This post was updated January 2, 2020, 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.
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 12-16, 2020
Price $795 – $1,595
DeveloperWeek bills itself as the world’s largest developer conference and event series—a credible claim for an event where 8,000+ devs hack it out with 200+ technologies. If the CTO World Congress or the Hiring Mixer don’t tempt you (and yes—the latter is a networking event, not an amusement park ride), how about the chance to compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes in the hackathon? Or the various two-day sub-conferences devoted to such topics as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and microservices? Let’s be honest here: If you can’t find a DeveloperWeek event that interests you, are you really in the right line of work?
February 19-21, 2020
Price $395 – $695
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.
April 22-23, 2020
Price €259 – €389
“What does tomorrow look like?” That’s the question the Dublin Tech Summit is intent upon answering with its 2020 event program. The summit—which claims to be the oldest of its type in Europe—brings together thousands of tech-industry leaders, founders, and influencers from around the world. The two-day agenda promises “days of growth and development, knowledge sharing, networking opportunities—and, of course, the craic!” Expect a speaker list on the same level as the 2019 lineup, which featured Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, Reddit CTO Chris Slowe, and not one but two astronauts! (Event organizers have started a 2020 speaker list, along with a complete listing of all 150+ 2019 speakers, if you’d like to follow along as they build out this year’s program.)
If you’re looking for full-body, no-holds-barred immersion in All Things PHP, then look no further—this is the longest-running event focused on the PHP language, which today is used on more than 80% of the world’s websites. The first half of the four-day event is devoted entirely to full-day training classes and half-day workshops; both emphasize hands-on work with cutting-edge PHP techniques and tools. There’s also a strong emphasis on networking and community-building (organizers style the event as an annual “homecoming” for the PHP dev community). And if you can’t attend in person (or find your event budget stretched a little tight) the event offers an inexpensive “digital ticket” that includes video from every session. (Be sure to check the event site frequently; detailed schedules for this year’s event are not yet posted but should be soon.)
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.
If you’re looking for an event that is long on technical content for practitioners and short on marketing fluff, QCon is worth your attention. QCon describes itself as an event that focuses “senior software engineers and architects on the patterns, practices, and use cases leveraged by the world’s most innovative software shops”—and like quite a few other top-tier tech events, its conference program includes no vendor-controlled content. What last year’s event schedule did include was a wealth of practioner-friendly material with titles like “Architecting for Failure,” “Software-Defined Infrastructure,” and “21st Century Languages.” (If you live in Europe or the UK, scroll back for details on QCon London, which takes place March 2-6.)
When it comes to open source, OSCON is “where all of the pieces come together: developers, innovators, business people, and investors.” As with the 2019 event, organizers will build the event program (which is still being put together in case you’d like to pitch a proposal) around five pillars of modern software development: Open Source, Cloud Native, Data-Driven, AI-Enhanced, and Customer-Driven applications. If you’re looking for an open source focused event with street cred, it’s hard to go wrong with OSCON—the place where Kubernetes 1.0 and OpenStack both made their public debuts, as have countless other influential open-source projects.
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!