This post was last updated August 30, 2019 with additional event listings and pricing updates.
When it comes to industry events for software developers, new highlights are always popping up on an already-packed year-round schedule. How’s an engineer to know which hackathons to hit and which tech conferences to miss?
To help you plan your travels in the months ahead, here’s our comprehensive, chronological, regularly updated (and just slightly opinionated) list of the most awesome events for software developers and engineers around the world.
A frontend developer’s work never ends. The latest chore on your to-do list: attend a conference devoted entirely to topics you care about, including GraphQL, WebAssembly, the JAMStack and Progressive User Interfaces, HTTP/3, Automation Testing, Serverless and the P2P web. And getting there will require a grueling three-day stay at the lovely Hotel Melià in Sitges—a historic resort town on the Mediterranean cost just 30 minutes from Barcelona. It’s a tough and unforgiving job—but somebody has to do it, right?
Apache has long been the world’s most widely used web server; even today, the open-source server claims a 44% market share. But this is just the tip of the iceberg for ApacheCon, which also includes events and educational programming for users of Kafka, Spark, Hadoop, and the many other projects managed within the Apache Software Foundation. The schedule for ApacheCon 2019 is still (as of June 3) a blank slate, so check back often for the scoop on speakers and sessions.
Strange Loop isn’t a conference you hear much about, but it has consistently drawn a solid crowd since its founding in 2009. That’s mostly because it hasn’t strayed from its mission: eschewing marketing and hype in favor of hard-core software development education. That focus still shows in how Strange Loop goes about its business: Keynotes aren’t sold to sponsors, and mailing lists of attendees are never sold or given to sponsors. Just as important, the sessions themselves are aimed strictly at practitioners: Talks are code-heavy, and most avoid process-oriented topics such as agile and testing.
This year, New Relic’s global event series focuses on “creating more perfect software together.” Many sessions focus on makng the most of our own products and understanding our technology roadmap, but there’s also plenty of practical information and actionable advice around the larger topics of monitoring and observability. Sharpen your software chops with sessions covering topics such as site reliability engineering and Kubernetes monitoring; attend a New Relic University pre-event for hands-on training on how to make the most of custom charts and dashboards; and learn why many find FutureStack hallway conversations to be as valuable as the event itself. Registration is free, but procrastinators take note: seats usually sell out weeks ahead of the event date. (Check out our FutureStack EMEA and Australian events, too!)
September 23-25, 2019
Just as there are tech events for even the most niche-y tools and topics, there are also events that deliver kitchen-sink diversity and enough attendees to populate a small city. Spiceworld 2019 tends towards the kitchen-sink end of the spectrum—last year’s event drew some 1,500 attendees, and the 60+ sessions are organized into a pair of generalized tracks (one for IT pros and the other for vendors). And if networking (or nightlife) are high on your list of developer event priorities, this Austin, Texas, event definitely deserves a spot on your calendar.
October 2-4. 2019
San Francisco, Calif.
Price $175 (expo only)’ $295 – $1,995
San Francisco’s renowned startup fest still offers all of the events that made it the place “to see the present and the future of tech in one place:” the CrunchMatch networking event, Startup Alley, a virtual Hackathon, workshops, and after-parties are all still part of the agenda, along with one-of-a-kind networking opportunities. Add an eclectic speaker lineup—where else will you hear Google’s Chief of Information Security Heather Adkins, and former National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers sharing the stage with entrepreneurs like Snap co-founder and CEO Even Spiegel?—and you’ve got an event that routinely draws crowds of 10,000 or more attendees.
JAX London is a four-day conference and two-day expo with programming that “brings together the world’s leading innovators in the fields of Java, microservices, continuous delivery, and DevOps.” If that sounds like a rather niche intersection of topics, prepare to be surprised: This year’s conference program includes 60+ sessions, and there’s a clear emphasis on cutting-edge development tools and methodologies. There’s also a track devoted to blockchain technologies and solutions—sure to be a red-hot topic for developers working in one of the world’s financial centers.
October 8-10, 2019
San Jose, Calif.
Price $1,495 – $1,995 (prices increase after Sept. 5; student discounts available)
Believe it or not, API World claims to be the first large-scale event devoted to what it calls the “API Economy.” Last year, more than 3,500 developers and API providers showed up to hear industry insiders, executives and entrepreneurs speak on topics such as, “Building APIs in a Serverless World” and “A Tour of API Management Architectures.” Come for the conference, but be sure to stick around for the expo, hackathon, and all of the usual after-hours goings-on.
The European version of New Relic’s global event series typically offers a different mix of topics and speakers than its counterparts in New York City and in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. What doesn’t change is the focus on practical guidance for building more perfect software and the kind of peer networking and high-quality conversation that you simply won’t find at most tech events. Registration is free, but space is limited—and it goes fast.
