Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

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26 Replies - 2783 Views - Last Post: 05 July 2009 - 03:03 PM

Poll: Developer/IT Conferences (26 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you visit developer conferences?

  1. Yes, for professional growth (8 votes [30.77%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.77%

  2. Yes, to see what's new (5 votes [19.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.23%

  3. Yes, to see fellow developers/IT professionals (2 votes [7.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.69%

  4. Sometimes (3 votes [11.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.54%

  5. No, I'll just watch the conference materials online (5 votes [19.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.23%

  6. No, don't like them (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  7. No, don't see a reason to (3 votes [11.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.54%

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#1 Core  Icon User is offline

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Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Post icon  Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:10 PM

There are always many developer/IT conferences going on in the US (and even in many places around the world). Some of them are very popular (like PDC or WWDC), some of them are less but there is always something interesting there for me.

Are you visiting such conferences? If yes, what conferences are you visiting? What's the reason you go there and do those meet your expectations?

For me, the last conference was one regarding informational security.

What about you? Share your thoughts and experiences.

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Replies To: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

#2 MarkoDaGeek  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:25 PM

I've attended quite a few Microsoft events, not just the product launches but the TS2 partner conferences and such. We are big into the Microsoft Server and SQL Server products at my work.

I've also attended the Cisco and Symantec events when they were in town.

I go to them to learn about the new products mainly, as they will normally have workshops and such focused around the new software or hardware. Networking with vendors can be important, I've gotten better contacts for product support because of it.
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#3 Core  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:29 PM

I really want to get to attent PDC. I was at a small local Microsoft developers conference (if it can be called so) when Visual Studio 2008 was launched and really enjoyed it as, same as Marko, it was very useful since there were workshops that demonstrated new technologies (I remember the LINQ one and that one impressed me).
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#4 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:30 PM

I would if they had any close to me that also interested me.
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#5 Dantheman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:32 PM

Every information that I need to know can be found in a textbook or Wikipedia, so I don't visit those conferences.
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#6 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:45 PM

I'd like to but it is really hard to get these approved. It is hard enough to get training approved let alone a conference. My last 3 training request went out with my manager all excited and saying, "This really looks like a good thing, lets see if we can get a couple of developers to this!" -- and then it gets disapproved and we are "encouraged" to use the very (way out-of-date) online courses that the company payed for. I have no idea what they were thinking --- "Yea, these guy have been asleep since 1999, this stuff will be fresh and applicable to their jobs -- I mean MS Office 97 is a skill every developer needs!" -- then when we don't enthusiastically partake in the out of date training they are all offended. Ask for training on JQuery, GWT, Spring, Mobile development, and other tools that our customers would like to see and use -- well that is just not acceptable.

but I digress...

My organization has occasional conferences which I like to attend. I suppose I should have counted these (which I didn't) but these are the only ones I get to go to. I enjoy them so long as they don't interfere with a project.
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#7 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:47 PM

View PostNickDMax, on 2 Jul, 2009 - 04:45 PM, said:

I'd like to but it is really hard to get these approved. It is hard enough to get training approved let alone a conference. My last 3 training request went out with my manager all excited and saying, "This really looks like a good thing, lets see if we can get a couple of developers to this!" -- and then it gets disapproved and we are "encouraged" to use the very (way out-of-date) online courses that the company payed for. I have no idea what they were thinking --- "Yea, these guy have been asleep since 1999, this stuff will be fresh and applicable to their jobs -- I mean MS Office 97 is a skill every developer needs!" -- then when we don't enthusiastically partake in the out of date training they are all offended. Ask for training on JQuery, GWT, Spring, Mobile development, and other tools that our customers would like to see and use -- well that is just not acceptable.

but I digress...

My organization has occasional conferences which I like to attend. I suppose I should have counted these (which I didn't) but these are the only ones I get to go to. I enjoy them so long as they don't interfere with a project.


Yeah most of our stuff is kind of out of date - I tried a course in XML and it talked about Netscape as a major player in the browser market. We do get some fairly recent stuff for in-house courses, but it's usually a sales pitch more than educational.
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#8 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:01 PM

@Dantheman -- I think you miss the point. The idea of the conferences is not to get information that is readily available, but to get information on the directions of technology, to get ideas of what innovations are on going, to connect with other developers and talk about what could be. To inspire connections. To get people talking. To make people in different areas accessible to one another.

Of course... there is also the sales nature -- but as a developer you should just ignore all of that and let the sales dicks all go on feeling like maybe they will get to buy a Porsche this year.
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:04 PM

View PostNickDMax, on 2 Jul, 2009 - 03:01 PM, said:

@Dantheman -- I think you miss the point. The idea of the conferences is not to get information that is readily available, but to get information on the directions of technology, to get ideas of what innovations are on going, to connect with other developers and talk about what could be. To inspire connections. To get people talking. To make people in different areas accessible to one another.

Of course... there is also the sales nature -- but as a developer you should just ignore all of that and let the sales dicks all go on feeling like maybe they will get to buy a Porsche this year.


Bah.. check the profile - professional student! ;)
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#10 Dantheman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:09 PM

View PostNickDMax, on 2 Jul, 2009 - 01:01 PM, said:

@Dantheman -- I think you miss the point. The idea of the conferences is not to get information that is readily available, but to get information on the directions of technology, to get ideas of what innovations are on going, to connect with other developers and talk about what could be. To inspire connections. To get people talking. To make people in different areas accessible to one another.

