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Ask Slashdot: Good Technology Conferences To Attend?

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the all-of-them dept.

IT 131

SSG Booraem (2553474) writes I've recently been hired to a IT supervisor position at a local college. My boss wants me to find some technology conferences that I'd like to attend and submit them to her. Since I've worked in IT for 18 years but usually done scut work, I don't have any ideas. I'd appreciate suggestions with personal experiences.

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But I poop from there! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607773)

Not right now, you don't.

Gartner Datacenter Conference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607775)

I recommend the Gartner Datacenter conference, all of the major enterprise vendors in one room

Depends on your Job Duties (2)

robstout (2873439) | about 3 months ago | (#47607807)

I'm a network (Cisco) guy, so Cisco Live! is my go-to conference. YMMV. DEFCON sounds like the most fun to attend, as long as you keep your gear powered off.

Re:Depends on your Job Duties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608441)

If you do networking, specifically using any Cisco, then Cisco Live is THE conference to go to.
I would say that Interop is a close second.

Re:Depends on your Job Duties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47609055)

Cisco live! is a must as long as you have someone paying the entrance fee

The ones in Amsterdam! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607811)

I'm thinking 'cannibus cup'.

If only... (1, Informative)

bengoerz (581218) | about 3 months ago | (#47607815)

Perhaps there is a way to find ideas for this on the interwebs?
Ah yes! https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=information+technology+conference [google.com]

Re:If only... (0)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 3 months ago | (#47607949)

Maybe he should attend a course at a local computer store and they'll show him how to put a shortcut to "The Google" on his desktop.

Re:If only... (1)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about 3 months ago | (#47608005)

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608457)

Re:If only... (5, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 3 months ago | (#47608011)

He asked which ones are good to attend, not which ones are best at SEO.

Re:If only... (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 3 months ago | (#47608051)

He didn't even tell us what he does, so it's kind of hard to recommend a conference or two based on the most generic job title ever.

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608197)

Frankly, he didn't even tell us he was a he. The submitter could very well be a she and that could in deed be a factor given all the recent tech news.

Re:If only... (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 months ago | (#47608373)

I had the same issue and in my case, it really didn't matter. It was budgeted that I should attend a conference, it didn't matter which one. If I didn't go, then I get dinged on my performance review for not "continuing my education through training opportunities."

Fulfilling Requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608259)

Figure out your requirements.
I taught in a college's IT program for a year, and was quickly promoted to the position of Lead Instructor of the department.
For me, participation was mandatory. Participation in what, though, was a different story.
I regularly attend an annual LinuxFest, and so my only task was to bring back some sort of paperwork. The brochure that listed the available seminars worked nicely.
My local Linux users' group would work fine, as long as I could get something in writing that demonstrated that I participated (by showing up).
I was also told that periodicals worked fine. So, a subscription to a computer magazine worked. However, even a newsletter worked. So those CompTIA SmartBrief counted. I could just print it out, and submit that, and that would be fine.
I believe Microsoft also had an e-news subscription. I've since been enrolled in a course from CBTNuggess.com, and I'm pretty sure those daily Nuggets Training Advisor would work just fine. If I can remain subscribed after I'm done with the course, I will, in case it helps to meet some future petty requirements. Blogs, perhaps like Microsoft's "Hey! Scripting Guy!", may be just fine.

