Monday, June 13, 2005

Reasons to attend a NoFluffJustStuff conference

I just spent the last three days at my third NoFluffJustStuff conference -- the Research Triangle Software Symposium. My brain is full and I am wiped and extremely invigorated!! It is my annual shot-in-the-arm booster that makes me look forward to going to work! Here are some of my reasons why you shouldn't miss the next opportunity. (Of course you can also see their top-10 reasons):

The speakers: The speakers are uniformly exceptional. They not only know what they are talking about, they want to be on the stage and are good at it. Further, they don't mind answering questions -- and not just during the session. Speakers are routinely found mingling with the attendees at lunch and breaks.

Constant innovations: In the three years that I've been attending these conferences, it has constantly been evolving, never leaving well enough alone. First it was end-of-day keynotes, then it was the introduction of .Net topics, then it was BOFs, web-site with speaker blogs, etc etc.

Timely topics:At any given time there are invariably 5 active sessions. The topics being discussed at these session are not only of high quality, they are timely. Let's take the latest conference. There were sessions on AJAX, Tapestry, Spring, Hibernate, Ruby, Rails, the list goes on.

Doesn't cut corners: The high quality doesn't stop with the speakers and the sessions, it includes the other amenities. You get all the session materials on CD, with binders, in a nice laptop carrying case (another innovation for this year). Meals (read: breakfasts, lunches, snacks and opening night dinner) during the conference are provided. Jay Zimmerman (the organizer) could very easily have just thrown in the "continental breakfast" fare. But meals here would put most restaurants to shame. There is of course the obligatory raffle during the conference. Even there this one outshines. There are two raffles. At the recent conference, up for grabs were books, an iPod and the new Sony PSP.

I think there are about 28 events over the course of the year at different locations across the US. So, if you are in the country, chances are, there is one in your neighborhood. Don't miss it.

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