As I’ve become more entrenched at The Mill (VFX House) now and then I get the chance to escape into the world, to visit events like AWS Summit London, Google Cloud Next, IP Expo and the like.
When I talk to people at these events, and also at the smaller ‘mini-conferences’ you find posted on meetup.com, the message I always share is that there is a lot of value to be found at the events, and not all of it is being shared by PowerPoint.
The biggest value I always find is when people tell their ‘war stories’, things that went horribly wrong, how they fought through issues and came out victorious. While it might take some people a bit of alcohol to loosen tongues, the experience of people in the trenches is of better value to me than something I could read by browsing a products online documentation.
I sometimes get asked to draw up a small report of what I’ve learned going to these conferences, or what their value is, and I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of these stories. The presentations are also often worth breaking into a few bullet points, especially anything that can get people talking internally about new technology or how we can adopt new things to better the business.