10 Replies Latest reply on May 20, 2012 7:40 AM by datastride

    FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?

    jbrown

      Hey all,

      i've posted a bit on here, but i'm pretty new to the developer's scene.

      Developing my database for the past few years, I know what I don't know, but am not sure what my next steps are.

       

      Should I attend the Dev Con? Its quite a bit of money for a person of my situation: A developer for my school system with no continuous education support. The work I've done is to join this group, pay the 100 bucks, get a subscription over at Matt P's site, buy at least 5 books (fm 12 Missing Manual & the new Developer's reference manual are preordered).

       

      Shouid I spend my own money to get better at the system i'm developing for the school that doesn't give me support?

       

      I see the classes there, they all look great. I wish i could attend all of them?

      What else will I expect to see there? Will I get to talk with you there?

       

      Is it worth it for a part-time developer (on a scale of 1 to 10 (expert) i'm at about a 4 I'd say)? Is the conference geared for developers like me or the FM die-hards?

       

      I need to be convinced that spending the $2000 plus is worth it... Will FM give me a teacher discount to the conference ?

       

      Thanks

        • 1. Re: FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?
          bandmandq

          I can sure relate to your situation.  I have developed for a school music organization for several years.  Always hope I will make it to DevCon some day.  I am now retired from teaching but still work for the music organization.  It is also small and they have a lot of FM stuff at a pretty cheap price.  (But then they have also suffered at my mistakes but are also appreciative of what they have.

           

          I personally think you could learn a lot from attending and that it would take you to the next level.  But I also can relate to spending your own money to help out your school that does not have the funds to pay you for all of your work.

           

          hope this helps!

          • 2. Re: FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?
            BruceRobertson

            It is a time and money commitment but there is nothign like it. You will get a LOT out of attending Devcon and will meet a wonderful group of really helpful people from all over the world. Devcon skill levels cover a big range. Yes, there will be a lot of very experienced developers, but also a broad mix of other skill levels. You should be fine - you will get a lot of help, you will have your eyes opened, and you will learn a lot.

            • 3. Re: FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?
              datastride

              Jeremy,

               

               

               

              +1 for Bruce’s comments. (He’s a really smart and VERY practical guy.)

               

               

               

              Every time DevCon rolls around, I ask myself whether to attend this year.

               

               

               

              And after every DevCon I attend, I always ask myself why I ever even considered, for a moment, not attending. 

               

               

               

              I’ve been a software developer for decades, so of course I think I know it all. (Seems to come with the territory.) Imagine my surprise when, year after year, I come away with at least a couple of insights that fundamentally change the way I develop in FileMaker. The result is that my productivity shoots up and the quality and sophistication of my solutions increases markedly. Afterwards, I am frequently heard to tell folks who didn’t attend that this idea or that idea alone was worth the substantial cost of the conference.

               

               

               

              The conference presentations are well described as to content and skill level to which they apply, so should find it pretty easy to select the sessions that will be most productive for you. But don’t hesitate to attend some that you might think are above your skill level. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much you can learn … even if all you take away from a given speaker is the awareness that a certain thing is possible once you have the time to study the topic a bit more and do some experimentation back home.

               

               

               

              And the knowledge I get from informal discussions with the one thousand or more other developers is often more valuable than the formal talks. Lots of really intelligent and experienced folks will be there, and most of those folks are happy to share what they know. Kind of a “pay-it-forward” mentality permeates the gathering. (For some reason, my girlfriend seems to bore of spending hours listening to me describe the subtleties of script triggers, so it’s nice to have a bunch of folks to talk to who actually find this stuff interesting. 

                                                                                              Of course you’ll have to hang out in Miami and deal with the rigors of sun, sand, surf, and great Cuban food and music when not listening to some speaker or another, but if you’re strong, you’ll should be able to handle that aspect. 

               

               

               

              Hope to see you there!