Basically, the accreditation committee required that ongoing effort was clearly documented. ("Ongoing effort" meant like 3-6 pieces of paper per year.) However, the bar was set pretty low when it came to what that effort was. If something was computer-related, then: ah, sure, that was good enough to show that I was keeping current in my area of specialty (which was not medical, or English studies, but tech).
You might be able to start your own user's group. If that sounds too boring for you, then make it a recurring LAN Party, where people play games all night, and the first people who show up need to assemble the LAN. Just make sure it has a professionally-acceptable name ("Springfield Networks" would be okay: Springfield Deathmatches might be harder to get professional credit for). A local meeting that regularly draws three to six gamers-- I mean, cough cough backspace backspace backspace backspace, industry experts, will be a lot less expensive that traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. And so, it is more likely to be approved.
These days, you could be trendy and participate in online messaging. Us old-timers knew that as IRC chat rooms. But the new buzzwords may refer to that as online conferences, and might precisely fit your needs of attending a "conference". When you figure out the precise requirements that you need to meet, you might be rather surprised at just how simple they actually are.
At colleges, a lot of requirements upon staff members might just be there to fulfill requirements made by some bureaucrats, often outside of the organization you're working for. That was true where I worked as a college instructor; there was a lot of government regulation that needed to be followed. That was true even though we were 100% a private, for-profit company.
Be completely honest, so that you don't lose sleep about losing your integrity. However, don't invest tons of your life in an endeavor that provides no rewards to either yourself nor humanity at large. Just do what's needed so the requirements are fulfilled, and then invest your efforts in ways that will actually be beneficial. You, as the IT supervisor, will know what that is, far more than the paper pusher who just wants to make sure you're *officially* performing the necessary task of "staying current".
Then again, that was the place I was working at. Maybe your supervisor actually thinks you're behind the times, and wants to see a serious plan on filling a recognized void. Before signing up for, or attending, any of the types of things I just described, figure out what is actually expected of you.
The second step is, as some people suggested you do, using Google to figure out how to fulfill the requirements. The first step is to figure out just what the requirements actually are. Actually, kinda similar to IT work. Don't complete a troubleshooting task before figuring out what the desired outcomes are. Otherwise, you end up investing in a solution that does not end up being sufficiently useful. Start by clearly identifying what actually needs to be done. Learn your requirements.

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47609155)

Last I checked, Slashdot IS part of the interwebs.

Black Hat (1)

cloud.pt (3412475) | about 3 months ago | (#47607817)

You need to find better ways to cover your tracks after browsing them freshmen girls mobile photo. If boss asks about the name, just tell them it's a reference to Harry Potter, and the black hat is for wizardry

Any good technology conferences to attend? (2, Informative)

tooslickvan (1061814) | about 3 months ago | (#47607819)

There are no good technology conferences, my friend.

Re:Any good technology conferences to attend? (4, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 3 months ago | (#47607919)

There are no good technology conferences, my friend.

You are mistaken. They list several. [good.com]

Re:Any good technology conferences to attend? (2)

skatefriday (1032678) | about 2 months ago | (#47608741)

There are no good technology conferences, my friend.

Never been to Defcon, have you?

Location? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607825)

It seems rather important to know your location, unless your boss is willing to pay for very big travel expenses.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607827)

usually done scut work

There might be a (wtf is) scut conference somewhere since you seem to have no other interests.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608423)

Scut work: tedious, menial work. The stuff no one else wants to do.

Dreamforce and MS TechEd (4, Interesting)

VTBlue (600055) | about 3 months ago | (#47607837)

Dreamforce and TechED get my vote, sadly TechEd will no longer be around, but they are recorded and very interesting.

Re:Dreamforce and MS TechEd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607891)

Dreamforce and Velocity are the only two worth going to.

Re:Dreamforce and MS TechEd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608621)

Velocity is worth every penny...IF you're doing WebOps/DevOps.

Monitorama is great if you're a monitoring guy.

Surge is great if you're doing large-scale systems.

DEFCON is great if you're a security guy.

I don't know what the network guys get upto. Drowning their sorrows mostly, I suspect.

Re:Dreamforce and MS TechEd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608635)

Dreamforce and Velocity are the only two worth going to.

I'm not supporting sales scumbags or WebOps, you insensitive clod!

Re:Dreamforce and MS TechEd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607893)

Dreamforce and TechED get my vote, sadly TechEd will no longer be around, but they are recorded and very interesting.

Why are they interesting? Please submit a 500 word essay on the subject. Turn it in by tomorrow morning. Thanks.

Congratulations! (5, Informative)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about 3 months ago | (#47607843)

I work on the instructional side of technology in K-12. I would suggest the yearly ISTE conference. It rotates around the country in late June. Next year it will be in Philly, I believe. It is massive and has sessions on instruction, administration and pretty much anything else you can imagine. The vendor area usually draws the latest heavy hitters in software, services and hardware.

You may also want to check and see if your state has an ISTE affiliate group. They often hold quality state conferences as well. Here in North Carolina, we have NCTIES in March. It's good for a state conference.

