Welcome to the Thursday/Friday Edition of What to Expect!  If you have tickets for the Pre-Compiler, you’ll also want to check out the Tuesday/Wednesday edition.  This blog entry is a bit longish, but we promise it will be worth your while. Especially if you are new to CodeMash, or if you’ve had that feeling of missing out on things as a past attendee.

Thursday & Friday

Thursday is when CodeMash really goes full swing. There are more activities than any sane person can do in a day, unless you have a mutant super power. For everyone else, PLEASE don’t feel like you have to do it all. And it’s OK to take breaks! In fact, we even built them into the schedule. Whatever you do, don’t forget the 3 most important rules:

  1. One shower a day. Your fellow attendees will appreciate it.
  2. Two meals a day. There is no excuse to be hangry at CodeMash (we even have special meals!).
  3. Three hours of sleep. Yeah, sleep is good. More is ok, but not less.

An additional 1,000+ attendees will be piling up into every nook and cranny in the conference center!  But don’t let the crowd scare you. They have all read and agreed to the Code of Conduct, and most of them even showered. On Thursday morning, just about everyone is bright eyed and bushy tailed– and eagerly anticipating great sessions, meeting old friends, and making new ones. You may also notice a lot of hustle and bustle from the volunteer staff, as they process attendees through the registration line. By Thursday, most of the interns have figured out the layout of the conference area, but a few of them will be wandering the halls trying to find the session room they are proctoring.

Arrival & Registration

  • Many folks will be arriving Wednesday evening and checking in to a hotel. If you are staying at the Kalahari, please be aware that your room will not be available until after 4pm. If you have a 2 day ticket for Thursday/Friday only, the earliest you can pick up your badge is 6pm on Wednesday night. Registration is typically open until 9pm, sometimes longer. Otherwise, registration will be open EARLY on Thursday morning, like, before breakfast early.
  • Head to the Orange Booth for registration. It is located towards the center of the conference area.  You will see a large bronze Lion, which happens to be across from the registration booth.  It’s hard to miss. If you are a CodeMash newbie, familiarize yourself with the Kalahari Conference Center Layout.
  • If you are checking in Thursday morning, expect a line. We have made a lot of improvements this year to speed things up, but please keep in mind there a ton of people to process.
  • Please bring your EventBrite ticket, or have your ticket available on your mobile app.We simply need the bar code on your ticket (either paper or on your mobile device).
  • We will hand you your badge and some other stuff when you register. The wonderful intern volunteers will also do their best to explain how things work (like how to redeem soda/snack tickets).
  • New this year: in order to keep the line moving, hoodie pickup will be across from Zebrawood (outside of suite 4).  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE only request the hoodie in the size that you put on your ticket. Otherwise, someone who checks in later may not get the right sized hoodie, and that’s just not cool. No extra hoodies are available, so please don’t request one for your cat (or significant other, child, pet wookiee, etc.).

Things to know about Your Badge

  • Your badge is a modern work of art, thanks to Missy & Matt at ZAGG Studios. It’s also very functional and practical.
  • Some of the cool things you will find on your badge: Soda and Snack “tickets”, Drink tickets, a spot to write your name (and twitter handle). Oh, and hopefully a bar code. More on that later.
  • Wear your badge at all times during the conference. It is required to gain admittance to sessions and meals. Oh, you can remove it for the waterpark (but wristbands are required).
  • Have a Kid attending KidzMash? Awesome. They will also get a badge when registering in the KidzMash area (near the Grand Staircase, outside Acacia), but it will be different. Please note: Kidz are not permitted to attend sessions, or eat attendee meals. Please don’t try to sneak them in. (We have a few every year that have to be chased out… Please don’t be that guy or gal)

All About Sessions

Attendee Sessions

  • Sessions begin right after breakfast, starting at 8am on Thursday and run about an hour, with a 15 minute hall break after each session.
  • On Friday, sessions begin at 8:30am. We start later because almost everyone stays up too late the night before.
  • Hopefully, you’ve had a look at the CodeMash Schedule. Refer to “Art of Knowing the Happs” for a list of applications that provide session data, as well as communication channels we use.
  • Daily dead tree format schedules will also be available for pickup at Orange Registration.

KidzMash Sessionz

  • KidzMash is a conference within a conference, and open to kidz of all ages. If you have Kidz that are planning to attend, please register them. Read here for all the details and registration links.
  • Some activities (like Laser Tag, Artemis Simulator) require additional registration. Check here for more info. A few tickets are open now, and more will be available when the conference starts.
  • Please note that KidzMash does not provide child care- a parent or guardian must be present.
  • In addition to CodeMash families, all attendees are welcome to harness their inner child and participate.

