Ryan Wood

Product Builder, Rubyist, Entrepreneur of sorts
Blog Archives

12 Nov 2005
Conferences And Such

I just got back from DevConnections held in Las Vegas. As I sat in a session, I began wondering why conferences don’t move me anymore.

I remember, not too long ago, when I went to my first professional developers conference, Macromedia DevCon 2001. I learned exciting new techniques, the next killer features, and new technologies. It charged me up for months…

Now, all that is gone. Maybe it was the newness of the conference atmosphere, or maybe it was simply that I had soooo much to learn at that point in my career.

DevConnections is a Microsoft-centric conference. I think that plays into it as well. A couple of things struck me.

  1. New material is only effective if it can be applied immediately. Microsoft drives me crazy showing us things that won’t see the light of day for 3-5 years. What’s the point?!?
  2. The closer one gets to becoming an expert in their field, the less impact mass event will have in shaping their craft.
  3. The knowledge flow is so much more vast today than even a few years ago. With blogs, online news, mailing lists (ok, they’re pretty old, but still…), you can get very specific information channels customized to your desires and needs. I find that the minute I am curious about something, I am looking and generally finding the answer. By the time a conference rolls around, I pretty much have most of my questions answered and quite often in more detail than the speakers even know.
  4. Lastly, I learn best when I do, not when I watch or listen.

Don’t get me wrong. I had a great time and would probably do it again. I just miss that impact I once experienced.

Blog Archives