The DevIntersection Conference is one of my three favorite events for software developers who use Microsoft technologies. The 2017 event will be held from Monday, October 30 through Friday, November 3, in Las Vegas. See http://www.devintersection.com. There are actually several DevIntersection events, at different dates, in different cities, but the Las Vegas event is my particular favorite because it’s relatively close to me.
I will be speaking at DevIntersection, but I’ll also be attending as many presentations as I can. All of the speakers at DevIntersection are very, very good — as opposed to some company-specific conferences where it’s possible to get a real dud of a speaker. I’m especially looking forward to hearing Microsoft VPs Scott Guthrie (Azure) and Steve Guggenheimer (AI Business).
My talk will be about machine learning using the new CNTK v2 library. I remember speaking at one of the early DevIntersections (in 2012 I think), where I spoke about machine learning — and only a handful of people showed up to my talk. But interest in machine learning has grown tremendously and the last couple of years my talks on ML have been very well attended.
This points out that one of the benefits of attending a conference like DevIntersection is that you get to see industry trends early on. DevIntersection has a very good balance of different types of talks, and almost no marketing-style talk (and the vaguely marketing content that does appear is usually very interesting and useful).
Of course the problem is that conferences such as DevIntersection are pricey and you can’t afford to pay your own way. So, you have to convince your employer of the value of footing your bill. In addition to all the obvious, objective, benefits, I find that just getting away for a few days and mingling with fellow software developers has a huge subjective value. I always return from DevIntersection greatly energized and productive.
Interestingly, the 2017 DevIntersection runs the same days as the SEMA car show in Las Vegas — an absolutely enormous event with around 130,000 attendees. The town will be packed and that brings a lot of energy. And if that’s not enough, Halloween falls during DevIntersection too. If you haven’t seen a Halloween in Vegas, well, all can say is, it’s a pretty crazy night.