My post last week in response to Scott generated some good discussion about the value of developer conferences in general. It certainly got me pondering more about how we ought to think of the value of PDC. As luck would have it, our creative agency for PDC decided to hold a couple focus groups on Tuesday, specifically around understanding developer motivation for attending conferences. So I got to sit on the dark side of a two-way mirror and listen to a dozen devs talking about what matters to them. While there was no effort made to assemble a representative group, and you can’t assume that 12 people speak for the whole of the dev community, it was a really interesting exercise.
One of the most interesting things, from my perspective, was that the responses were all pretty consistent. We had a decent mix of folks, with different backgrounds and jobs, but everyone seemed to agree with one another. When the moderator asked our two focus groups why they go to conferences, we heard a pretty similar set of answers:
The groups also talked about what makes for a good conference. Again, there was clear consensus: