Pre-Startup Weekend Bootcamp

I had my pre-Startup Weekend bootcamp last night at the co-working facility StartPad. The premise was to get Startup Weekend participants’ laptops set up with Google AppEngine, Bootstrap, jQuery and GitHub, since those tools were likely to be in use over the weekend.

The only one of those tools I didn’t know much about was Google AppEngine (cloud-based Java/Python service), but that was primarily because I don’t know how to code in either Java or Python. Still, I set it up anyway to get the experience and see how it worked. The service itself was pretty cool, but the Mac-based software used to interface to it was a mess.. installing shit all over the place on my MacBookPro. (sigh)

An aside: I really hate installing package software because it has a tendency to install things in various places. Give me a straight source-code install every time to specific directory location. That way, I know where it was installed, what it installed and can easily remove it or update it.

Having my own servers and doing all my own sys admin, I don’t often use cloud services. Plus I don’t write in Java, Python or Ruby on Rails which is what most cloud services seem to be focused on these days. I’ve used PHPFog before and it’s a neat service. If I had something that really needed to scale, I wouldn’t hestitate to use them, or set up Amazon EC2 servers.

Anyway, the valuable part of the bootcamp was getting to know my fellow participants and being able to ask questions of the more experienced leaders of the group, like @mckoss and @kavla. I had questions like, “So everyone works on something together, who owns what?” and how the team selection process works. Getting them answered beforehand really gave me a good idea of what to expect which put me much more at ease.