Re:Congratulations! (2)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 3 months ago | (#47607957)

The League for Innovation also does conferences. Educause may be good.

  Both of these are education focused, but there is plenty of technology going on as well.

Re:Congratulations! (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 2 months ago | (#47608205)

Educause is pretty good.

Re:Congratulations! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607979)

Also in NC and geared to instruction is North Carolina Computer Instruction Association - NCCIA. They rotate around the state, next year is in Winston-Salem.

Very inexpensive conference ($60) and well worth it for 3 days.

Re:Congratulations! (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 3 months ago | (#47608055)

While I was a K-12 admin I never got to attend the conferences, but I had always wanted to visit ITSE... And I live in PA which seems to do a lot of ITSE workshops in various parts of the state. However I was 'to valuable to let attend' right up until they replaced me, so I never got to go...

any specific area? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607851)

Or will any old tech conference do?
Here's some:
FPL
FPGA
HiPeac
DATE
ISCA
FCCM

Chaos Communication Congress (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607853)

The Chaos Communication Congress [wikipedia.org] is an annual conference in Hamburg, Germany (previously in Berlin, Germany). It is held between Christmas and New Year. You can review previous schedules and download recordings. [events.ccc.de] Most talks are in English, some in German. There are also workshops and podiums.

Vendors, Vendors, Vendors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607867)

Figure out which vendor software you will be supporting and go there. Also look for a local users group so that you can meet people that may have already solved the tricky problems. (Or with 18 years experience you can offer *them* solutions. Your boss will love the exposure your department will get.)

Re:Vendors, Vendors, Vendors (1)

macdude22 (846648) | about 2 months ago | (#47608333)

This. When I used Kbox, Kace Konfrence was great. Now that I use Casper, JAMFNation is great. The vendor specific events seem to have a lot more meat to them.

Rotate (2)

skydude_20 (307538) | about 3 months ago | (#47607887)

When you find a few, rotate through them over the years. Most conferences I find don't change/update enough in subsequent years. Plus you get a diversity of tech/people.

try these lists ...USENIX, OSCON, VMworld (3, Informative)

traveller9 (951983) | about 3 months ago | (#47607913)

This should get you started. USENIX https://www.usenix.org/confere... [usenix.org] VMWorld http://www.vmworld.com/index.j... [vmworld.com] OSCON (must wait until 2015) http://www.oscon.com/oscon2014... [oscon.com]

Re:try these lists ...USENIX, OSCON, VMworld (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 months ago | (#47608715)

If VMWorld is the one I am thinking of, then I actually would recomend against it. It was a few years ago but I went to a "conference" put on by VMWare that was one of the most useless experiences of my career. Maybe my standards were set high by Usenix, but, I was not expecting every single "talk" to be some salesman in a suit giving me the dog and pony show on his product.

Wasn't a single presentation on anything useful, nothing on research projects, nothing but dogs and ponies.

Maybe I am mistaken and this was some event other than VMWorld that they held, but, if it is, then I can't recomend it at all.

More info? (5, Informative)

Darth Twon (2832799) | about 3 months ago | (#47607917)

Without knowing your interests or area of expertise, there are some big ones like:

Spiceworld [spiceworks.com]
Various Microsoft conferences: Exchange [msdn.com] , SharePoint [msdn.com] , TechEd [msteched.com]
Some Cisco stuff [cisco.com]

And Probably a whole host of others. Choose a vendor/specialty and search for their conferences.

Re:More info? (1)

lazarusdishwasher (968525) | about 2 months ago | (#47608469)

Do you like boats? Depending on your budget you may be able to learn at sea. Two of the three cruises I have found have already happened, since they number them it suggest that they might do them again if there is enough interest. http://insightcruises.com/top_... [insightcruises.com] http://insightcruises.com/top/... [insightcruises.com] http://insightcruises.com/even... [insightcruises.com]

If you're in SoCal (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 3 months ago | (#47607925)

SCALE [socallinuxexpo.org] .

Hard to travel to. (3, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | about 3 months ago | (#47607933)

If I were you, I'd go quickly.

Most of them are back in the nineties.

