Rethinking software developer events after COVID-19

Virtual events might actually be better for developers than the real thing—if we do them right

Rethinking software developer events after COVID-19
Fahad Al Nusf / Getty Images

What if you held an event for software developers and no one showed up? If you’re a developer advocate, or in any kind of developer marketing role (even if you don’t call it that), that’s not your nightmare, that’s your reality. Developers all over the world are holed up in their bunkers with the cold blue glow of their LED monitors reflecting from their faces. They aren’t going to meet-ups or user groups, and they certainly aren’t getting on airplanes to go to conferences.

So how do events go virtual? I asked one developer advocate, Jessica West of Launch Darkly, about what is going on with developer events in a world where no one shows up physically.

Why are developer events important?

I know a lot of developers who have never gone to a meet-up, let alone a conference. I also know a lot of developers who until recently seemed to live in an airplane and go to every event. So one of the questions I had was why are events important? Why should a developer care?

According to West, developer events are important because they allow people to connect with the community. If you’re a new developer, you can chat with other developers starting their career. Or if you’re a seasoned developer who is learning something new, you can meet other developers who have already been there and done that. For any developer looking for a job or trying to level up a career, events are an opportunity to learn from others through both networking and talks.

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