I’m a very social introvert – which is one of those relatively paradoxical things. My definition of introvert is that it I tend to feel “worn out” after being outgoing and social, especially in an unfamiliar environment or around people I don’t know. (Extroverts in my definition feel ‘recharged’ by these situations, and feel “worn out” by being alone and/or quiet for too long).
For all that I’m an introvert, I learned long ago that I got back quite a few good things for being social and outgoing. I lead groups, tend to organize things when nobody else is doing so and I see a need, and generally get a “good feeling” from the results. I set up and run the Seattle Xcoders group, I’ve been involved in various geek-social events around Seattle (MindCamp, Seattle CodeCamp) and the Mac indie development community, and I try to stay pretty connected to the folks that I meet and like around the tech scene. It’s a small world when it comes right down to it – and knowing who to ask for a variety of questions, learning new things, and just understanding what other people are up to has proved enjoyable as well as saved my bacon professionally a number of times.
For all that I’m generally reluctant to say this, but I kind of wish I had this past Saturday to “do over”. Mind Camp was decent, and I had a good time sharing some knowledge, experience, and details on iPhone development, but I frankly didn’t get a lot out of it. It’s an unconference – and those are definitely the kind of event where you get back what you bring in to it. I don’t think I brought a whole hell of a lot, and I left late that evening just kind of depressed and worn out. I didn’t come away with any passion, interest, or even “humm… that’s kind cool” – which I have in the past. Karen thought it had a slightly different feel to it this time too – but I can’t really put my finger on it. There was a relatively small attendance (maybe 100 folks?) and the venue was incredible. The folks at Synapse did an amazing job of clearing their space and making it available to this general geek mob. (I didn’t even know a place like Synapse existed up there in the Pacific NorthWest, let alone was downtown right next to the theatres and such. I could waft “wow – cool” about Synapse for quite a while – they’re clearly a gifted bunch of folks with cross-domain knowledge prototypers, designers, and physical production.
Some friends of mine were having a little pinball, beer, and whatever at Shorty’s down in Belltown last night – I rather wish I’d headed there last night. Who knows – maybe my introvert batteries are just too worn down right now for anything of anything. With Seattle CodeCamp last weekend, MindCamp this weekend, and the recent Xcoder drama with dBug – I think I’m past due for a bit of quiet time.
For any future edition of Mind Camp I would likely go. But I’d be much more inclined to keeping the sessions and effort to an afternoon and maybe late evening, not even trying for the 24-hour round the clock effort.