Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rethinking dev.idaho

I'll never forget the very first discussions about what would eventually become the dev.idaho conference. It was 2010 or 2011, and we were just putting together the ITC software alliance. 

Matt Rissell was the president of the software alliance, and I was the chair of the education committee (I didn't work for Matt at the time. I was still at SAP and had a trip to WhiteCloud in my future). Matt kept saying we needed a "big event". I thought it was a terrible idea. We were a group of volunteers giving everything we had to just make a difference with our small community initiatives. Typical short-sighted engineer response on my part, but I felt we were spread thin already and an event would be an absolute waste of time.

I chose to focus on my committee and abstained from all planning and discussions about the event. This was my first experience with Matt's persuasive personality and his ability to get people around him to step up to a challenge. It was also my first experience with Martin Hambalek's project management and planning capabilities. I would learn over the years that both are incredibly capable and this single event was not an anomaly. 

I attended the first dev.idaho event, which was paired with Tech Cocktail, and I was blown away. The community showed up, the startup showcase was a blast, the speakers were great with awesome stories to tell, Mark Solon dropped some F-bombs and after the event a number of attendees shut down The Modern. It was an experience to say the least!

Over the years, Martin's team has organized multiple events that fill the gap between a developer conference like Boise CodeCamp, and an entrepreneur or business conference.

This year's agenda is a departure from the format used the last couple of years and promises to entertain, educate and motivate like never before. A fantastic keynote from Hadi Partovi of combined with numerous panel discussions from local software peers and a new networking format should make this a brand new experience even for those who have attended the event in the past.

I encourage everyone to attend the redesigned dev.idaho event, contribute to the discussions, network with your peers, and remember why we loved the first event so much.

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