It looks like I might be going to the GOTO Aarhus conference again this year as a blogger, like I did last year. It is not completely decided yet, but there is a high likelihood.
If I am going, this would be 4th time I'm going to this particular conference, which is favorite conference (perhaps together with QCon London). Not that I have been to that many different conferences - I go to more than many people in IT, but I've only been to just over a handful of different conferences.
So, what am I looking forward to?
I haven't taken a full in depth look at the schedule yet, but glancing at the speakers list, I see several great speakers among them. People I'd hate to miss out of a general principle, would be Dan North, Jez Humble, Dave Thomas, and Ola Bini. Though I am considering Dan North, as I think I might have heard that talk before (I will have to hear the introduction to the talk).
I also noticed Kevlin Henney among the speakers, but unfortunately he is only there as a trainer for the training days. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, I highly recommend it - he is an fantastic entertainer and teacher rolled into one.
Subject wise, I tend to avoid technology specific talks, and rather go for talks that can apply broadly across technologies. This means I have a tendency to go for talks related to processes, people, and principles across technologies (e.g. architecture or big data).
This year I think I will be spending my time mostly on the following tracks:
Monday: Architecture and "When the Agile Manifesto isn't enough"
Tuesday: "Lean IT Enterprise" - this is only half the day, so I need to find other stuff to fill it out.
Wednesday: "DevOps In Depth" and Career. Perhaps "Data in Reality", but there is so little information about the track right now, that I cannot really tell what the talks will be about.
The schedule can be found here
Another thing I am going to spend my time on at GOTO Aarhus is networking. I think it is incredible important to take advantage of the opportunity such a conference gives for meeting your peers and the masters of the field. And GOTO Aarhus is especially good at facilitating this, throughout the conference. I have been to other conferences, even other GOTO conferences, where this important aspect was lacking, but somehow GOTO Aarhus manages - especially during the conference party, where you have the chance to meet not only the other participants, but also the speakers.
So, if you're going to the conference, I highly recommend not missing out on the party. Who knows, you might end up having beer with someone like Michael Nygard or Jim Webber, both of which I have drunk beer with at conference parties. OK, probably not those two, as neither of them appear on the speaker list, but you get my point.
One should of course not forget to network with the vendors. People have a tendency to think that the vendors are just someone you should visit to get free stuff or win something, but this is a mistake. Often the people standing at the vendor booths are passionate about the company or product they represent, and they are often highly knowledgeable about the things they talk about. Remember, the vendors often send their best representatives to the conference in order to convince people.
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