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My company pays one (or more) conference visits a year and I’m still unsure what to attend to. Early bird tickets are often already sold out so it is about time to buy a ticket.

To get some inspiration I want to ask you—my fellow lobsters—which conferences you plan to visit this year or which ones can be strongly recommended?

I am thinking about GopherCon, dafx18¹ or strange-loop. A visit to the yearly Chaos Communication Congress is a must and I will attend this year too, i.e. if I’m lucky enough to get a ticket.

¹ will probably not be paid because it has nothing to do with my daily work.


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    Before I got a regular ol’ jobby-job, I used to conference fairly frequently. I love conferencing. In general, I recommend conferences in the 100-300 person range, in a topic you have an interest in. Smaller conferences (fewer than 100) people are excellent if it’s a topic you are very interested in.

    Since you mentioned it, Strange Loop is one of the ones that I wish was convenient for me to attend, but it’s in the US and traveling to the US is just such a hassle. I have heard only great things, and I wish it was more convenient.

    FOSDEM is the one that I (since moving to Sweden) make plans for every single year. I missed it this year (work-permit related travel restrictions due to my former employer being incompetent dickbags), but I plan to never miss it again.

    I have a story about my love for FOSDEM which I’d like to tell, but maybe it should live in another comment, or maybe it should live on my own blog.

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      Not very helpful non-answer incoming, more like a “me too” ’;)

      My go-to conference every year (since 2013, with a break) is FOSDEM, so I’m planning this for 2019.

      I went to PolyConf in 2017 and loved it, but apparently it’s not happening this year :( (still hoping, maybe in the late fall?)

      So I’m also a bit unsure if there’s something interesting for me, I’m not doing PHP anymore (the Unconference in Hamburg was alwyas excellent) and I’m not doing Go anymore…

      Chaos Communication Congress would be nice, but I’ve no time for it this year.

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        I totally forgot about FOSDEM, what a great conference for open source software. But I was not too happy with the technical infrastructure of the ULB in Brussels, often microphones didn’t work or the beamer resolution was to small to make meaningful demos. This is the reason I did not went there this year but I will give it a second chance in 2019.

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          I enjoyed PolyConf 17 as well. Especially as it was the beginning of a Paris vacation for me.

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          None. I find the talks usually too slow, and I’m rubbish at the networking part.

          Hmmm, maybe those two things are related…

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            I’ll be giving my first conference talk at Deconstruct in a few weeks, May 21-22 in Seattle. It’ll also be my first conference as an attendee! 😄

            Hope folks come out, I’m very excited!

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              I’m going to BSDCan for the first time this summer.

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                yep, BSDCan

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                My only realistic hope this year is local conferences, feels like, so I might attend ApacheCon in September. I initially wanted to do Gophercon Iceland, but that’s not happening (my going there I mean)

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                  I am happy to hear that there is a european GopherCon in Iceland!

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                  Lots of maybes still:

                  So far:


                  I would love to go to 35C3, but there are too many uncertainties that far in the future to lay down any plans.

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                    Strangeloop is always my goto.

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                      I’ve been to Strange Loop twice and hope to make it again this year–highly recommended if you haven’t been. (Full disclosure: I know some of the organizers.) I’m also attending !!Con next weekend for the first time–not sure what to expect, but it seemed interesting, tickets were cheap, and it’s local to me.

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                        I’m thinking of attending Velocity, and some JS conference which I haven’t decided.

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                          If you’re in England go to the Boring conference this weekend! https://boringconference.com/

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                            I’m going to PyCon US next week. It’s now much bigger than my first in 2008, but I’ve always gotten a lot from it. I’ve even got some PyCon friends from around the world and we only meet there. A while ago the conference made the headlines for some of the wrong reasons, but it is generally a very well run conference with a team who try to make everyone feel welcome.

                            Last October I attended PyGotham in New York. As @srbaker noted elsewhere in this thread, small conferences of 100-300 attendees are a sweet spot for learning. I found this to be the case with PyGotham, although the costs of travel and nights in NYC can be expensive.

                            Most of my conference attendance has been something I’ve paid for. As a contractor, I never wanted something to be held over me, but it forced me to be picky and try out a number of different types and sizes of conferences. Over my career I’ve gotten more out of conferences that cost under $700 per ticket.

                            The quality of sessions, and to some degree the hallway conversations, at the $1500+ conferences has been so variable that I don’t feel like they are worth attending. Plus, these are often happening right in the middle of the week which is inconvenient if work isn’t supporting you. It also allows time for a little sightseeing around the conference when it runs up to a weekend.

                            My wife spoke very highly of Strange Loop, so I might give that a go soon. The cost and the days of the week for the event are aligned with what I prefer too.

                            Does anyone know of smaller security conferences?

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                              You’re all welcome to LinuxConf Australasia in Christchurch New Zealand in January 2019 https://lca2019.linux.org.au/

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                                I generally only attend conferences that I’m speaking at. Scheduled so far for this year:

                                VelocityConf SJ OSCON GopherCon

                                In terms of conferences I would consider paying to attend that I really enjoy:

                                CodeMesh StrangeLoop

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                                  Angular summit, goto, reinvent

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                                    At the start of the year I was designated lead for our metrics, monitoring, alerting, and observability project so the conference line up this year is focused on those topics.

                                    I went to GrafanaCon this year in Amsterdam already, which was great.

                                    Next up is Monitorama in Portland, Oregon. Really looking forward to it this year.

                                    I think single track conferences have quickly become my favorite type of conference. You don’t have to choose which talk to attend based on which single paragraph blurb sounds the most interesting. There aren’t ~100 speakers so the conference can be more picky on talk selection so I’ve found that the quality of talks are much higher.