13 Replies Latest reply on May 19, 2016 3:34 PM by paulapalooza

    DevCon 2016 - What would you do?


      I am in the middle of building a set of solutions where I work, and I'd really like to attend DevCon to learn as much as I can because I'm only an intermediate level developer. I work for a small company that probably isn't going to be able to afford to send me to DevCon 2016 ... same as 2015 ... and 2014.


      I was thinking of selling my car and just attending Training Day and then going home after that. I drive an old beater Honda but I'm sure I can get enough for it to pay for the trip to Las Vegas and a hotel room and $200 for Training Day. Now I'm trying to decide if I should do the Intermediate or Advanced track. I'd like to learn the Advanced stuff, but I'm thinking the Intermediate track will strengthen the skills I have and fill in some gaps.


      Which track would you take, and why? I just want to be sure to get my money's worth and come back with as much useful knowledge as possible. All responses appreciated! Thanks much for taking the time to read this.

        • 1. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?

          Have you gone through FileMaker's Training Series yet?  If not, I would certainly start there.


          DevCon is an awesome experience, with the Training Day only being a small part of it.  It sounds like you've been working in FM at your current employer for at least a few years, so I would definitely try to get them to send you to DevCon.  It will only enhance your skill set for them, which would be a boon to you both.


          A good argument is that human capital is the most significant commodity that any company has.  If they invest in your skill set as an FM developer, the ROI will be immeasurable.


          On the flip side, DevCon is certainly a great way to network and if your current employer isn't willing, or able, to invest in you as a developer, you will make many great contacts in the FM world to expand your future potential opportunities.


          I know this didn't exactly answer your question, but I hope it helps!

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          • 2. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?

            Is it that they can't afford it or won't? They should be able to see the value. Tell them to find the money.


            I agree with everything that c0nsilience has said.


            For the training track you should be able to look at the training topics covered and evaluate your skills. I would suggest being very comfortable as an intermediate develop before moving into advanced.

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            • 3. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?

              It would be awesome if the company I work for would find the money to send me to DevCon but the chances of that happening are slim to none, and Slim just left town. Just the other day, I was setting up the company iPhones and iPads, and had mentioned how if I went to DevCon I could learn how to deploy the databases in FileMaker Go so they'd be accessible on the new devices. My boss said he didn't want to hear any more about it, before I even got to tell him the event price goes up $500 on May 26. If I want to go, I have to buy my own ticket to the event and transportation to and from Las Vegas, and use my vacation time - hence Training Day only. The whole event plus the cost of a hotel would wipe me out and eat up my vacation days.


              So, I'll take bigtom's advice and do Intermediate 2 track.


              I'm still trying to get my head around the idea that there are companies out there that send their employees to DevCon and pay for the whole thing and don't make them take any vacation days to do it.

              • 4. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?



                Sounds like you work for Stalin or maybe Pol Pot...


                Here are some other helpful things:


                Upton Sinclair's The Jungle


                Quora's Take on 'Fun' bosses


                Clients from Hell



                "I'm still trying to get my head around the idea that there are companies out there that send their employees to DevCon and pay for the whole thing and don't make them take any vacation days to do it."


                You bet your skill set there are, and they are happy to do it.  There are also Mom's that don't win the Joan Crawford/Susan Smith award and other devs just as cool as Todd Geist (replete with an Apple Watch and all ).....


                All kidding aside, it's time for you to find a new boss (even if that means 1099, you're it!).  Seriously, do not let anyone devalue your time/effort/passion as an FM developer.  Period. 


                FM developers are a rare commodity and should be appreciated as such.  This isn't Bento (no offense, FMI) or an accounting major flat-filing Excel 'databases' into Access wunderkind creations....this is FileMaker and it takes a very special kind of developer to grasp all the nuances and intricacies of it's bells and whistles.


                It's a fact that people don't quit jobs; they quit bosses.  It sounds like it's time to fire your boss so that they might find someone to better 'appreciate'.  Heck, build up your portfolio by freelancing and start reaching out to one of the many FM firms in existence.  They are guaranteed to appreciate what you do much better than someone narrowed by their own vision of "why buy the milk when the cow is free".

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                • 5. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?

                  If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, don't go to DEVCON. There are many helpful sites on the internet that will give you more guidance than what you'll get in a short period of time at DEVCON. The costs will also be cheaper.  DEVCON can be a great experience. I've been to over 10 DEVCONs and I've learned things at all. In your case it sounds like you want to learn a lot. I don't think you will get everything you want at a DEVCON. I would recommend learning as much as you can online and then look at DEVCON next year if it meets your needs.  You'll learn more about FileMaker Go on this forum, than you'll learn at a DEVCON. That being said, if you want to have fun in Vegas, go to DEVCON.

