I am amazed that it is already March and the amount of time for getting DEVLINK 2010 is shrinking quickly. This year I thought it might be nice to open things up a little bit and let the community help drive what sessions make the conference. To be completely honest, it gets tough reviewing so many sessions and trying to find the best fit and balance, so why not share the workload. Of course, voting is only one component of how sessions get selected, in the end it will fall on us to make the deciding factor of what sessions can make the schedule. I really like the StackOverflow model of voting up or down which is why we went that route. If you are planning to attend the conference, please take a moment to check out the sessions and cast your vote on what you would like to see.
After spending the past nine years working with several amazing people to build the devLink Technical Conference, I have made the decision to retire the event. Over the years, we have seen the event grow from approximately 287 attendees in 2006 to regular attendance of 800+ individuals from across the United States and beyond. I have had the opportunity to share experiences that I will never forget and participate in life changes (good/bad) of everyone on the team as well as some attendees. In the end, it really boils down to focus and what’s next for everyone on the team as we move forward in our lives. Personally, I will take this opportunity to refocus and invest my efforts more fully toward my faith, my family as well as make some determinations on the next steps for my career.
This may disappoint a few people, but my hope is with devLink coming to an end, it allows for other events to be highlighted and hopefully spurs others to take that step toward impacting the community in their own way. Some events that immediately come to mind are CodeStock, KC/DC, Code PaLousa, CoderFaire, Heartland Developers Conference and CodeMash, but there are many more. If you don’t have one in your area, by all means go for it! Reach out to others in the community to build something, you just have to ask.
Several questions have come up about letting someone else take over the conference and move it forward. While we were proactive to incorporate others into the team for just this scenario, running an event of this size is a big commitment, not everyone has the ability to make that kind of sacrifice. Other options were explored, but it became apparent that it is better for the event to come to end than to try and make it work another way. If people remember devLink as something great that ended too soon, that is better than remembering when devLink was great.
My hope is that the conference made an impact on the community and those who had a chance to attend. I would like to recognize a few of the people who gave of themselves to help make this happen. Whether in the beginning or year after year these people made significant contributions to the success of the devLink Technical Conference: Leanna Baker, John Baker, Jason Clark, Randy Walker, Tommy Norman, Amy Walters, Rebel Bailey, Keith Elder, Alan Stevens and most of all my wife and children who gave not only of themselves but also allowed me the freedom to pursue my passion. While it is hard to give up something you have poured yourself into for so long, it is the right time. I loved being part of it and will miss not only the event, but all the familiar faces. Thanks for supporting the conference over the years!