As mentioned earlier I attended the Craft Conference this year too. And I have to tell you that it was worth these two days and the $300.
Why is going to conferences good?
Conferences give you a good input on state of the art technologies and methodologies. Sometimes even in your core area.
Craft is about software craftsmanship is about well crafted, robust and good software. There is no focus on just a single programming language but on design approaches and cross-over technologies. For example there were some talks which introduced programming languages (for example Elm or Kotlin) and some talks dug deeper into a programming language (Java). But the main topic was about developers, code creation, testing and methodologies.
And networking! Do not forget that at a software development conference you are in your comfort zone: you have many developers around you who share the same problems with their customers, who understand you. So network, build relationships. Perhaps you might find a new job too.
Why is going to conferences bad?
Sometimes you visit too many conferences and hear too many new ideas. And at the end you want to use / try everything you have heard about. And this is the bad part.
That’s because you have to prioritize and filter out things. If you don’t do this you end up in a mess and perhaps never finish a project.
What did I see?
A lot of new and exciting things. The main topics were around micro services and coding. It was very interesting. What I would underline is Dan North: if you have the opportunity watch him talk. He is a good entertainer and has good topics.
Beside this I have had the opportunity to watch Martin Fowler live (and after his talk he sat behind me). I guess this makes me a fanatic fan and Martin Fowler a celebrity. I should have taken a selfie with him… I think there will be no more chance to do this. I am such a coward!
Venkat Subramaniam held a very good quick talk about Java laziness. If you are into Java too take a look at his talk. And Kirk Pepperdine introduced how to find performance problems in your Java codebase. It was a very quick hands-on session but you will get the right idea (but you would need the tools to find the hot-spots).
Perfect. I think you should come next year. Craft is a really good conference and prior the two days there are some workshops where you can learn interesting things.
The price for the conference is OK and you get good talks and great food.
And you can re-watch the talks later on. If you are interested, take a look at the conference’s website.