Great .NET Conferences to Attend
Thomas Ardal, December 15, 2017
Looking for .NET conferences to attend? You are in luck! There's a lot of options out there. While most good conferences about .NET are arranged by Microsoft themselves, there are some great alternatives spread across both Europe and the US. This list is my attempt to sum up a list of good conferences that I have had recommended by friends or attended during the years.
NDC or Norwegian Developers Conference is one of the largest .NET conferences in Europe. Launched in Oslo, Norway back in 2008, but now available in London, Sydney and Minnesota as well. Besides the main conferences, there's a NDC Mini in Copenhagen, that I attended and really enjoyed last year.
Back in 2011, Microsoft merged their PDC and MIX conferences into //build/. Besides a lot of info about .NET, there are always a lot of announcements too. So, if you want to be the first to hear about the new stuff, Build is the place to go.
Previously known as TechEd, Ignite is one of the oldest Microsoft conferences on the block. While TechEd were arranged all over the world, Ignite only seem to happen in the US. There's a lot of .NET content at Ignite, but the conference also spans other subjects.
Build Stuff, the large .NET conference in Lithuania, has been gaining a lot of traction the last years. It's amazing to see the quality of speakers, that the conference is able to attract. Some buddies of mine have attended the conference for a couple of years and speak very highly if going. A nice benefit of going to Lithuania is, that everything is cheaper than the rest of Europe and US. In 2017, Build Stuff introduced a new conference on Mallorca, Spain. Conference, pool and warm weather - what's not to like!
Visual Studio Live is another Microsoft conference available in 7 US cities. The conference doesn't really seem to have gotten the attention it deserves. Looks like a range of good sessions with lots of hands on and workshops.
.NET Conf is a virtual conference arranged by Microsoft every year. The awesome thing with .NET Conf is, that they partner with user groups and similar throughout the world, to arrange local in-person events like streaming sessions. Everything is free, which makes it a no-braining to convince your boss.
Techorama is one of the new players on the block. That shouldn't keep you from going though. In 5 years, Techorama has grown to more than 1.500 attendees and 150 sessions, spread across 11 tracks. Besides being a good choice for .NET developers, Techorama is held in the beautiful city of Antwerpen (Belgium) and from 2018 also in the Netherlands. Maybe combine it with a bit of sightseeing?
Sort of like .NET Conf, but rather than streaming sessions from a virtual conference, Global Azure Bootcamp is a series of events throughout the world about Azure. The local user groups and MVPs arrange the conference and arrange which sessions to host and speakers to invite. Since this is organized 100% by local forces, I cannot recommend your local event or not. Try it next time or even better, ask to join in.
Yet another Microsoft conference in US. Originally founded by Scott Hanselman and friends, after missing the MIX (now //build/) conference. AngleBrackets is like MIX, mostly about web and related technologies. It's one of those conferences that I would personally love to attend.
.NET Fringe is an open source .NET conference located in Portland, Oregon. The awesome thing about Fringe is that it seems to be backed by a lot of cool people in the industry.
You cannot write a post about Microsoft .NET conferences without mentioning Connect();. It's a virtual conference with a lot of good stuff and announcements. All sessions are available for streaming, so catch a session or two before going to bed.
You probably haven't heard about the summit if you haven't been a Microsoft MVP or tried to be one. It's the yearly event for all MVP's with a lot of insider information about new and exciting Microsoft technologies. I had one chance to attend (back in 2015), but blew it :)
Eastern Europe doesn't only offer Build Stuff. DotNext is a two-day conference happening in Moscow and St. Petersburg (both Russia) every year. DotNext may not be the largest conference out there, but they still managed to attract speakers like Jon Skeet, Dino Esposito and Mark Seemann in 2018.
TechBash is a another community driven conference, located in Pennsylvania, US. With only a few years of arranging the conference, it already seem to attract some great speakers and sessions. Besides a 3-day packed schedule, you will be able to enjoy the rest of Kalahari Resort, including America's largest indoor waterpark. What a great excuse to bring the family.
Based in Stockholm, Sweden we find DevSum - The .NET Conference. It's weird how I didn't know about a .NET conference with this history (> 10 years), size (60+ speakers and 600+ participants) and duration (3 days including workshops) before getting a recommendation through this post. This definitely looks like a good choice for .NET peeps.
SDD (Software Design & Development) is another broad topic option that doesn't do a lot to tell that it includes Microsoft talks. But with speakers like Jon Skeet, Scott Allen and Jimmy Bogard, .NET and C# is on the menu for sure. Furthermore the conference is huge, spanning 5 days, more than 80 sessions and 18 all-day workshops. Finally, SDD is a great excuse to experience the awesome city of London.
Another London-option for .NET developers is Progressive .NET. 3 days of sessions and tutorials from speakers like Jon Galloway and Julie Lerman. The conference is arranged by Skills Matter (you probably already know them from their training courses) in their CodeNode conference center. How cool of a name for a venue is that!
Do you believe we've missed something? Let us know through the comments below.
More of a blog reading type? Check out our post .NET Blogs to Follow - The Ultimate List.
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