Of course... there is also the sales nature -- but as a developer you should just ignore all of that and let the sales dicks all go on feeling like maybe they will get to buy a Porsche this year.


Yea, but my point was that I need not bother where the technology is headed. This stuff is important for people who are already in the biz. I'm just a student. I learn the timeless stuff (i.e. theoretical foundations) that will always be there. So I'd rather analyze the WSClock algorithm than look at what new stuff is out there.

@Modi: Exactly :D

This post has been edited by Dantheman: 02 July 2009 - 02:10 PM

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#11 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:33 PM

When I was a student I was interested in the future... I mean when you get out of school don't you want to be able to hit the ground running?

I mean we hire students to get "young blood" -- to get a fire and thrust for innovation. Most of the web's recent moments were done by students. We are looking for students who are in touch with the current trends and can help us feel out what might be the future trends.

Of course as a student I wouldn't expect you to go to conferences (who wants to pay for those things!) but I would expect you to be interested in the future, in innovation... I have people who know all the old stuff I need people with new ideas, new points of view.

entry level developer who is only classically trained == old developer with useless experience.

Entry level developer with ideas and passion == potential innovations and new perspectives.
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#12 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:39 PM

I like to attend conferences when I get the chance. They are few and far between and sometimes to expensive, but if the price is right I am there.
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#13 Core  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:47 PM

Quote

Yea, but my point was that I need not bother where the technology is headed. This stuff is important for people who are already in the biz. I'm just a student. I learn the timeless stuff (i.e. theoretical foundations) that will always be there. So I'd rather analyze the WSClock algorithm than look at what new stuff is out there.


Sometimes you also need to know where technology is headed so you know where to go. Just my opinion, but theory needs applied knowledge too. It is one thing to know how something is supposed to be and completely other when you see how it is. Conferences give you the scoop on where the technology is going and how can you be prepared for those specific innovations.
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#14 Dantheman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 03:25 PM

View PostNickDMax, on 2 Jul, 2009 - 01:33 PM, said:

entry level developer who is only classically trained == old developer with useless experience.


Computational linear algebra, complexity theory, and combinatorial optimization is a useless experience? :rolleyes: Sorry, but without them the Computer Science would be at a stand-still. You may have as many innovative ideas as you want, but they mean absolutely nothing if you can't realize them. Innovative ideas and passion will always be there, with or without the conferences.

If all you have is an entry developer who hasn't been "classically trained", then all you have is a codemonkey, a noob who can't do anything other than using a canned code. In that case, his innovative ideas won't do you any good.

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Sometimes you also need to know where technology is headed so you know where to go.

Well, it is headed in so many different directions that it is hard to keep up with everything. What might be hot today can be absolutely useless by the time I will be looking for a job. If any technology is worth knowing about, I will surely hear about it on the Intenets. Then, all the info I need to know is 1 Wikipedia search away...

Quote

Just my opinion, but theory needs applied knowledge too. It is one thing to know how something is supposed to be and completely other when you see how it is.

Of course. I'm not studying just the theory. I do apply it. Be it homework assignment or a group project. And studying real-world projects like Linux kernel gives me a somewhat decent understanding of how things are done out there.

I simply don't see any need for going to any conferences until I'm already in the biz.

This post has been edited by Dantheman: 02 July 2009 - 03:32 PM

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#15 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developer/IT Conferences - Are you in?

Posted 02 July 2009 - 05:03 PM

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Computational linear algebra, complexity theory, and combinatorial optimization is a useless experience? rolleyes.gif Sorry, but without them the Computer Science would be at a stand-still. You may have as many innovative ideas as you want, but they mean absolutely nothing if you can't realize them. Innovative ideas and passion will always be there, with or without the conferences.

As a Mathematics major I hate to admit it but yea... pretty useless. I mean 90% of the developers in the world never use any of this. There is very little need for it in the day-to-day development. But, you do have a good point in that they are very powerful fields of study that lead to much deeper innovations that something like Napster or Youtube.


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If all you have is an entry developer who hasn't been "classically trained", then all you have is a codemonkey, a noob who can't do anything other than using a canned code. In that case, his innovative ideas won't do you any good.
I don't think this is true at all -- I was not classically trained and I was a fantastic programmer and probably lost much by going to school -- BUT that is not my point, my point is that no one needs yet another developer who knows how to do a binary search -- what we need is someone who can do a binary search AND has a passion and vision.

That is what I meant by "useless experience" -- without showing some interest in innovation being a master of all of the classic algorithms is not a lot of help. Who cares, I don't. I want someone who knows how to look the damn things up, and can APPLY knowledge in new directions. The past it has been done and we can look it up.

Programming is about DOING -- its about the living world of software, not about the dead cold world of algorithmic analysis and design -- these are important, they are the scaffolding from which we reach and the MUST be firmly constructed -- but programming is about implementing practical and usable software.



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Well, it is headed in so many different directions that it is hard to keep up with everything.


It is not the point to keep up on every direction. Even if you could, it would result in information overload and would be more or less useless. The idea is to pick up ideas, to notice paths though the chaos. To see when two simple and seemingly unrelated ideas actually go together. Its about sorting though the noise and finding the rhythms that are unseen by the rest of us.

Most human innovation starts with noticing that someone else missed something. How can you see what people have missed if you keep your nose in the book.

Trust me, I am a major advocate of academics but I also think that you have to make it live within the context of the times you are in.
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