DevConnections has not only been known to present top developer content, but also offers a great conference experience that maintains the reputation of an unbiased perspective for 13 years. As you might have heard, this conference is continuing to raise the bar. I feel honored to be the Dev Chair and the DevConnections team has been working really hard for months to make this another great success and better than ever before. So, here are my two cents as to why you should attend DevConnections and what's different from previous years.
1. Content is King.
If you're familiar with the two conferences I run, Dallas Day of Dot Net and jsSaturday, then I'm sure you're aware that content is the most important thing for me when it comes to planning a conference. We've experienced tremendous success by putting an emphasis on content as we went international in less than a year of launching the first-ever jsSaturday, and we've also had requests from all prominent continents to host this event there.
With this in mind, we're bringing top content to you at this year's DevConnections. Not only are we covering the latest and greatest topics, but we're also making sure that we give you unbiased opinions from our experiences in the technical world.
3. Comprehensive Planning.
I'm sure you've been to conferences where you wait until the final day to find out about the content the speakers are going to present. Sometimes you end up in a talk that's more of a repetition of another presentation that you just happened to have attended. Speakers don't know the other speakers or might not know what other speakers are presenting in terms of content, which creates overlap. We take these things seriously and make sure that not only the speakers know what other speakers are presenting on but also that you as an attendee can join them in hangouts before the conference and ask them questions, provide feedback and suggestions to incorporate about what you want to hear about at the conference. See "Google Hangout: DevConnections Speakers Talk About Trends in Application Development" for a sneak peek of what to expect from this year's speakers.
4. Attendee Participation.
I'm sure that you've been to some conferences where attendees get to vote on the speaker topics. However, we take your opinion into account before we open up speaker registrations. We choose the topics that a lot of you want to hear about and also choose topics that we think are relevant now and in the near future. The speakers then go through a rigorous evaluation before they are finally selected to speak at the event.
5. Top Speakers.
Not only the speakers we are inviting are really competitive at what they do, most of them are internationally acclaimed for their work. We have amazing line up of speakers both from Microsoft and the community. If you know Miguel Di Icaza from Xamarin, then wait for the surprise keynote at DevConnections. I'm sure you know about Saurabh Pant and Pranav Rastogi from Microsoft's Visual Studio and ASP.NET teams -- wait till you hear about some of the technologies that are yet to be released. Dino Esposito and Ido Flatow are flying in from Europe to speak at the event. If you remember Polymorphic Podcast, we have the founder, Craig Shoemaker flying into Las Vegas for couple of amazing talks. The best of the Rachii's, Rachel Appel, will be there along with the SPA expert Chris Love. It's virtually impossible to include all speakers in this article, but I'd advise you to go check out the DevConnections schedule for yourself. Speakers such as Daniel Egan, Wally McClure, Shy Cohen, Craig Bernston, John Peterson, David Giard, and more are waiting to rock the show.
6. Community First.
This year we've taken the attendee feedback so seriously that we've even changed the talks that had been listed previously. Since the Google+ Hangout on trends in application development, some attendees brought up a legitimate concern that about 50 percent of that talk will be repeated at the conference. With that in mind, we've decided to replace the session with "10 Things Every Developer Must Know."
7. Networking the Right Way.
I won't blame the conferences in Vegas where you can't find the speaker right after the talk is over. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas :) However, this year we're making time for you to meet and greet with the speakers. How about having a speaker each at a roundtable, we are open to more ideas like that. I hope you have the VIP badge. However, the point is very clear, we want you to establish a relationship with the speakers, know about their kids and pets and communicate with them even after the conference. If you have any suggestions please send me an email.
8. Production First.
A while back I attended a conference where at one point I asked a simple question to the speaker, "How would you use this in production?" I was shocked to hear the response – "I never thought about that." So, trust me, none of that is going to happen at DevConnections. We're taking extra care to make sure that the speakers cater to the needs of the developers first and have actual real-world experience.
There are three workshops that I recommend you check out. Each are about seven hours long but they take you from a beginner to an expert in a day. Chris Love and I are putting together a workshop on "Creating Highly Performant, Scalable Websites: From SPA to Backend" and it encompasses several different patterns, practices, and principles to create enterprise apps. Yes, you'll see how to create a SPA from scratch and you'll also have plenty of code to take home. Bring your own laptop!
10. Great Location.
Vegas rocks and so does Mandalay Bay on the strip. If you're staying there, then it's even better because all the speakers and DevConnections management are staying there, too. With the coolest speaker line up and Mandalay Bay as the location, it's a great combination.
Also, if you want to learn how I sleep about four hours a day and work diligently and the secrets behind my productivity, then don't forget to attend my Yoga workshop on September 28th. Please visit ChanderYoga for more information. For DevConnections attendees I might be able to ask the organizer for a discount. If you have any such requests, please feel free to email me.
Looking forward to meeting each one of you personally.