If you make your living writing code, continuing education is a crucial issue. Part of being an effective developer is keeping on top of the latest exploits, updates, and best practices. You could make a valid argument for developers requiring just as much continuing education as doctors, lawyers, and engineers.
Many developers stay up to date by learning through collaboration with peers and by using different online resources such as Udacity and Code Academy. Others often turn to conferences to stay updated on the latest technological developments. The conference game is about being able to market yourself as knowledgeable on the latest advances and events.
Problem is, most conferences suck. In general, you invest a significant amount of money, time, and effort resulting in mixed success.
Maybe this year will be the year you will get to the conference in time to buy lunch AND add a few business cards to the stack you have on your desk. Maybe.
That being said, North Carolina is undoubtedly home to some of the best developer talent in the nation. I mean, what more could a developer ask for? Between a booming startup hub, easy access to RTP companies, and several world class institutions, NC has a lot of the pieces for tech success. Local Triangle devs attend meetup groups like Refresh the Triangle and Triangle Dev Ops to network and learn. Until recently, conferences were out of the picture entirely.
Last year, ExitEvent’s Jake Finkelstein met with Dan Wilson to find out the details behind NC DevCon, his local developer conference. Since 2009, Dan and his team have worked to provide North Carolina developers a conference that is economical, useful, and a great networking opportunity.
Sounds like a dream right?
NC DevCon works by focusing on the attendee and not the promoters. This way, in the words of Wilson, you get to “feed your mind.” This no-frills conference does not force feed you products and services you don’t want or need. Events, speakers, and sessions are planned around the attendees themselves, and take a more hands-on approach towards learning and leaving the event with knowledge in hand.
This year’s conference is being held September 21st and 22nd in Raleigh at NC State’s Centennial Campus. It’s $200 to attend, and your money gets you access to a lot.
If sessions are not your thing, you get access to hands on classes working with real code. You bring your own laptop, an instructor leads you through practical applications and guides you in a crash course in various technologies.
This year the three class topics are: Sencha Touch, Backbone.js, and PhoneGap. All pretty recent and widely used technologies in development.
Speakers will also be presenting and are from notable companies, including Microsoft, Adobe, RIM, and Mozilla, along with local faces that work here in Triangle. If you aren’t in the mood to learn about code, Saturday night the conference is throwing an after party in Raleigh.
Dan Wilson’s goals are to give back and stay local. That’s why keeping the conference attendee-centered is so important to him.
“By showcasing local speakers we help people get their foot in the door for presenting and attempt to grow the community in any way possible,” he said. “We try to innovate and keep things interesting.”
Did I forget to mention the unlimited snacks and free WiFi?
If you want to spend a weekend learning and networking with other North Carolina developers, grab a ticket to NC DevCon here.
If you can’t attend this year, buy your ticket for next year’s event early. NC DevCon’s early bird buyers get to vote on scheduled topics and give input into the format of future sessions.