It is August 5th 2018 and you are walking out of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. It’s a blistering 96 degrees Fahrenheit, the historical average for Dallas around this time of year. You reflect that somehow you have found yourself in an extraordinarily hot place during the summer for a week-long developer’s conference. As you wait in the humid heat for your airport shuttle to pick you up only one thing keeps you going: The hotel website said there was a lazy river! It’s almost that time of year again – time for FileMaker Developer Conference 2018!
DevCon, as its colloquially known, is an amazing opportunity to meet other developers and learn from the best and brightest of FileMaker. Whether its attending sessions or networking at one of the many events, you will want to ensure you get the most out of your visit. With that in mind I have put together a list of “to do” and “not to do” that will help both first time attendees and seasoned veterans get in the correct mindset as the conference approaches.
Do Get a hotel room in the hotel where the conference is located. One of the unique things about DevCon is the high level of self-organized ‘un-sessions’ and other spontaneous discussions. You don’t want to miss out because you have to travel a half hour down the road to the other hotel. With DevCon less than a month away, the hotel might already be booked, but it is more than worth it to try and get a room there. If you can’t get a room at the actual hotel, try to get a room in a hotel as close as possible.
Do Plan Out Your Sessions. Not that you necessarily need to stick to your plan, but having some idea of where you are going will allow you to focus more on what DevCon is really for: networking and learning new cool stuff about FileMaker.
Do Download the DevCon2Go App. FileMaker offers a custom made FileMaker Go app that lists all sessions and events and where they are taking place. It is a must have for keeping track of what and where things are going on.
Do Meet New People. Developers aren’t known for being the most social people, but DevCon is unique because it’s literally a hotel full (or almost full) of other developers! Make sure to take advantage. Whether its sitting with different people for every meal or adventuring outside the hotel with a group, don’t be a stranger to anyone.
Do Check Out the Booths. Speaking of being outgoing, make sure to check out the booths that will be setup. It’s a good opportunity to see what other FileMaker developers are doing and meet other people truly passionate about FileMaker. (As a bonus if you stop and visit us at the Cross booth [#26] you can snag a free SPLAT BALL.)
Not To Do
Don’t Be Afraid to Attend a Challenging Session. The words “that’s too difficult for me” should never ever cross your mind while at DevCon. For that matter, don’t be afraid to ask questions either! Chances are there’s another developer in the room thinking the exact same thing.
Don’t Worry About Missing a Session. Most of the sessions at DevCon are recorded, edited and posted on the FileMaker Community page for every attendee to view later. So, if there’s two sessions at the same time or a really challenging session that you couldn’t quite follow in person, you can always watch the replay once it has been re-posted. Just note it usually takes a little bit to get all the videos posted to the webpage.
Don’t Think that Everyone there is a Full Time Developer. In fact, most of the ‘developers’ at DevCon have full time jobs doing something else, or started using FileMaker on the side. This is the amazingly unique thing about the FileMaker platform, its ease of use and versatility make it useable by anyone trying to solve a problem.
Don’t Confuse Dominique with Bill Epling. Dominique Groupil is the President of FileMaker, Bill Epling is the Chief Administrative Officer and President, FileMaker Japan. Both men are bald and high ranking, its easy to confuse them.
Lastly, remember that DevCon is ultimately about exchanging ideas and meeting new people. It’s the one place and time every year that is completely dedicated to FileMaker. Whether you are a beginner making your first foray into FileMaker or a seasoned developer who “remembers back when it was Claris,” the FileMaker Developer Conference has something to offer you.
Our last piece of advice is:
Travel safely and see ya’ll in Dallas!