Top 2016 Dev Pro Conferences

Audience at the conference hall.

Going to conferences can be a big boost for your personal and career development and much more. You’ll be energized and educated on the latest industry trends, hear from thought leaders and bring back new ideas to share with colleagues and staff. You’ll make new business contacts that could be helpful in the future. You’ll have new training opportunities. Many companies have conference travel budgets that require you to make a strong case for conferences you want to attend.

Since popular conferences can sell out fast, start planning right now for the 2016 events you want to attend and don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend because you were too late in confirming. For example, Microsoft’s annual developer conference, BUILD, sold out fast this year. According to some on twitter, they were being placed on a wait list just 4-5 minutes after Microsoft opened registration. Last year, the BUILD 2015 conference sold out in 20 minutes.

To help you get started, we’ve put together our top tech conferences list for developers. (You may have more, so please share them!) Start by deciding which conferences make the most sense for you and prioritize based on your travel and training budget. Outline why you should attend a particular conference and have it approved well in advance of the conference date. Most conference sites have a justification letter you can use for exactly that purpose.

Here are four reasons to attend a conference:


Sharpening your skills and learning new ones is often the main reason to attend a conference in your field. Whether it’s new developments in your vertical or peers preaching best practices, you’re bound to increase your knowledge by listening to industry leaders. Don’t forget to check out the training opportunities at each conference for you and or your employees. Many training workshops meet professional development requirements and certifications.


Networking with your peers is a great way to expand your professional network. You can leverage those contacts in the future for business partnerships and career opportunities. You can also present yourself as an expert or learn to be one. Maybe you’re already an expert in a field. Networking can help identify you as that expert. It’s also a great way to collaborate on new innovations and planning for the future.

While you’re at the conference, you can share your experience via social networking sites. Sharing conference information can increase your industry visibility, build your brand and attract new followers. Be sure to make note of the conferences you won’t be able to attend and follow them on social media and streaming media.

Expand Your Mind

Conferences are a great way to advance your knowledge, get re-energized, and even discover new career paths. And you can return to work and do a workshop for your own team to share what you learned.

Don’t forget to share any other conferences you think other dev pros might be interested in. You can email me at In an upcoming issue we’ll do a post about how to get the most out of any conference.


DeveloperWeek Feb 12 – Feb 18 San Francisco CA, USA
IBM InterConnect Feb 21 – Feb 25 Las Vegas NV, USA
RailsConf May 4 – May 6 Kansas City MO, USA
CeBIT Mar 14 – Mar 18 Hannover, Germany
Microsoft Build Mar 30 – Apr 1 San Francisco CA, USA
Google I/O May 18 – May 20 Mountain View CA, USA Site TBA
OScon May 18 – May 19 Austin TX, USA
PyCon May 28 – Jun 5 Portland OR, USA
WWDC June 2016 (Dates TBA) San Francisco CA, USA
DEFCON Augt 4 – Aug 7 Las Vegas NV, USA
That Conference Aug 8 – Aug 10 Wisconsin Dells, WI USA
LinuxCon North America Aug 22 – Aug 24 Toronto ON, CA
MozCon Sep 12 – Sep 14 Seattle WA, USA
Dreamforce Oct 4 – Oct 7 San Francisco CA, USA
IT DEV October 10-13 Las Vegas NV, USA
ad:tech NY Nov 2 – Nov 3 New York NY, USA
RubyConf Nov 10 – Nov 12 Cincinnati OH, USA
AWS re:Invent Nov 18 – Dec 2 Las Vegas NV, USA


About the Author

Dennis Johnson is the Senior Community Advisor for Penton Media. He is a leading expert in community management where he's dedicated his attention to for over 15 years. Dennis' focus has been the continued growth and health of forum communities. Forum communities present challenges, excitement, and camaraderie that can't be duplicated in any other form. When he's not improving a forum user's experience, Dennis relaxes by cooking or going to his long time companion, Shelly K. (his guitar).