Re:Hard to travel to. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47608131)

As an IT supervisor, you are probably well aware of the software/hardware that your company is running.

  1. Look at the ones your company spends the most money on overall (that may be a big expensive database or scads of word processors or the actual server hardware).
  2. Go to Google
  3. Type in "Vendor Product conference"
  4. Press return
  5. Scroll through the results looking for something that interests you. A conference that is mentioned on the vendor's own website if often a good selection.

Such conferences are typically held annually. They often address issues that are commn to the community and provide thoughts on alleviating them. They also provide product road maps and suggestions for new ways of using what you already have.

Re:Hard to travel to. (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47608317)

Yes that's useful. The idea of "technology conference" is extremely vague. One could go to a conference on nuclear power engineering and still be considered a technology conference. Or a Blackberry conference, or a video game devices conference, and so forth.

So for a conference to be actually useful, it should be something related to the job being done and where something of value can be acquired. Otherwise it's just a fun holiday at the employer's expense. So even conferences that seem related to the job can be a waste of money if there's no return on the investment. Watch out for the things that are just big marketing showcases because they're pointless and everyone is lying. Also a vendor-sponsored conference is likely to be biased.

Re:Hard to travel to. (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 months ago | (#47609173)

If I were you, I'd go quickly.

Most of them are back in the nineties.

He only has to go 88 mph to make them, then!

sxsw interactive (2)

trybywrench (584843) | about 3 months ago | (#47607941)

It's fun and can be informative if you know what you're looking for. Try to stay late and leave a few days after interactive is over so you can experience part of the music festival. The whole deal can be overwhelming however.

HighEdWeb (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47607987)

It's a very balanced conference with tracks for just about all job types from programmer to managers and administraitors. This year it's being hosted in Portland Oregon. Their website lists the details http://www.highedweb.org/

It would be a bit of a help (3, Insightful)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 3 months ago | (#47608001)

to know exactly what you're doing. IT supervisor is about as generic as consultant.

Do you run the helpdesk?
Are you in charge of the student hourlies?
Do you have a cadre of minions running the data center?

If you don't know that, what would get you fired in 2 seconds?

IBM/Rational Innovate (1)

GKlesczewski (188988) | about 3 months ago | (#47608003)

I've been to the Rational Innovate conference (http://www-01.ibm.com/software/rational/innovate/) a few years back, been trying to go again. The conference is chock full of software development / software engineering related topics from the companies that have the heritage, between Rational, IBM, and all of their partners. The location doesn't hurt, either, as flights are inexpensive and you can spend as little or as much as you'd like for the hotel.

Re:IBM/Rational Innovate (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47608331)

But aren't company sponsored events just a marketing opportunity. Where will you find people at that conference who think it's all snake oil, or show you alternatives that are cheaper and better or more relevant?

Re:IBM/Rational Innovate (1)

m3000 (46427) | about 2 months ago | (#47608671)

Yes, but if you're already invested in that technology, then those types of conferences can be really beneficial to get far more indepth knowledge and trade tips/horror stories with other users of said product.

It's not like you're changing your key vendor every single year. At some point it'd be nice to get into depth into one of them.

USENIX and LISA SIG (formely known as SAGE). (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47608009)

The USENIX Annual Technical Conference is quite good.
Then probably all of the USENIX conferences. Check them here https://www.usenix.org/conferences

You also have LISA SIG (the Large Installation Systems Administration Special Interest Group) conference. https://www.usenix.org/lisa

If you work with Electronic Arts, try to get to EADC, it's great.

Location, Location, Location (2)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 3 months ago | (#47608021)

If you're a former grunt, then you've seen the after effect of these conferences. At best, it gets your bosses out of your hair for a few days. At worse, they come back revved up to implement the newest buzz work...for a week, until they see the cost, then it's like it never happened.

Take my advice; choose based on location and work up your justification from there. Myself, Vegas is always an attractive option, but by no means should you limit yourself. Be imaginative. /jaded and tarnished.

Re:Location, Location, Location (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 months ago | (#47608097)

My suggestion would be "counter" to yours, which is, go to conferences for stuff you are or are already about to implement. It is usually a much better option to make use of the technology you have fully, before adding in more "Stuff" to manage. I've seen enough halfway implemented technology that ends up being an albatross later to need more than two hands and two feet to count.