Open Spaces

  • A special thanks to H. Alan Stevens, who will be coordinating Open Spaces this year!
  • As opposed to regular sessions, Open Spaces are all about self-organizing content.
  • Open Spaces will be posted on signage and also a web site (web site may not be available until the week of CodeMash): openspaces.codemash.org Physical Signage will be displayed in the Open Spaces area.
  • All open spaces are located in the Grand Hall area of the conference center. They start near the Banyan room and go all the way to the Marakesh bar.
  • If you want to attend an Open Space, just show up a few minutes before it starts in the designated area. Time slots and the Open Space number will be listed on the link above. Signs will be posted at each Open Space so you know which one to go to.
  • Open Spaces are informal and interactive sessions. You may be new to the topic, or an expert. Just be passionate and engage in the conversation!


  • The Factory is an area dedicated to hardware. It is located in the Executive Center, and activities run during the day on Thursday and Friday. Always remember, Safety First!

3d Printing and Modeling

  • Want to learn how to 3d print or design using CAD? Come check out 3d Printing and Modeling sessions. They will be held in Guava and Tamarind. Read more about it.
  • Available for Attendees and Kidz. No registration necessary, just show up.

Drone Racing

  • FPV (First Person View) Drone Racing will be held in Empress. Yes, you read that right! We even had to get a special insurance waver in order to do this at the Kalahari. (Note: Kalahari does not allow drones to be flown on property, inside or outside, without permission).
  • If you want to try your hand at flying, learn about the “sport”, or just spectate, come on by! We will be showing the first person view display on the screen, and pilots will be flying with goggles.
  • Detailed times for racing are still being worked out, but will be announced soon.

Electronics Table (Sponsored by Geeny)

  • You will be able to play with all the toys. This includes all the things your mother wouldn’t let you use when you were a kid. Soldering irons, cutting things, banging things, and other things to break things.
  • You might want to use this for building an IoT kit, tweaking a drone, or some other project (LED cubes can really pass the time!).
  • The electronics table will be held in the Ebony room.

All Day Activities

Game Room (Sponsored by Improving)

  • Brought to you by Improving, and supported by Mayfair Games, we have a giant board game room for you to hang out in.
  • There is a library of games for you to borrow from, or bring your own. Don’t be shy, most tables will be looking for players, so jump on in.
  • Also, make sure to check the schedule for any special board gaming events.
  • The Game Room is open throughout the entire conference, and goes well into the night/early morning Thursday.

Laser Tag and Artemis (Sponsored by Gaming Nomads)


  • Be sure to check it out- the Kalahari is one of the largest indoor waterparks in the USA!
  • Bonus: the water park in the Kalahari is usually pretty empty during CodeMash. Float down the lazy river, go “surfing”, check out the rides, or swim in the wave pool.
  • CodeMash attendees will receive waterpark wristbands when checking in to the Kalahari. Don’t forget to request them.
  • If you are staying offsite and would like to use the waterpark, let us know when you are checking in at Orange Registration and we will provide you with wristbands.

Hotel to Hotel transportation

  • Multiple shuttles will be running during CodeMash. Hotels on the route include: Fairfield Inn, Comfort Inn, Best Western, and Great Wolf Lodge.
  • Shuttles will run between 6:30am-2:00am Thursday, and 6:30am-6:30pm Friday.
  • We even have a Shuttle Tracker that tracks where the shuttle is so you can see it in live time. The tracker app as all the info, including the intervals the shuttles run. Check it out here.  Press the orange “Information” button in the upper right corner for detailed schedule.

Food & Beverage

Attendee Meals

  • All attendee meals will be served in the Kilimanjaro Ballroom.
  • Thursday meals: Breakfast (7-8 am), Lunch (11:30 am-2:30 pm), Dinner (6-7pm) on Thursday. Breakfast (7:30am-8:30am) and Lunch (11am-2:00 pm) on Friday.
  • OMG?! There is a hot sauce table???!  YES! And you can bring your own hot sauce, or try someone else’s if you are feeling adventurous. There will be a table near the buffet lines labeled “BYO Hot Sauce Swap”.  
  • Food is generally labeled, so you know what it is. If you have questions about an ingredient, the Kalahari wait staff should be able to get an answer for you. We will also have another announcement on meals, so you’ll know what is on the menu.
  • Special Meals: If you indicated that you need a special meal when registering your ticket, you can pick it up in the main dining hall. The location is to the far left, by the buffet lines, if you are facing the stage. Please check in each day in the window. If the buffet food meets your needs, you are welcome to get food from there as well.

Coffee, Sodas, and Snacks

  • Coffee is available all day, but not in the hall during meals. During meals, Coffee is moved to the dining room.
  • Snack stations will be open throughout the day, and will have a variety of healthy and less healthy snacks and beverages. You will be able to redeem your “snack and soda” tickets on your badge at these stations.
  • Snack stations are in the Zambezi booth, and in Marakesh. Coffee will be the regular hallway spots (outside suite 6), and outside the Atrium.

Thursday Night Dessert (Sponsored by OEC and Software Answers Inc.)

  • Get your sweet tooth on!! Thursday night, we will have a special dessert. Yummm.

