Prairie Dev Con starts in just over a month. And the Western Devs will be there in force. No fewer than nine of us are presenting and Dylan Smith is going a step further by putting on a workshop on How to DevOps. Add D'Arcy Lussier as the conference organizer and this will be the highest concentration of Western Devs in one city since our failed second season pitch on Dragon's Den. (The world is apparently not ready for spray-on luchador masks.) And based on the sessions it looks to be one of the best yet.
Being the impartial and unbiased people we are, we won't outline reasons why you should go. Instead, we'll just tell you what we love about PrDC.
I love talking at PrDC because there is always something totally new to learn about. One year it was graph databases, another year how to use EF properly and still another how to build paper airplanes. No matter what, I come away with the feeling my brain is full
Prairie Dev Con was my first. The first conference I attended. The first conference I had been given the opportunity to speak at. The first conference that welcomed me as part of a broader tech community. Maybe that makes my opinion of it a little bias. Maybe not.
The atmosphere of Prairie Dev Con is one of learning but in a fun, relaxed manner. The cost of registration is the most affordable I've seen for a 2 day conference, but the value it provides in return is tenfold. This is the type of conference that I wished was available to me throughout my career. Something that would have satisfied my desire to learn, that I could afford to attend, with or without the support of my past employers.
What I can say for certain is that I look forward to returning to Prairie Dev Con each year, because D'Arcy Lussier - conference organizer extraordinaire - knows how to put on a good show. From development to management to dev ops, it includes sessions that are suited to anyone in the technology sector, with a top notch speaker lineup to boot (and I'm not just saying that because I'm one of them).
Presenting at PrDC has been important to me and will continue to be as long as it is around. Every time I attend I am always introduced to new concepts, new ideas, and new development communities that allow me to expand my knowledge and grow as a professional. PrDC has helped make me into the developer I am today, and I really can't imagine where I would had I not presented and attended PrDC all those years ago when it first began.
PrDC is always super fun! Not only as a presenter but as an attendee is always insightful and exciting. So far I have missed only one and I can say that I always meet lots of cool people, listen to interesting talks and take home all kinds of new knowledge to process the rest of the year (or until the next PrDC).
Prairie Dev Con is great because I always come home with at least one new friend (figuratively speaking, of course; I don't literally come home with them...anymore). Not only is the content high quality but the presenters are approachable and always willing to share tips and tricks outside of their presentations. It's the type of conference that is so good you wish everyone knew about it but are glad if they don't so you can make yourself look better.
In addition to meeting great folks that have become even better friends (oh, and D'Arcy, too), the technical conversation at PrDC is intense, in depth and has shaped how I approach all aspects of development. The enthusiasm of attendees and other speakers makes for a wonderful venue for me to grow as a developer.
Every time I attend PrDC I learn at least 1 extremely useful new thing that has an immediate positive impact on my day job. Sometimes it is process related, like the year I learned that I should stop trying to estimate software projects. Other times it is very deeply technical, like the year I learned how to tune SQL Server to handle tables with 50 billion records (I also learned that my project with 50 millions records wasn’t so big after all).
Every time I attend PrDC, I come away re-energized and motivated to apply the learnings to my day-to-day work. Unlike some of the bigger conferences (Build, Ignite, etc), PrDC has a more intimate atmosphere, and you can really get to know the speakers, attendees, join in hallway conversations, and really build up your network. And that’s not even mentioning the top-tier content and speakers that D’Arcy manages to fit into the 3 day conference.
PrDC is one of the few conferences that I do not want to miss. While the scheduled content quality is indisputable, there is an enormous amount of knowledge that is available for unscheduled transfer. Hallway, lunch and post event conversations are what I look forward to at PrDC. Being able to connect with people on topics that matter in their day-to-day work is important, even if the topic hasn't garnered enough interest to warrant a full conference session.
So if any of this motivates you to attend Prairie Dev Con, head on over and register.