As we continue to grow our company, OpenGov, we look for ways to enrich the lives of our software engineers as well as invest in the communities who build software we use. This year we had our first taste of tech event sponsoring with EmberConf and it felt good. An opportunity presented itself to sponsor a bigger conference, RubyConf, and we decided to go all-in.
Nov 16-19 we spent in sunny San Diego, CA. As our first major conference sponsorship and we had no idea what to expect with close to a thousand developers showing up. That and the fact that we had a sponsor booth made this a very different experience (for me). One of my co-workers and I manned our booth all day every day instead of going to talks. Fortunately, we had some rotating help from the four engineers who came with us. Sponsoring this size conference was no small task and I now have an even greater respect for the amazing folks who stand by their booths and relentlessly smile while telling their story to hundreds of onlookers.
Here are some of the reasons why I like to sponsor these events, as I wrote in an email to our company:
Identifying the latest tech trends isn’t as easy as it used to be. In the past, you could pick one programming language and one database and build your entire business with those two tools. Today, however, we have so many tools at our fingertips that we’d be hurting ourselves to rely on just a few. Our competitors aren’t limiting themselves. And we’re in the midst of one of the largest explosions of tech that I have ever seen. Being at these conferences is like being in a melting pot of ideas, technology and passion. The topics of conversation span all kinds of technology that is and is not related to Ruby.
Attending, sponsoring, and supporting a tech conference is a key way to see how that tech will evolve. It gives us a better idea of where that tech is going and that, in turn, gives us an advantage in predicting what tech is worth investing in. Great technologies typically have great communities who are pushing innovation and progress… The only way to get to know the community is to be active in it — whether that means we contribute to the tech itself and/or we get involved with their ecosystem and events. I hope to do both as we grow.