I'm an in-house dev (FM development is 5-10% of my job) who would like to possibly make a career move to be doing more FM development. Contract work, employee at a dev shop, my own business, who knows? From everything I've heard, DevCon would be a great investment. But I'm not actually doing much right now, so it is hard to justify the cost … both to myself and to my wife.
But it is quite a financial leap for my situation right now. By the time you add up the cost of the conference itself, travel, hotel and time off of work… it's a good chunk of change.
So, looking at ways to pinch pennies, the one variable seems to be the hotel.
Don't get me wrong… the JW Marriott looks amazing, and the rate looks like quite a deal compared to their normal rates. But doing some quick searching, you can find many hotels just a few miles away, north of the airport, in the $90-130 range, instead of $189/night. Over 4-5 days, that adds up.
So my question for past DevCon attendees is this: Have you ever stayed "off-site" at a different hotel? Do you feel that put you at any disadvantage, other than transportation? Did you feel less connected? Would you do it again to save a few hundred bucks? Or is it just not worth considering staying anywhere else?
My wife would most like be traveling with me, so we would have a rental car for her to site-see during the day either way, so it's not like I would save the cost of a rental car. Or we've talked about the possibility of driving as well. Long story, short (too late!), staying off-site wouldn't incur any additional expense in the equation vs at the DevCon hotel and shuttle.
Any other tips on making DevCon more affordable? Anyone sending 3 people, willing to let me be your free 4th person?
Let me be clear that I am not questioning the "value" of DevCon, just my personal budget.
Thanks for any insight!