If you haven’t heard of it before, GR DevDay is a one-day software development conference in Grand Rapids, MI. It is completely volunteer-run and organized by developers and other professionals in the tech industry. The day is filled with sessions on a wide variety of topics from security, tools, testing and everything in between.
GR DevDay is heavy on code and development (duh, that’s what the event is about, right?) however there is more to the event than just sessions on coding. Not being a developer myself, I’ve been attending both GR DevDay and GR DevNight for the past few years. While the session content can be a bit above my head, I find it absolutely amazing to hear what developers are up against and how they solve problems as they come up. Every time I leave these events, I come out with a better understanding of where developers are coming from as we work through projects together.
Besides BizStream being a platinum sponsor of the event, I was curious why our other BizStream team members went to the event. I asked why they go and what they thought the best part of the day was. While many of their responses were development focused, I was surprised to hear their thoughts on networking, the social aspect and even some thoughts on the business of “development”.
"I went to GRDevDay to hang out at the sponsor booth because I really enjoy getting to talk to attendees about BizStream and about the project/work that attendees are currently doing. There are a lot of really smart people working on really cool things who attend this event, so it’s a riot to get to talk to them."
"This is one place I go to in order to see what kinds of new technologies are starting to take off locally, and what development practices people are using in the area."
"I attended because I wanted to support BizStream, be a part of the local community, and learn new skills to make me a better developer. The lunch they provided was delicious and I really enjoyed the talk on SVGs. I'll definitely be using techniques from that presentation on projects in the future."
"I love GR DevDay because it's one of the few days a year you get to hang out with a likeminded general public. My favorite part this year was seeing Facebook's React talk with a couple of guys active in the GR meetup groups."
"I went to GR Dev Day because I am a new web developer and I wanted to hear what other professionals in the industry are doing. I specifically wanted to learn about the business side of web development so I could get a better understanding of what our leaders at BizStream go through every day and determine what goes into creating good web based products that can help BizStream create additional revenue.
My favorite part of the day was Jay Harris' talk about moving from an independent developer to a business owner and the challenges involved."
"I attended DevDay to support and help represent BizStream and to gain knowledge and info from others within the industry. My favorite part was spending time with my BizStream peeps, attending sessions with them and sharing our thoughts about the presentations."
"I like going to support the local West Michigan developer community. They do a good job getting speakers - I really enjoyed Rachel's talk on SignalR."
If you haven’t gone to GR DevDay (or GR DevNight), we highly recommend it! If you do go, come find me and let’s talk (I’ll be the bald guy in the BizStream gear). I’d love to hear why you attend GR DevDay (or Night)!
See you at the next event!