I’m about a week out from attending That Conference 2016 in the Wisconsin Dells. This has been my 2nd year attending, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Clark and an army of volunteers do a tremendous job of running this year after year, and it’s greatly appreciated by all. This year was better than ever. I got to meet so many cool people from all over the Midwest, and even some coasties. The attendees include people from all sorts of technical backgrounds: developers, integration experts, DBAs, UX designers, you name it.
Why do I love That Conference?
- The variety of topics in sessions. Each hour slot has approximately 10-12 sessions you can choose from, and there are approximately 4 hour blocks per day, so you’re looking at roughly 12 sessions total and 3 key note presentations. Ranging from very technical (React Framework, Angular, Azure services) to soft skills (working remotely, mentoring junior developers). I love that you can find exactly what you’re looking for, and aren’t constrained to a single track like in some conferences.
- Kid Friendly. That Conference actually encourages you to bring your family and kids, and provides activities to get them excited about technology and development. Ranging from robots, to Minecraft sessions. They even have several “kid” presenters, which is awesome.
- Excellent key note speakers. They never cease to amaze me with the presenters they get. For example, last year they had Bob Martin, who I’m a huge fan of, and have read several of his books. This year it was Jeff Blankenburg, Zach Supalla, and Keith Casey.
- Vendor/sponsor numbers are capped to keep the hallways from getting too crazy. Almost all vendors/sponsors that attend are offering great prizes and give-aways as well.
- A tech conference at a water park!
To give you an idea of variety, this year I attended sessions involving (Presenter sites are linked):
- You have too much time!
- React Framework
- Working Remotely
- Azure Service Fabric
- Xamarin, mobile app development framework
- Entity Framework optimization
- Several IoT presentations, including creating custom skills for the Amazon Echo and how Particle started
I highly encourage you to check out That Conference next year, which will be 8/7/17 through 8/9/17. Ticket prices are extremely reasonable, and presenters are top notch. Bring the family and kids. Worth every penny! Contact me if you’re interested in hearing more.