5 reasons why attending conferences matters more than you think
April 13, 2022
It only took us a global pandemic to realize that most of our daily work can be done from home. It’s kind of funny, but things that weren’t meant to be done from home in the past such as attending meetings, managing teams, and even attending events are now all of a sudden completely well-accepted to be done in your pajamas on your couch.
You could ask yourself why should you ever leave your place again, apart from going for walks for mental health – those are super important. So let’s see why attending events and conferences is still a big deal, probably more than ever before. Especially important for devs, meetups and congresses are still the best chance to travel, connect with new people, and have a great time learning new things. Each event is a unique experience as no two conferences are the same, and here are five reasons why in 2022 they matter more than you might think.
1. It’s all about networking
Conferences are not only about talks, they’re about the community and the people who attend them. Clearly, meetups and conferences are aimed at groups of people that more or less have the same (or at least similar) interests. After the long wait to be able to meet in person again, in-person events are finally happening again, bringing together people from all different geographical areas, technical backgrounds, and cultural experiences.
What better place to share your ideas, get valuable feedback and connect with relevant people as a programmer than at an in-person dev event. Of course, it goes without saying that networking is a two-way street. That means being proactive is a must and that’s not really something we always love doing as devs. However, in a community that understands you and shares the same values with you, talking to other people, communicating your ideas, and improving your soft skills is an easy task, really.
2. Expand your knowledge, learn, and improve
This one is pretty clear but you can’t avoid the fact that conferences help you learn new things. Not only by listening to talks and presentations but by the complete experience of attending a dev event, conferences help you become a better programmer. You will hear a lot about things in your field that might be new to you and particularly for devs, these things could be new features, new software, unpublished data, or learning from thought-leaders that you may not have previously heard of.
Moreover, there is a two-fold benefit of attending conferences. Not only do you learn things outside your field of expertise, but these events give you the opportunity to talk to these people one-on-one about what they are working on, as mentioned in the previous point. In case you don’t want to network with these people per se, they may still give you advice on how to enhance your own work or enrich you with some new perspectives and knowledge. As a result, you will walk out as an improved, leveled-up coder.
3. Get insights into the latest trends
One of our personal favorites of organizing and attending events is the fact that conferences offer you a glimpse into the latest trends and technologies. Knowing them, especially in the programming world, is crucial for staying on top of the game. Not only does it help you remain relevant, but it also can spark your further interest in what you love doing the most. It’s like an endless vessel of inspiration.
If you’re interested in finding more about the latest findings in your field before they are even made public, then a developer conference is the place to be. Many speakers at these events will present their preliminary findings or work which has not yet been published. Consequently, this is a great chance to get a peek at what other people are working on and what are the current and upcoming trends. These ideas can be of great value for your own research and finding ways to optimize your daily work as a programmer.
4. Meet your heroes
Another amazing benefit of attending a dev conference is that you get to see many of your heroes at once. The best thing is that not only can you listen to them talk and present their stories, you can also meet them, have a chat, and get to know them as people. Shaking hands and talking to your actual childhood heroes, imagine that!
We’ve witnessed it hundreds of times: dev heroes such as Steve Wozniak, John Romero, Joel Spolsky, and pretty much everyone who talked at our events are just fantastic down-to-earth people who enjoy meeting fellow computer fanatics and exchanging a word or two with them. If there's a programmer whose work you admire, and there surely are a few, attending an event at which they talk is definitely the best way to get to see them in person and perhaps meet them in person.
5. Level up your CV
Last but not least, attending conferences enables you to boost your CV. Not everyone does it, but adding event experiences to your resume is a great way of showing your future employers that you care about your profession. Keeping in track with the current happenings in the industry is, like we said, crucial for staying on top of the game, and what better way of saying that you’re on top of it than showing it on paper.
Attending a dev congress shows your potential employers that you are actively engaged with your field of work and that you are taking an active part in communicating with your industry peers. Adding your experience just makes you stand out among dozens of candidates and proves your interest and love for what you’re doing. So don’t hesitate, if you have done it, flaunt it.
To conclude, the main point of this article is that it shouldn't be overlooked that attending a conference is just great fun! Even though they are often purely work-related more than being leisure excursions, attending conferences can still be enjoyable – especially after 3 years of not being able to attend any sort of conference or public events.
Apart from the business part which surely makes you a better professional in what you do, you still get to travel to a new place, get to see a different city, try some new local food, and see local landmarks or tourist attractions. Moreover, often you’ll have the chance to attend an official event afterparty, and together with the points above, what more is there to ask for?
Finally, as you can probably tell by now, we just can’t wait for our first physical edition of the World Congress since the last time we hung out back in 2019. We are sure this one is going to be our best World Congress yet, so get ready and join us for the ride. See you on June 14th and 15th in Berlin!
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