How I Get The Most Out of a Software Conference

Attending a software conference can be a great way to learn new skills, network with other professionals, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry. Here are a few ways I get the most out of software conferences.

Connect with your coworkers.

Software conferences are a great way to connect with coworkers and build strong relationships. It can also be a great way to get recommendations for what sessions to attend. Some of the best talks I’ve attended have been recommended by coworkers.

Some of the ways I’ve connected with coworkers at conferences include:

  • Attending sessions together
  • Eating meals together
  • Exploring the conference city together

Connect with other professionals.

Connecting with coworkers is great, but it can be easy to get stuck in a bubble of people you already know. Try to get out of your comfort zone and talk to some new folks. This can be a great way to learn new skills and get new perspectives on the industry.

Talking to people you aren’t familiar with can be intimidating. Here are some ways to make it easier:

  • Talk to someone who went to the same session as you. This is a great way to start a conversation because you already have something in common
  • Ask if you can join someone at their table during lunch. This one is a little more risky, but I’ve had some great conversations with people I didn’t know at all just by sitting with them for lunch.
  • Talk to folks who gave a talk you attended. This may seem intimidating, but I’ve found most people are elated to talk about their talk and are happy to answer questions.

Attend sessions related to your job.

Of course, you’re at the conference to learn. Make sure to attend sessions that are relevant to your job. This will help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and learn new skills that you can use in your work.

Attend sessions that sound interesting.

Although it is important to attend sessions that are relevant to your job, some of the best sessions I’ve attended were not. I’ve learned a lot from sessions outside of my job description. Although they may not be directly applicable to my job, they have helped change the way I think about my job and the industry as a whole.

Take breaks.

With everything going on at a conference, it can be easy to forget to take breaks. I try to find at least one hour during the conference to take a break and relax in my hotel room. This may seem like a waste of time, but I find I get more out of the conference when I take breaks since it’s easier for me to focus on the sessions when I’m not exhausted.


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