Yes, Tim! bring your productivity toys.
Keep in mind that in some years, there's Wifi and in some years there is not (in the conference rooms). Hopefully this is available this year.
Check the thread in the DevCon forum for more tips.
I am going to my first ever DevCon and would appreciate any tips from veteran DevCon attendees.
I have some real DevCon newbee type questions: I assume bring a laptop and iPad.
Thanks in advance
Personally I will be getting strange looks with my Dell laptop and Windows Phone, but you will definitely want some sort of device to use during down time between sessions. The iPad is also a must if they release the DevCon2Go database to track sessions, locations, and times.
The most useful tool at DevCon is talking to other developers. Everyone uses different methods to achieve similar goals. You will get a lot of ideas.
The biggest problem I had my first year was frustration that I couldn't immediately use all the ideas and methods in my solutions. This will be my 3rd DevCon and I am just now getting around to using what I learned during my first conference. Don't get overwhelmed and enjoy yourself. Also, try to sleep. It is a long week.
My advice is to scope out what sessions look interesting, but don't be afraid to move around. If you find yourself in a session that turns out to be not quite what you needed, don't be afraid to move to another room and see what is going on there.
Pick a couple of sessions that have nothing to do with anything you think you "need" to know, because it's a great way to expose yourself to new information and you may find something that really strikes a cord, or gives you a new view on how to solve an old problem.
Don't be in a hurry to get out of sessions at the end. The best part of many sessions is the Q&A, and then even after the official Q&A, stick around and just listen to some of the one on one questions that often get answered while the speaker is packing up and moving out of the room.
Be sure to tell the speakers you appreciate their sessions, especially if you do pick up something particularly useful. These sessions take A LOT of time to prepare, and feedback, especially positive feedback, is really appreciated and a real motivator to keep the best of the best coming back and sharing their expertise year after year.
Have fun. Just about everyone at Devcon is open and friendly, and it's great to meet new folks and chat with old colleagues.
Bring a sweater or jacket. It may be Miami in July, but there's a 90% chance the conference rooms will be chilly.
Thanks to all for the answers. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.