As supervisor, your job is to make sure the technology and people you have are adequate, and manage the transition if they aren't.

Re:Location, Location, Location (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 2 months ago | (#47608271)

Decent advice, but it's been my experience that you don't get valuable information from conferences, just more sales contacts.

Guess it depends on the tech in question.

Brainstorm is an excellent conference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47608027)

I've had great luck with Brainstorm [brainstormk20.com] , held in Wisconsin Dells every year. It's primary focus is K-12 but it does apply to college level as well. Vendor expo is pretty good, and the technical talks were great.

You just have to go to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47608033)

Comic Con... It may have nothing to do with work, but it will be interesting.. Just don't go to ogle the scantily clad female characters and certainly don't take their pictures.

You just have to go to... (1)

slashdice (3722985) | about 3 months ago | (#47608121)

And don't try to hook up with them. They're out of your league. If she says "yes", she probably has a penis or in a con artist (or both).

Source: my buddy Rob found out the hard way. Of course, I always figured he liked to walk on the wild side.

Very simple decision (4, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 3 months ago | (#47608049)

Which ever one is in Las Vegas.

Re:Very simple decision (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47608371)

Sadly, most conferences feel like just a way to extract some vacation and entertainment money from the bosses, or a way to network so that they can more easily hop jobs.

Remember, that's a week of time during which you get no actual work done. Which is fine if you don't mind cheating the employer, but someone even halfway honest should at least attempt to acquire some value at the conference, learn something that's utterly unlearnable on the web or from a book, discover the solution to the vexing problem at work, and so forth.

Re:Very simple decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608747)

Spoken like a true corporate shill.

Re:Very simple decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608661)

Interop in Vegas, http://www.interop.com/lasvegas/ [interop.org]

You have to get more specific (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 3 months ago | (#47608073)

For example, I adore the Web Afternoon [webafternoon.com] conferences I've attended, but unless you work on websites, then there might not be a lot of useful content there for you.

A lot of tech conferences can also be sorted by industry. Medical tech is huge, for example, and has its own set of regular gatherings. [eventsinamerica.com]

College related conferences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47608079)

Check out uPortal.org, Kuali.org, sakaiproject.org. All are well worth your time and your College.

Good luck on your new adventure.

Try SIGUCCS (1)

larkost (79011) | about 3 months ago | (#47608087)

As others have already said, the original question is really vague since there is little information about what corner of IT work will be done. But since it is at a college, there is a good chance that it will fall under the area that SIGUCCS conference tries to cover.

http://www.siguccs.org/Conference/2014/about.shtml

I went and presented 5 or 6 years ago and found it to be an OK conference. I did not get a lot out of it from the technical presentations, but it is a really good place to get an idea of what your peers are doing, and the "hallway track" is really good.

Re:Try SIGUCCS (1)

macdude22 (846648) | about 2 months ago | (#47608313)

I went to SIGUCCS once. I was pretty disappointed in the technical presentations. I went to one on dual boot Macs, which I was interested in as the organization I was with at the time we had deployed Dual Boot Macs to all our classrooms. Wanted to see what others had done. Ended up being a very vague overview, as the presenter had never done it in practice. I ended up getting roped into a bunch of discussion. Later that day I was approached by one of the organizers asking me to present the next year but I declined. SIGUCCS seemed really management/procedure focused. Not saying that's bad per se but it isn't what I look for in a tech event. The networking opportunities are undeniable though.

None (1, Troll)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 3 months ago | (#47608103)

Don't travel to conferences. Waste of time, money and other resources. Far better to use discussion groups, forums, webinars, email, etc. Physical conferences are dinosaurs. Most have died off. Some just don't know they're zombies but will soon fall apart. This is particularly true for tech conferences. We don't need to be in a place to communicate and techies know that better than anyone.

What is particularly obscene is the conferences by politicos and ecos to solve world hunger, solve pollution, solve global warming, etc. They jet around the world polluting all the way, eat huge fancy meals and declare what the rest of us should do to fix things. Hypocrites.

Re:None (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47609199)

lot of conferences have folded for extly ths reasns.

