This post was updated November 1, 2019 with new 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 buzzword-bingofests 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.
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: 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.
November 4-8, 2019
Price €350 – €845 (Event is sold out)
This year’s Devoxx Belgium event is sold out. That’s unfortunate for anyone whose heart warms at the idea of a conference “by developers, for developers,” with affordable admission prices and a program packed with practitioner-focused content. So if you didn’t get in this year, be sure to keep an eye out for 2020 registration info (or consider attending a similar Devoxx event in theUK, France, Morocco, Poland, or Ukraine).
If you did land a Devoxx Belgium ticket, we’d be remiss not to mention that two New Relic team members, Principal Engineer and Java Architect Ben Evans and Lead Software Engineer Erik Grijzen, will speak at multiple sessions during the week. Frontend developers may enjoy Erik’s talk on using a micro frontend architecture to build an extensible UI, while Ben shares his Java expertise in sessions on implementing a JVM from scratch in Rust and on the process of migrating New Relic to Java 11.
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 Google-sponsored and organized Chrome Dev Summit, as you’d expect, puts the focus on building for the modern Web—especially as it’s rendered on Google’s Chrome browser. You’ll also get some sneak previews of what the Chrome team is working on these days, along with the usual mix of speakers, education, and networking. What you won’t find at Chrome Dev Summit is a registration fee—the event is free of charge. Of course, there’s a catch: You don’t register for this event, you request an invitation.
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 – $1,000 (student discounts are 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.)
December 6-7, 2019
Price 299€ (main day ticket only; full-event and workshops sold out)
According to the Devternity event website, it’s the third biggest tech event in Europe (presumably in terms of registered attendees). One key to its success might be the event’s unusual focus on “turning developers into architects and engineering leaders.” Another is probably the emphasis on quality content rather than “Agile bullsh*t bingo and marketing talks,” as the Devternity event site puts it. And as part of the European Union, attending an event in Latvia probably isn’t much different than an event in Munich or Paris—perhaps just a touch chillier.
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.
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.
February 19-21, 2020
Price $395 – $670 (prices increase December 18)
DevNexus is currently the largest Java platform conference in the United States; its pedigree dates back 15 years to the Atlanta Java Users Group. This year’s event expects to attract 2,500 or so attendees for three days of workshops, presentations, demonstrations, and conversations. The conference includes a respectable emphasis on cutting-edge topics like advanced Kubernetes, cloud-native microservices, and test-driven development. We know that events on this scale aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but if Java is part of your job description, DevNexus probably belongs on your event shortlist.
“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.
Like its New York-based sibling event, the UK version of QCon aims its programming clearly at front-line development practitioners. The 2019 event featured conference tracks such as, “Architectures You’ve Always Wondered About,” “Don’t $%@! Up the Culture,” and “Security from First Principles.” While the 2020 program isn’t available yet, QCon vows to continue delivering content geared towards “Bleeding-edge for the Enterprise,” and to prioritize “engineers over evangelists, practitioners over coaches, and team leads over consultants.” Intrigued? Check out this persuasive video, Why People Come Back to QCon London.
Looking for a crash course in the Internet of Things (IoT) and the technology revolution it triggered? Get yourself to the Olympia Grand in London, where the IoT Tech Expo will connect thousands of attendees with more than 300 exhibitors and a conference program featuring 21 topic tracks and over 500 speakers. With track titles such as Smart Energy & Cities, Developing for the IoT, Connected Industry, Connected Transportation, IoT Innovations & Technologies, Connected Enterprise and Privacy & Smart Buildings and Infrastructure, you may be overwhelmed, but you’re unlikely to be bored.
Google’s signature, big (big!) picture cloud event is all about inclusion. Developers are invited, of course, but so is “anyone passionate about an accessible, scalable, socially responsible cloud.” But if Google’s “everyone’s invited” message and event FAQ seem a little thin on practical information, that’s because they are—at least for now. That won’t stop Cloud Next from selling out weeks, and possibly months, ahead of time—and really, if you’re ever going to attend a tech event as a leap of faith, it might as well be this one.
GlueCon’s founders—the husband and wife team of Kim and Eric Norlin—promote their event as a “hand-crafted” antidote to “sales pitches disguised as talks, sessions that never do more than scratch the surface, throngs of people that seem more concerned with the after-parties than the education, and networking that has no lasting impact.” Registration for their 2020 event is open, and a look at last year’s agenda (two standouts: “Quantum Computing Application Development Is Here,” and “DevOps Security for Multi-Cloud and Kubernetes Infrastructures”) confirms that GlueCon walks the walk with its developers-first focus.
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!