Words From a Purple Mind

Input on the important topics …to me of course

3 Months, 3 conferences and My 2 ¢

In the last three months I attended 3 conferences. Of the 3 I can ONLY recommend one. Below are the three conferences I attended and my feedback on each.

CAST ~ August 2013 (http://www.associationforsoftwaretesting.org/conference/cast-2013/)

My 2 ¢: This is the best conference available to anyone in software development. You can meet tons of awesome people in the field that not only present great topics but they also help provide valuable ideas to make the industry better. The conference was planned and organized great. (Full disclosure: My company did sponsor this event this year but we didn’t in previous years. Here is a link to a previous post from 2009, which was before Project Realms sponsored the event on why this is a great conference and associatin)

Favorite Session: It’s actually hard to select just one session as they are all great. Dawn Haynes keynote was beyond enlightening, check it out on YouTube.

Bottom Line: Highly recommend attending every year.


Grace Hopper ~ September 2013 (http://gracehopper.org/2013/)

My 2 ¢: This conference had some good topics but it’s NOT for people already in the technology field. I felt that the conference was really for people that are trying to get the in the field. I was extremely disappointed in the planning as there were multiple sessions that couldn’t even seat the attendees, even if you got to the room 20 minutes in advance. Conference Panels/Boards know how many people are going to attend since they collect our money so my expectation is that you can support the amount of people especially since you didn’t allow for last minute sign-ups. (This conference stopped registration 2 weeks prior to the conference so they should have planned way better)

Favorite Session: Sheryl Sandberg, in conversation with Maria Klawe and Telle Whitney (Actually this is the only session I liked out of the whole conference.)

Bottom Line: Go to this conference if you are new to the field and/or trying to get back in the field. It’s not worth going if you’re looking to actually learn new ideas.


BigData TechCon ~ October 2013 (http://www.bigdatatechcon.com/SanFrancisco2013/index.html)

My 2 ¢: This conference should have been renamed to the Hadoop User Conference. I was very disappointed that the conference was all about using Hadoop, how to migrate to Hadoop and oh did I mention Hadoop. I am not a Hadoop user and no where on the site did they state this was a Hadoop user conference. Another big disappoint was the “Women in BigData Luncheon”, it was posted that there was a female from Facebook that would be speaking during the lunch. That is not what occurred. It was just a bunch of women in a very small room eating lunch, the men were in a large room. The female from Facebook was there, she stood up and said “Hi, this was my idea to have this lunch so enjoy”, so not what I expected. My expectation was that during the lunch, men & women, would be able to hear this particular female’s insights on BigData, how it’s being used at Facebook, issues and triumphs.  Guess my expectations are too high….

Favorite Session: Creating Value From Data at the Enterprise Level ~ Chris Rogaski.

Bottom Line: ONLY go if you are a DBA and you are using Hadoop or planning on converting to Hadoop.


So that’s my 2 ¢: on the 3 conferences from the last 3 months.  Did you attend any of these or others?  What were your thoughts on the conferences that you attended?  Would you recommend any other conferences?



  • kris olberg

    Recommend the Minneanalytics events in Minneapolis. They are free and chock full of mainly healthcare related sessions. Tend to be held on one day. Highly recommend, quality presenters. Link to upcoming session is here: http://bigdatamn.eventbrite.com/

    • Thank you Kris, I’ll make sure to check it out.