This was recently being discussed (in a similar parallel) in another thread:
There is filemaker's official ROI letter:
There are a few business minded panels in the schedule that would benefit you as well.
But I find that the networking alone has been worth it enough for me to go. If you're selling a solution, you'll benefit from making other connections in the FileMaker world. That's hard to do unless you're at a place where there's thousands of potential contacts gathered together.
I usually try to take away "one of each":
1 new development technique
1 new best practice to adhere to
1 purchased product I can use (IE a plugin)
1 new friend (whom I stay in touch with over the year)
1 gained pound from all the food.
1 hangover from the "socializing"
The session recordings and such get better every year, so I try not to have "absorption overload" at the event itself.
Remember as well, you get a free copy of Filemaker Pro Advanced.
I've now been to two DevCons and they are very much worth the money. I say go! I didn't do much drinking or socializing , but I did learn so much more in the week than I had learned previously on my own, it seems. The atmosphere and quality of workshops allows you to really solidify your understanding of some part of FileMaker (not all, but parts of it). It brings together all you've learned as you hear others talking and you see demos and you see what's in store for the platform.You will new techniques and see better-practices of techniques you already know. It will begin to gel what you already know and help you to be a better developer
I did meet a few great people there and am friends with them still. Especially if you're a solo-developer, you have the chance to meet someone and make a connection that you can use for many years after, use as in reach out and get help, bounce ideas off of, and so on.
I very strongly recommend it for someone new to FM. I went after only having 5 years of experience and walked away astounded at what I will be able to do and what I picked up in those 4 long days. Don't be intimidated; some of the attendees get pretty advanced in their by-the-bar or at-the-pool discussions. Some of the workshops are tough to follow. Don't let that bother you. Jump into the deep end (not the pool; the sessions, the people )and I guarantee you'll get something out of it. Go to an advanced session, take notes, pay attention. I did that in 2012. A few months later I finally figured out what the guy was talking about
If I go this year, I'll do more of the socializing, maybe more drinking. I'm excited to meet people that I see on here and to learn more about what others are doing. I'm excited to see the better-practices and to hear the techy-talk in the hallways and in the elevator (or the line while you're waiting for the elevator).
Thank you guys for the responses! Thats it - you have talked me into it. I am booking now! (Might as well save the $300 bucks right? ) I am sure, as you mentioned, I wont understand everything I see but I think there will be much I will take away, I hope. Who knows, maybe I will see you there.
Thanks for the replies - I am really looking forward to this.
Be sure and say hi when you're there!
Definitely say hi (to as many technet people that you recognize!)
I forgot to mention as well, the provided meals usually save me ~$100 or more in "dining out" expenses that I've had at other tradeshows over the course of the few days, so consider that an inclusion in the cost of the admission.
When I attended my first devcon in 2004 I felt like the street kid playing basketball with the NBA stars .
I learned some things but the most important was that I wasn't that bad after all. This leveraged my self confidence and helped me to be a better business man.
Besides, I've made great friends over these ten years, in fact, I'm speaking at Devcon this year and i'm totally thrilled!.
If you attend, don't miss Don Levan sessions, you'll feel that you'll have to go back to the drawing board .
I really hope you like it.
...and don´t miss "DevCon Orientation" Session (Monday at 3.45 p.m.).
Delfina will share with you a lot of useful information and she will answer all your questions about the DevCon.
Check out any and all "Under the Hood" sessions you can get too. Finding out what really makes FMP behave the way it does behind the code, and which choices have real-world impact on performance can really improve one's programming skills so things just work better!
I've been to many conferences, and this will be my tenth or 11th Devcon I believe. The sessions at Devcon are some of the most practical and useful of any industry conferences I've attended. The opportunity to meet and discuss issues and solutions with other developers and the Filemaker staff is invaluable.
Some great replies in here and I will definitely take the advice on attending these sessions. I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond with their thoughts. I look forward to hopefully meeting many of you at DevCon.
The signal to noise ratio at FileMaker DevCon is extremely fine tuned. You will find very little of your time wasted. Even when you intentionally waste time - say to get a latte between sessions - it will lead to something serendipitous. It's hard to overstate the value of DevCon personally and professionally for you and your business, whatever it is.
If your business is FileMaker, then the justification is career AND business development. Other than costs, there are no downsides.
That pretty such sums up the DevCon experience.
Even if you do nothing you planned it turns out something wonderful.
-- sent from my iPhone4 --
I've got a piggy-back question… any thoughts from the DevCon veterans about the value of the "Gold Package" registration?
Looks like the only bonus is the pre-conference sessions… and frankly, they look very basic. Perhaps if you are just starting out in FileMaker, or if a company has a new hire that they want to fast-track, it would be a good option?
I'm used to other conferences having something really juicy for the higher level option. Like the good old days of MacWorld, where you didn't get in to the keynote with the cheap option. But I'm looking at the gold option and all I can see is $600 that I can save.
The pieces are falling into place, and I'm pretty sure that I will be attending. Just figuring out all of the details and options like hotel, fly (and rental car) vs drive, standard vs gold package, etc.
Appreciate all of the input! Hope to see y'all in July! (Hey, it's in Texas!)
I was wondering about the benefit of sharing a 'starter pack' some of the sessions that give a 'leg up' to those attending for the first time. My personal experience is that I did a poor job of interpreting the session titles into the best experience for me the very first time I went, as they are all presented equal, and the beginner, inter and advanced categories are in some cases misleading.
I did not properly understand where my particular skill sat in comparison to the presentations and seemed to go to too many where I felt underwhelmed by the content, and missed ones others were raving about - some of that is my British sense of playing safe, so I didnt venture far into areas which are outside my everyday work practice and to be fair that is my loss.
Several years on I recoginze it is a great opportunity to meet up with people with whom internet communication has significantly improved my FileMaker skills.
As a for example I think everyone should go to hear Darren Terry on the dependancy tree as it is a great foundational session, and the first year seems like a really good time to do that. Any other 'must see' suggestions for madmike from this years programme?