Family Dinner

  • Thursday night, dining options are available for attendees and their families and will be held in the Karoo restaurant. Tickets are required ($20 for non-attendee adults, $10 for kidz), more information available on the KidzMash page.
  • Tickets can be purchased up until 10:00 am on Thursday.

Party like it’s [Favorite Year here]

From 7pm-midnight Thursday is the legendary Attendee Party! The party starts out in the Grand Hall, located near the Marakesh bar. As the night goes on, people migrate to other parties and activities. There are so many things going on. Check ’em out!

  • Located in the Grand Hall will be Karaoke, a Photo Booth, Life Sized Board Games, and Casino games.
  • Do you have musical talent? In the Kilimanjaro ballroom starting around 9pm, you can participate in Jam Sessions, which are self-organized. For the Jam Session in the ballroom, instruments will be brought in. Please, No Stairway. (Denied!) Maybe you’re better at the air guitar or beat boxing?  No problem: hang back and get your groove on.
  • Some people like a softer jam. A room for acoustic instruments (go unplugged!) will be in the Mangrove room. It is BYONM (bring your own noise maker).
  • The Game Room (located in Salon B/G) really gets going in the evening. Come by, play a game or two and get some refreshments.
  • Don’t forget about Artemis / Laser tag. Registration required. 
  • If you still have energy, come on down to the Waterpark Party! It starts at 10pm and goes until 1am.
  • Several sponsors are hosting Waterpark Cabanas, and offering Pizza and other late night snackage. Drinks will also be available. Come by and grab a slice or brew, and meet some new people!
  • Please drink responsibly.

Just want to Chillax, or need to get away?

  • Need to charge up your phone, tablet or laptop in style? Stop by the Recharge Pavilion, sponsored by CoverMyMeds. It is located near Zambezi.
  • You may also find some couches and chairs on the far end hallway of the Kilimanjaro Ball Room.
  • Need to spend some time in prayer/reflection?  Stop by Orange Registration and let us know. We have keys available for the Hospitality suite.
  • If you are a mother, we also have a mother’s room available. Stop by Orange Registration for more information.


  • Sponsors help make CodeMash awesome, and we couldn’t have the conference without their generous support.
  • Wondering who is sponsoring CodeMash? Check out the official sponsor listing here.
  • All attendees will receive a bar code on their badge, which can be claimed using a web site (details forthcoming). You can choose to share your information with a sponsor if you are interested in what they have to offer. Many sponsors will be handing away swag, or having prize raffles at their booth. Bar codes are used to select winners for raffle prizes.
  • Exhibiting sponsors begin setting up on Wednesday afternoon. By Thursday morning, booths will be set up.  Many sponsors will have large crowds congregating during meals, as well as hall breaks (which are immediately following sessions).  If you want to spend more time talking with a sponsor, you may want to set up a time with them.
  • On both Thursday and Friday around lunch time, sponsors present sessions on a topic usually related to their company. These sessions will be listed on the scheduling app, and Sponsors may also advertise them at their booth. Be sure to check them out!

Closing Ceremony

  • The closing ceremony is a great time to reflect on what you learned at CodeMash, and serves as a great capstone for the week. It begins at 5pm (Friday) in the Kilimanjaro Ball Room.
  • One of the best reasons to stick around: we will be giving away a bunch of raffle prizes (thanks to our awesome sponsors)!
  • You will also get to learn a bit about what goes into CodeMash, and will be introduced to the Board and Committee members. Sometimes we even let the interns on stage.

Stay Healthy, my Friend

  • Your  brain might not be the only thing getting overwhelmed at CodeMash! With all the activity, late nights, the sheer amount of people, and the flu season upon us your immune system may also take a beating. Stay properly hydrated and get your rest!
  • Please practice good hygiene during CodeMash. Wash your hands after using the restroom, use hand sanitizer before meals, etc.
  • You may find it beneficial to load up on Zinc, Vitamin C, etc. before and during the conference. Check with a health care professional for more information.

Coat Check & Luggage

  • Don’t want to wear your coat around all day? No problem, we offer a coat check, located right near the conference center door at Aloeswood Registration.
  • You may also check your luggage there on Friday, so you don’t have to carry it with you everywhere. It is managed by a grizzled Las Vegas entertainment act tiger, so it’s at your own risk.

Need assistance?

  • Staff Members are ready and always willing to help. Most of them will be wearing red hoodies. Stop by any of the Registration booths if you have a question.
  • Please ignore the disapproving gorilla.
  • Do NOT feed the sloth. He may be cute, but you’ll be stuck for hours, especially if you give him peanut butter.
  • Lost and Found is located at the Orange Registration booth. We always have a few good finds during the conference! While we’re on the topic, please add your name to your phone’s lock screen- it will help us get it back to you if you misplace or lose it.

Schedule / Time Changes

  • Please double check the official schedule before heading out, as final tweaks could result in last minute changes. The official schedule (available on the CodeMash web site, or mobile app) will be kept up to date and will reflect the correct date/time for all sessions and activities.