Wait, what? It doesn't have to be like that?
That's the idea behind NCDevCon, a web and mobile development conference being hosted at the Centennial Campus of NC State University in Raleigh on September 29 - 30. Now in its fourth year, NCDevCon 2012 is set to include hands-on sessions and talks from speakers including Adam Lehman, Elisha Dvorak, Hemant Khandelwal and Raymond Camden from Adobe Systems and Jonathan LeBlanc and Pragati Rai from Paypal.
The original idea for NCDevCon came to co-founders Dan Wilson and Jim Priest in a bout of shared frustration that a Coldfusion conference in DC wouldn't consider hosting their event in the Triangle. As Dan explains:
"... we were a little pissed off about that and decided we should have our own damn conference. And this was after our [Coldfusion] User Group meeting and if I remember it was also after a few beers. The next thing you know we lined up some speakers, got some attendees and now we've been doing it for four years."
But why take the time and effort to host another developer conference at all? As regular attendees of developer conferences, Dan and Jim wanted to build NCDevCon from the attendee perspective instead of from the sponsor perspective.
See, a lot of conferences work like this: Sponsors pay money to the organizers and then get an opportunity to be featured speakers. They then use their time to talk about products that you're probably not interested in anyway.
Now, did you pay $1000 to hear a sales pitch? No, you paid because - like most developers - you want continuing education and real life code to play with.
And that's the crux of NCDevCon. Give developers the opportunity to learn about emerging web and mobile technologies in a hands-on manner from top notch speakers. To make things even better, for the $200 registration fee you also get to hit the Saturday evening networking party" to meet likeminded developers and enjoy free food and beer.
Another interesting aspect of NCDevCon is that at the core it's an event that's reflective of the larger Triangle community. Attended by students, developers from large companies like IBM and SAS as well as more than its fair share of entrepreneurial-minded coders, NCDevCon has their sights aimed at bringing more attention to the vibrant technology and startup scene in the Raleigh/Durham area.
When pressed on why they decided not host NCDevCon in a larger city like Charlotte, Dan Wilson said:
"The Triangle is more interesting than Charlotte. There's a lot more startup activity. There's a lot more technology. Charlotte, to me, feels boring and all about banks. You go to downtown Charlotte and it's kind of scary. You go to downtown Raleigh and the biggest thing you have to worry about is tripping over the next new restaurant or finding an interesting bar.
So we're able to bring people to downtown Raleigh and allow them to experience it for themselves. And they have something to do at night. And its safe. This to me is the #1 area in the Southeast right now, and we have no intentions of moving.
When you see someone throw down the gauntlet like that, how can you not be excited that NCDevCon is right in our backyard?