I’ve been to a TON of developer conferences and by a landslide my favorite is the Winter Tech Forum (which used to be the Java Posse Roundup). Here is why… Learning for me is experiential.
Typical eyes-forward conferences are like being a passenger on a sail boat. I can watch what is happening but I could definitely not become the captain based on my experience as a passenger. This is what makes WTF different; every attendee is a captain (or maybe a skipper if you are new). The whole conference is the experiences that the attendees want to have. Sometimes that means we write code together, explore new technologies, or discuss ideas. Those experiences have made a significant impact on my technical skills. We also eat together and play together which has helped me build some amazing relationships.
This might sound a little crazy until you actually experience it. Which I highly encourage you to do! This year’s WTF is Feb 29 - March 4 in Crested Butte, CO and will be followed by a new Developer Retreat event that also looks to be awesome. I hope to see you there!