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                  • 6. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?

                    I'd second what rgordon said.  You can spend a lot less on an RCC video or a lynda.com account for a month and learn a lot more about FM Go than at DevCon.


                    DevCon is great for networking and, while you can learn a lot, you're paying for the experience.

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                    • 7. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?

                      Hi paulapalooza


                      Are you located near one of the FileMaker User Groups, for example NYFMP.org

                      FileMaker User Groups are a great place to learn and network...but wait there is more...they are usually free or at minimal cost!

                      Tony White

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                      • 8. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?
                        Johan Hedman

                        There is no better place to learn FileMaker then at DevCon. There is sessions for all levels of developers and each session are graded so that you would know which one to choose. Try to see if you can find someone to share room with so that your cost goes down a little bit. Hope to see you at DevCon

                        • 9. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?



                          I would have to respectfully disagree with you.  Although I love DevCon, the absolute best place to learn FM is via hands-on experience....roll up the sleeves, launch FMP/FMPA and get to crackin'.


                          DevCon is a nexus where devs and vendors meet & mingle....nothing more; nothing less.  Yes, the seminars are good, but not as thorough as some white papers and an opened copy of FMP/FMPA.  I see it is as more of a development showcase of what can be done and not necessarily how you can do this.  One can absorb a lot just from a few months on this forum.


                          Again, this is just my own perception based on my own experience.

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                          • 10. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?
                            Johan Hedman



                            Even due I speak at several roadshows, DevCon and meet other developers to educated myself quite often there is nowhere I meet all experienced developers on one place such as DevCon. I agree that for your particular solution there might be better with a hands-on education, but DevCon is not just all the sessions it is also the best place to just talk to people during a lunch break and learn how to not do the same mistake that we all do from time to time.


                            FileMaker Training Series Basic and Advanced are great way to learn all different parts of FM platform and that would be my best suggestion for all people that can´t attend DevCon this year to read. White paper, other documentation, videos from different developers are great way to pick all kind of thing to become a better developer.  You can also buy videos from all sessions after DevCon is finished, which is also a good way of getting a lot of material to learn FM.


                            Being at DevCon is for me a big motivation boost for my FM development during the rest of the year. I pick up things I didn´t believe we could do with FM and bring home a lot of ideas so that I can make my customers even happier.

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                            • 11. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?

                              OP, your dedication to your job and learning to the point you want to sell your car is very admirable, my hope is you find an employer who appreciates that and would reward you.


                              I think you skip DevCon and spend your time learning all you can-free and nominal fee.  Here's my fav's:

                              FileMaker Training Series (for your version), Beginner and Advanced

                              FileMaker:  The Missing Manual (for your version)

                              This video series, even though for FM 12 is in my opinion, hands down the best.

                                     FileMaker Pro 12: Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Bundle Course


                              I also agree with Tony White about finding a user group in your area.

                              And the countless FileMaker blogs and forums, and YouTube channels.  Usually on the forums you'll see/find reference to blogs, which sometimes reference other blogs.  Tons of tips, tricks and articles.  The one's I don't understand, or need, I save/bookmark.  As time goes by, you may find you need them.

                              I'll be upgrading soon and will most likely get the RCC course.

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                              • 12. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?

                                I agree. If you are doing all that work for a training day you would do better to find a mentor in your local area or do some online training.

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                                • 13. Re: DevCon 2016 - What would you do?

                                  Everyone, thank you for all the help! I really appreciate all the links to training materials - I'm going to be very busy learning.


                                  For the record, my boss isn't some cheap, stingy ogre - he's a really super-smart guy and a pleasure to work with. I work for a small company and we have to be careful with money - and DevCon is a BIG expense, especially if you factor in the hotel and transportation. Hence me selling my car to go to Training Day. Or not, now that I have all this nifty reference material to keep me busy on my solutions instead of moping around and whining about DevCon.


                                  FileMaker really helps me exceed my boss' expections, which is a good thing until I want to go to DevCon and sharpen my skills. Why should the company send me to learn how to do more than I already know, when my current (intermediate-level developer) knowledge produces expectation-exceeding solutions? I'm primarily interested in relating some of my solutions to make information available in a non-redundant fashion across several departments. That doesn't sound too exciting to a non-developer, but it's exactly what I need to do (and do it RIGHT) to bring the whole system together.


                                  I'm not going to worry about all that right now, though. What I'm going to do right now is read all that training material and focus on streamlining my solutions so when I do set up the relationships between them, the whole thing runs smoothly, with or without a trip to DevCon.