               

               

               

              Peace, love & brown rice,

               

              Morgan Jones

               

               

               

              FileMaker + Web:  Design, Develop & Deploy

               

              Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10 & 11

               

              <http://www.onepartharmony.com/> One Part Harmony 

               

              Austin, Texas • USA

               

              512-422-0611

              • 4. Re: FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?
                jbrown

                I am strongly leaning towards it. It would be great for me to go and hang out with other geeks. There's so much I have to learn.

                I think you've convinced me.

                 

                Do you happen to know if there's a cancellation policy for the conference? I cant seem to find one.

                 

                Thanks

                jb

                • 5. Re: FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?
                  datastride

                  Jeremy,

                   

                   

                   

                  I don’t remember the exact details, but I know that FileMaker’s cancelation policy has two parts: If you cancel early enough (I seem to remember 30 days before the conference), you can get a refund less a cancelation fee of $250 or $350.  I believe you can also choose to apply your registration fee to next year’s conference.

                   

                   

                   

                  Peace, love & brown rice,

                   

                  Morgan Jones

                   

                   

                   

                  FileMaker + Web:  Design, Develop & Deploy

                   

                  Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10 & 11

                   

                  <http://www.onepartharmony.com/> One Part Harmony 

                   

                  Austin, Texas • USA

                   

                  512-422-0611

                  • 6. Re: FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?
                    BobGossom

                    Jeremy,

                     

                    It is expensive, particularly for an in-house developer that doesn't have the upside of increased billing as a result. It seems shortsighted that your school won't give you any support…at least tell us you won' have to take vacation days to attend!

                     

                    Just to factor in, the first DevCon you attend will give you the best cost/benefit reward of any of them. It also sounds like you are just at the place in the learning curve where DevCon could really pay off for you.

                     

                    Bob Gossom

                    Absolute Advantage, Inc.

                    • 7. Re: FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?
                      jbrown

                      Their official position is that they will get back to me. But the person making the decision is on vacation in Mexico. And the deadline is in 2 working days.

                       

                      I'm only working half time on this, and I can be anywhere during the summer working on it. They won't even know I'm gone. I'll get  my work done before.

                       

                      The first conference will be the best. And I'm very much at a place where I need more than intro books on Filemaker. (don't get me wrong- I still pour through my books all the time).

                       

                      Thanks all. I'm convinced. I've booked the room and about to throw down the registration fee.  I wish FMI did an education discount on the registration like they do their products :).

                       

                      I hope to meet all of you in just 2 months!

                      • 8. Re: FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?

                        Hi Jeremy,

                         

                        Without knowing your personal circumstances, you might want to look at the cost as an initial investment into your alternative career as an independent FM developer. Everyone has to start that journey somewhere and DevCon is as good a place as any.

                         

                        You will rub shoulders with many who have started their FM Developer careers in the educational sector doing similar projects to yours and are willing to share their experiences. If you are like the rest of us though, you will return home with far more ideas than you can ever hope to implement in the next 12 months. But among those ideas you will most likely have an insight into the new directions that your current project needs to take that will make it ever so much better than your current vision.

                         

                        If you can articulate that vision well enough to your School District you might at least get a subsidy towards attending DevCon in 2013!!

                         

                        I write the above from my own experience after attending each of the past nine DevCon. Our own in-house sytem for handling our Mail-Order business wouldn't be a patch on what it is now had we as a company not made that investment, accompanied by the effort of trans pacific travel plus the several days needed to recover from jet-lag.

                         

                        Go for it!

                         

                        John

                        • 9. Re: FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?
                          jbrown

                          You all have convinced me . I'm excited to go.

                          I plan to get so much out of this.

                           

                          I'm excited!!

                           

                          Say hi if you see me there

                          • 10. Re: FMDevCon - Should I be a first time attender?
                            datastride

                            Good on ya, mate!

                             

                             

                             

                            Peace, love & brown rice,

                             

                            Morgan Jones

                             

                             

                             

                            FileMaker + Web:  Design, Develop & Deploy

                             

                            Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10 & 11

                             

                            <http://www.onepartharmony.com/> One Part Harmony 

                             

                            Austin, Texas • USA

                             

                            512-422-0611