8 Software Conferences to Check Out in 2016

One of the great things about working for Atomic Object is how strongly we value professional development. While software conferences are a significant expense for Atomic, they’re also incredibly valuable to us: no one wants to hire a has-been consultant, so it’s important to stay sharp and up-to-date. One way we accomplish this is by sending makers to conferences each year.

As a recent hire at Atomic, I wasn’t sure which conference to attend, so I asked my fellow Atoms for their suggestions. Here’s a list of eight 2016 conferences that could help you deepen your expertise in one area or learn about something completely new.

1.  Strange Loop

September 15-17, 2016 – St. Louis, MO
Strange Loop is a multi-disciplinary software conference with a mix of topics, such as new languages, security, and the web. Talks are code-heavy and focus on technology rather than processes. Strange Loop seems to be a developer favorite at Atomic, so you may see some of us there!

2.  Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference (GLSEC)

May 16, 2016 – Grand Rapids, MI
GLSEC is held just miles from Atomic Object’s Grand Rapids office and is organized by SoftwareGR. GLSEC and SoftwareGR are dedicated to promoting the software development community in West Michigan. The conference features a diverse range of speakers, events, and groups to “illustrate the full breadth of what it takes to create great software.”

SoftwareGR also offers monthly software talks at Atomic Object.

3.  Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC)

October 16-21, 2016 – Houston, TX
Named for Admiral Grace Hopper, GHC is the “world’s largest gathering of women technologists.” The conference focuses on the research and career interests of women in computing. My fellow Atom Brittany Hunter recommended this conference as both an educational and inspiring experience. Atomic Object is also involved in the 50% Initiative at Calvin, which has found success in retaining female CS majors by sending students to GHC.

4.  Clojure/Conj

Clojure is a language that’s become more popular at Atomic:  in customer projects, programming challenges, and conference attendanceClojure/Conj is a conference dedicated to the Clojure language, with session talks and workshops. Both experienced Clojurists and newbies are welcome. The date and location have not yet been set for 2016 (last year’s was in Philadelphia in November).

There is also Clojure/West, which will be held in Seattle, WA on April 15-16, 2016.

5.  RubyConf

Nov 10-12, 2016 – Cincinnati, OH
Ruby has been a fairly common language here at Atomic Object.  For those interested in getting into Ruby or deepening their knowledge, there is RubyConf.  The conference has been around since 2001 and focuses on the Ruby language and the community around it.  There is also a conference centered around Ruby on Rails: RailsConf (held in Kansas City, Missouri on May 4-6th).

6.  O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON)

May 16-19, 2016 – Austin, TX
Many Atomic Object developers contribute to open source projects. OSCON covers “everything open source,” bringing together the open source community to share knowledge and brainstorm new ideas.  A broad range of topics are covered through keynotes and tutorials, including Linux, Ruby on Rails, middleware, and cloud computing.

7.  Self.conference

May 20-21, 2016 – Detroit, MI
Self.conference is a mix of technical presentations and soft talks, and has been attended by Atoms in previous years.  Tech talks cover mobile, web, hardware, software, and processes.  Soft talks cover topics such as people skills, teaching, career development, and project management.

8.  Embedded Systems Conference (ESC)

April 13-14, 2016 – Boston, MA
September 21-22, 2016 – Minneapolis, MN
December 7-8, 2016 – Silicon Valley, CA
For those in the embedded realm, there are three Embedded Systems Conferences to check out:  ESC Boston, ESC Minneapolis, and ESC Silicon Valley. These conferences cover all aspects of embedded systems, including software, hardware, and IoT.

Which conferences are you attending or looking forward to in 2016?