Datacentre World (1)

SpankyDaMonkey (1692874) | about 2 months ago | (#47608183)

I'm a datacentre guy, so the one I go to is Datacentre World - unless you have migrated every single system to the cloud the chances are you have a shedload of infrastructure to look after, and seeing what's out there to keep it safely powered and cooled is always useful.

The swag may not be as good as some of the vendor conferences, but the information can be really useful.

Location, Location, Location (5, Funny)

ardmhacha (192482) | about 2 months ago | (#47608249)

select conference_name
from all_conferences
where conference_location = 'HAWAII'

Must be nice to have free money (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 months ago | (#47608261)

and work for a "nonprofit". Corporate IT budgets have dried up for this sort of fluff long ago. Good for you landing a job where there's free taxpayer money.

Re:Must be nice to have free money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608425)

and work for a "nonprofit". Corporate IT budgets have dried up for this sort of fluff long ago. Good for you landing a job where there's free taxpayer money.

Yeah last time I wanted to go to a conference I was told I'd have to use PTO to do it.

Re:Must be nice to have free money (1)

Rifter13 (773076) | about 2 months ago | (#47608433)

Hmmm, I work for a non-profit, and I don't have the money for conferences. I'm currently doing some training (the first I have been OKed for, for years) and I get 1 month to cram in as much as I can.

Not all non-profits are money sinks. When I worked in the corporate world, we had trainers coming to us a few times a year.

Re:Must be nice to have free money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608503)


Corporate IT budgets have dried up for this sort of fluff long ago. Good for you landing a job where there's free taxpayer money.

Yup... all the conferences I've attended in the past several years are just filled with public sector employees, and devoid of anyone in the corporate world. I myself work in the public sector.

Noo.. wait... sorry. That's not true at all. What was I thinking? I work at a corporate job, and the vast majority of people at conferences work in corporate America. Public sector people are far more rare as they don't generally have budgets for this, while corporate america pisses away millions of dollars all the time.

Your 'boss' is a fucking idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608267)

Does she even know WHY she wants you to attend some conferences? Of course not. Doubtless 'somebody else is doing it', so you must too.

Re:Your 'boss' is a fucking idiot (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 months ago | (#47608387)

Pretty much this. They're all just a waste of time.

LabMan and freinds (1)

macdude22 (846648) | about 2 months ago | (#47608295)

LabMan (more technical) SIGUCCS (more procedural) MacIT (if you have a lot of Macs) EDUCAUSE Might be some more regional stuff, there's some smaller things that go in the midwest. I generally prefer these sorts of gatherings, less pomp, less cost, more networking, more technical meat.

I'd say ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#47608319)

... anything held in Las Vegas concurrently with the AVN [wikipedia.org] expo.

Drualcon L.A. (1)

skillrod (555920) | about 2 months ago | (#47608379)

If by chance you're using Drupal, I'd suggest Drupalcon in L.A. next year. You can view year's videos, which may give you an idea about the conference, or save you a trip. While mostly focused on the topic, I brought back a lot of non-Drupal info. There were lots of folks representing the .edu space.

O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | about 2 months ago | (#47608397)

OSCON [oscon.com] is held every July in Portland, Oregon, and focuses on open source solutions to all sorts of IT needs. They have specific tracks for public sector and education. Plus, there's good beer.

DEFcon (1)

Fallon (33975) | about 2 months ago | (#47608411)

I leave for DEFcon 22 tomorrow...

Yes it's a hacker convention & not an IT convention, but it's the best conference I've ever been to. I get exponentially more out of DEFcon ($220) than I got out of RSA (over $2,000). If money was no object I'd still recommend DEFcon. It makes you think about technology in ways you never have before. It trains you to think about bending technology to your will however you can (the classic definition of hacking), not just security related exploits.

My management usually sees the value in it. They usually tell their management it's just a computer security conference as it has negative connotations to a lot of people though. The DEFcon network is the most hostile one in the world, so you may want to stay off of it (I don't), but really things aren't that bad.

