I remember a time when I’d never been to a conference related to my passions. Once I went, things changed. I realized that making strong working relationships with others who share my passion is important. Not only does this solidify the community of which you are a member, it also helps you personally.
Every conference I have attended gave me a great idea for a current or upcoming project.
Here are a few examples:
- It was at a talk on PHP that I realized I could use this fantastic feature described in the talk to implement a part of FreshPorts.org which had been troublesome.
- It was at BSDCan that I first learned details of ZFS and how I can use it for jails with snapshots to make backups easier.
- It was at a conference in NYC (NYCBSDCon) that I figured out how I could remotely upgrade a server running a FreeBSD system from a gmirrored-UFS filesystem to a ZFS-root file system.
- It was at PGCon that I learned about partial indexes, which was just what I needed for a table with millions of rows, but of which only a few are flagged.
While solving technical issues is fantastic, the single most important aspect of a conference is connections. Whether you meet people during the infamous hallway tracks or over a meal & a beverage afterwards, those connections are valuable. They are the people you can turn to, and who will turn to you, when a great idea comes along. I cannot impress upon you how much that will mean to you
I’m completely biased when it comes to recommending that you go to BSDCan 2014.
Ask anyone who has been to BSDCan. They’ll say the same thing.