Agile+DevOps East exemplifies a recent trend towards multi-day DevOps mega events with sprawling educational programs and something-for-everyone agendas. The good news is that as educational events go, it’s hard to find better value than what’s in the Agile+DevOps East program guide: over 100 educational opportunities, sessions targeting 20 DevOps roles from architecture to testing, breakout summits on Agile leadership and DevSecOps, and much more besides. And as the keynote roster suggests, this event shows an understanding that DevOps is, first and foremost, about creating a culture and collaborative models rather than adopting some hot new tool. Our suggestion is to take the early-bird registration deadlines seriously, buttonhole the boss right away, and make your plans to attend before prices start going up.
Since 2014, Microsoft Ignite has pitched a big tent that holds one very large event (TechEd) and a handful of smaller ones (Microsoft Management Summit, SharePoint Conference, and Project Conference, among others). This year’s event program promises a stronger focus on advanced and expert sessions; more hands-on learning lab activities, and more than 20 role- or priority-based learning paths for attendees. The event’s vendor expo included more than 100 participating companies in 2018, so you can also binge on product pitches and tire-kicking, if that’s your thing.
The Silicon Valley stop of this globe-spanning spectacle (which includes an obligatory, free-admission expo) collectively draw thousands of attendees; the conference sessions alone span 24 conference tracks and over 1,500 speakers. This is what the experts refer to as “convergence,” and it’s a great way for developers to broaden their horizons—spring for one of the multi-event packages, and soak it all in.
November 18-20, 2019
Price $400 (2018 standard admission; student discounts will be available)
Last year’s RubyConf, which took place in Los Angeles, sold out its 800-attendee quota weeks before it started. A sellout crowd doesn’t quite jibe with the chorus of “Ruby is dead” naysayers who see yesterday’s Web 2.0 poster child playing second fiddle to alternatives such as Node.js. But a lot of developers clearly disagree with that prognosis—and if you want to beat them to a seat at this year’s event, we advise checking back often for updates on event registration and pricing.
DevOpsCon bills itself as “the conference for continuous delivery, microservices, Docker, clouds & lean business.” That may sound like an invitation to the Buzzword Bingo world finals, but the DevOpsCon program clearly walks the walk—putting culture-building topics front and center, and also hitting the right notes with a program focused on timely topics like continuous delivery and automation, and monitoring and traceability. With relatively affordable entry fees and a lovely holiday-season stay in Munich in the cards, this event should be on every European DevOps team’s short list of educational opportunities.
AWS re:Invent is the undisputed cloud computing event of the year—and each year, AWS somehow manages to raise the bar a little higher. The 2018 event drew 40,000 participants to 1,000+ breakout sessions, multiple hackathons, bootcamps, workshops, and much more—all of it held across more than a half-dozen locations around Las Vegas. It’s not uncommon for attendees to walk miles simply getting around the massive event, although you’ll want to pace yourself to catch the epic, end-of-week re:PLAY party. (Don’t miss our coverage of last year’s event.)
Is CodeMash a Ruby conference? A Java conference? A security conference? Try all of the above: The event that likes to call itself the “everything conference” returns to Sandusky, a city located on Lake Erie about halfway between Cleveland and Toledo. If that does not sound like somewhere you want to be in January, keep an open mind: CodeMash has built a reputation as a solid event with an eclectic but consistently high-quality program; a rich source of networking opportunities; and happenings like KidzMash that give the next generation of geeks a starting point to develop their talents. And since the Kalahari Resort, which hosts CodeMash, offers amenities like a heated indoor pool, it turns out that a trip to Lake Erie in the dead of winter might be warmer than you expect.
February 4-6. 2020
Price US$200 – US$400 (2019 prices)
Alongside its London-based partner event, this conference in the Rwandan capital brings together hundreds of stakeholders from across the African continent to explore the latest tech trends. Organizers aim to provide “unrivaled insight, networking, and business opportunities for African and international tech leaders and investors who want to drive growth in Africa.” And by all accounts, Kigali is a lovely host city for the event—and an eye-opening opportunity to see a side of Africa that should get far more attention than it does.
“Where technology, business, and culture converge.” Since its inception in 1999, EmTech has established itself as an influential international conference on emerging technologies. Hosted by the MIT Technology Review, this event is famous for its Innovators Under 35 feature, which in the past has included such luminaries as Larry Page and Sergey Brin, not to mention Mark Zuckerberg.
Keep up with New Relic events, too!
Finally, here at New Relic, we deliver our own program of events, user groups, and meetups! Be sure to bookmark the New Relic Events page, which we update on a regular basis. We’re looking forward to seeing you at a future event!