LISA Conference (4, Informative)

sentiblue (3535839) | about 2 months ago | (#47608415)

I go to this conference at least once every 2 years https://www.usenix.org/confere... [usenix.org]

Suggestions for the Apple technologist (3, Informative)

plsuh (129598) | about 2 months ago | (#47608471)

In chronological order looking forward:

MacTech Boot Camps - http://www.mactech.com/bootcam... [mactech.com]
Small, local, inexpensive. Check to see if there's one close to you.

MacTech Conference - http://www.mactech.com/confere... [mactech.com]
Larger, both sysadmin and developer tracks

MacIT - http://www.macitconf.com/ [macitconf.com]
Larger, multiple tracks and levels of knowledge

WWDC - https://developer.apple.com/ww... [apple.com]
The granddaddy of them all, but next to impossible to get into these days. Mostly developer focused. May not be useful if you don't already have a deep knowledge base.

MacAdmins - http://macadmins.psu.edu/ [psu.edu]
The most education-focused of the conferences. Very knowledgeable presenters.

FWIW, I've been a presenter at MacTech Boot Camps, MacIT, and WWDC.

--Paul

USENIX, SuperComputing (2)

Meeni (1815694) | about 2 months ago | (#47608473)

You should try these 2: USENIX and SuperComputing. They are the most enjoyable for a non-academic to attend.

SC14 (1)

JVSIP (3776083) | about 2 months ago | (#47608525)

I would recomend the super computing conference ( http://sc14.supercomputing.org... [supercomputing.org] ). The location changes from year to year. It is in New Orleans this year. It is a large conference and it will be easy for you to find activities of interest to you and your boss.

Re:SC14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608867)

Seconded. Even in a "mundane" IT role, it is probably one of the best indicators of what is possible. And with an added focus recently on analytic capabilities (i.e map/reduce, graph analysis, etc.) a bunch of the technique and equipment is much more accessible for simple corporate uses. But you still want to hit up the Cray party if you can.

Beam me up, Scotty ! (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 2 months ago | (#47608531)

I recommend all Star Trek Conventions. You'll have to flash back a century in order to flash forward a few millennia, but its worth the head trip.... . Of course, attendees are not prone to having sex with actual women, in person.

Give me the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608533)

If they have money to burn paying for conferences, tell them to give you the money.

Give them a fake email address (1)

omfglearntoplay (1163771) | about 2 months ago | (#47608557)

Despite "tech" being your profession, be DAMN sure to give them a temp or fake email address. Because you WILL be spammed for the remainder of your life. I know... I was trusting once.

suggested conference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608611)

I recommend the Spring School on Superstring Theory and Related Topics, held in Trieste. It will open up your horizons.

VMworld (1)

Optic7 (688717) | about 2 months ago | (#47608693)

I believe I heard that VMworld [vmworld.com] is now the largest IT infrastructure conference in the world. If you are already steeped in virtualization, it's a wonderful conference to learn stuff and meet people. If you're not already steeped in virtualization, it's a wonderful conference to learn where the IT world is moving, and in fact has largely already moved to.

Tableau Conference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608749)

Tableau Conference

http://tcc14.tableauconference.com/

Look on the edges of tech (1)

stargazer1sd (708392) | about 2 months ago | (#47608761)

Sometimes, you find the best stuff outside the heavy lifting tech world. I've been going to South by Southwest Interactive for the past 5 years. It's been a nice counter balance to nuts and bolts tech conferences. I get inspiration and some notion of Good Things to Do. There are plenty of smart people, and that's a major refreshment for me. The focus isn't on tech as much as interesting ways to use it.

There's now an education conference under the SXSW umbrella. That may be worthwhile to you, and easier to get funded.

Educause (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47608829)

The goto for Higher Ed types is Educause...lots of EdTech as well as all the usual suspects (Cisco, HP, Dell, Microsoft, etc.).

Training/Conference Crossover? (1)

ndrw (205863) | about 2 months ago | (#47608839)

You might consider http://www.sans.org/ [sans.org] training classes/conferences. They're mostly focused on security, so that has to fit for you, but I've learned a lot in both of the classes/conferences I've attended with them.

IT not your issue (1)

Ozymandias_KoK (48811) | about 2 months ago | (#47608885)

You need training on how to communicate, because you provided precisely zero information on which to base a useful answer to your question.

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