’s amazing. DerbyCon is about encouraging speakers of all walks and experiences to present. They had an 8 year old speaker this year! DerbyCon is about being there when someone is down and out and feels as though the world is crashing in around them. DerbyCon is about realizing that we are all broken in our own ways and none of us have all of the answers.

You want to know what is DerbyCon. This. This is DerbyCon.

DerbyCon 4.0 Closing Ceremony Video from David Kennedy on Vimeo.

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