This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend my 3rd consecutive Kalamazoo X conference. This event has gotten better every year thanks to the efforts of Mike, Mike, Matt, and Mark. I’ve written about the conference recently so I won’t go into detail about what Kalamazoo X is. Instead I’ll let a quote from the home page do the work for me:
The X Conference is the other half of your career; the half that makes you stand out.
Kalamazoo X has a rich history full of great speakers with interesting topics and this year was definitely no exception. As with years past I took quite a few notes, the highlights of which I’d like to capture here and share for you to ponder. As you read through them I think you’ll find some of the recurring themes begin to fall out naturally.
I don’t get to as many conferences as I’d like to during the year. I have yet to go to Code Mash, I missed out on Code PaLOUsa, and I envy everyone tweeting from VSLive (especially since Aria is a great place), but one conference I always make sure to attend is Kalamazoo X. I’ve attended this conference for the past two years and didn’t hesitate when I was invited to take advantage of early bird registration for this year’s event. It’s a four-hour drive from Indianapolis but it’s always well worth the trip.
I’ve mentioned this before but Kalamazoo X isn’t like other developer conferences. Instead of focusing on the latest frameworks and toys, Kalamazoo X looks at things like communication skills, process improvement, and design. I generally view it as a personal and career development conference for geeks.
The organizers have traditionally done a great job pulling this event together. With speakers including Leon Gersing, Jeff Blankenburg, Tim Wingfield, and Joe O’Brien this year should be no exception.
Kalamazoo X is on April 21 from 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (check the conference site for full logistics). If you’re free that day I highly recommend registering. It’ll likely cost you less than seeing a movie but the lessons will last for years to come. You won’t be disappointed.
I attended the 2011 Kalamazoo X conference in Kalamazoo, MI on April 30, 2011. There were no family emergencies this year which was great because this year’s event was even better than last year’s! I’d like to extend another huge “THANK YOU” to the organizers and speakers for making it happen again.
For those unfamiliar with the Kalamazoo X conference it’s not your typical software development conference. While most software development conferences focus on technical skills, Kalamazoo X focuses on the often forgotten soft skills. Also unlike other software development conferences Kalamazoo X only has one track of consisting of highly focused 30 minute sessions. This format is perfect for my limited attention span. I feel less tired after this conference than I typically do with others of similar length despite being bombed with a steady flow of information.