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by Rose Farrell on May 22, 2019
A few pieces of advice about going to conferences and what one does at them.
ShipItCon is soon. Well, not soon, it’s after the summer (September 6th!) but we wanted to do a bit of promo without being obvious about it and some social media expert (they said they were an expert, anyway) said that blogging is a great way to extend our reach.
nineDots are proud and excited sponsors and we’d like you to know more about it!
Here’s a few pieces of advice about going to conferences and what one does at them.
Have you ever gone to a conference and thought “What am I doing?”, “Why am I here?”, “My boss paid €900 for a ticket to CryptoBlockSummit, I had better Gain Value Add from this thing.”
Maybe ShipItCon is going to be your first conference and you have no clue what you’re supposed to do. That’s ok, most of us have no idea either. You’ll see people bustling about, confidently shaking hands. 90% of them are pretending.
1. Drink loads of water and eat something. It’s a long day, if you’re staying there. With lots of people packed into a confined space, germs are flying around and you need to keep your immune system functional or you will get the dreaded con-flu.
2. Grab loads of swag. Every company with a stand will bring their best in pens, stickers, RFID blocking wallets, bottle openers, coffee cups… It’s all basically useless and you need it. Swag is the greatest part of any conference. Take it all and return victorious with your plunder to your office.
3. Tell the speakers you enjoyed their talk. Weirdly, this doesn’t happen so often, apparently? I genuinely thought that conference speakers would be covered in well-wishers but it seems that it is not often that an individual says “Hi, I really enjoyed your talk on Giant Servers Not Falling Down”. So go do that, it’s a nice thing to do and it will make someone’s day.
4. Bring your knowledges back to the office. This year’s ShipItCon is about the future of shipping software. This is a chance to be the beacon for your office’s DevOps roadmap – tell your colleagues what you’ve learned and what you should all be doing for the next few years. It’s a bit trite but no matter where you work; showing enthusiasm and the will to learn and grow are never bad things.
5. Network!! As a recruiter, I shouldn’t be telling you this but most people will get their job through networking – via seeing a post from a connection on social media, through something like Discord/Slack, from a friend referring them into a job. Where will you meet loads of people who work in the sector you’re interested in? At an industry conference! Go talk to people. You don’t have to be looking for a job right now, go chat about industry stuff – why the latest Docker update is ruining your life. Where you buried the last person who pushed to prod on a Friday. Does anyone really enjoy Perl?
6. Tweet loads and/or post on LinkedIn – if you don’t post thoughtful insights and gratuitous selfies from #DublinConferenceSummitCon, were you even really there? Sarcasm aside, it’s good to do a little push on social media – from a career perspective it’s good to be “seen”, from a social point of view; friends might be about the place somewhere to say “hi”. A bit of buzz on Twitter or whatnot adds to the atmosphere and culture of a conference. About half of any BSides event happens on Twitter!
7. Enjoy the after party! It’s a great and informal way to chat with people in the software shipping industry. What I said about networking earlier – if you feel a bit weird and formal doing at the actual conference, this is a lot more chilled out. Don’t go overboard with the free booze though. You’ll be interacting with these people professionally over the years! You definitely don’t want to be the “remember the person who…” story told for the next year. There’s always someone who ends up going down in history for all the wrong reasons!
There’s loads more that could be said but these are a few of the essential tips! ShipItCon is going to be a calm, chilled out, day for discussing what the future of DevOps and software shipping will bring. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day to day of your job and putting out the fire that happened today because Bob dropped a column on the production database.
Take the day, come along, and nerd out with your peers. Everyone will understand your pain! Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been here since DevOps was called “that weirdo crying in the server room”, you’ll be entertained! Tickets here and going fast (nearly half are gone already!)