The 8 Best Tech Conferences for IT Candidates in 2019

Modis Posted 31 January 2019

Top Tech Conferences You Must Attend

Tech conferences are great for networking for customers, vendors, or even a new job.

But, it's tough to scout all the great technology conferences you might want to attend in any given year.

That's why we sifted through 100's of events to find you the best conferences on cloud development, data, IT, security, AI, machine learning, robotics and other topics of interest.

While our list is created from the viewpoint of someone looking to gain more insights on the tech industry and expand their network, we also considered candidates who want to land their lucrative dream job.

So read on -- and maybe we'll see you at one of these events!

2019 Tech Conference

1. Microsoft Ignite 2019 -- November 4-8, 2019 -- Orlando, Florida

Cost: Pricing details will be shared in the spring of 2019 (along with the 2019 agenda). But, you can pre-register for free and you won't be charged until you complete your full registration in the spring.

Microsoft Ignite 2019 is your opportunity to get your hands on the latest tech and get your questions answered by the experts who built it.

Join tech professionals from all over the world in exploring the latest tools, tech, and experiences, and hear the latest updates and ideas from Microsoft product managers and engineering experts.

Featuring more than 700 deep-dive sessions and more than 100 expert-led and self-paced workshops, this conference is your chance to meet practitioners influencing the future of cloud, data, business intelligence, teamwork, and productivity.

Last year's event sold out and boasted some 30,000 attendees.

2. IBM Think 2019 -- February 12 – 15, 2019 -- San Francisco, California

Cost: A full conference pass is $2,295. A one-day pass is $895. Full conference on-site is $2,395.

Think is IBM's flagship conference. It's also a great place to sharpen your skills. You can get hands-on experience with the latest technology. In fact, through hundreds of labs, you can take deep dives into AI, cloud, data, security, and other emerging technologies.

The conference also boasts hundreds of certification exams and hands-on labs. You can get certified in cloud, AI, security and other skills that will benefit your team and your company.

3. SANS 2019 -- Mon, Apr 1 - Mon, Apr 8, 2019 -- Orlando, Florida

Cost: The cost varies as there are different fees for different sessions and GIAC certification exams. You can use registration discount code "EarlyBird19" up to Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019 to save up to $350.00 on tuition fees.

If you're interested in information security, this is the place to be! Not only will you gain invaluable insight into today's top information security threats, you'll have access to networking opportunities and events.

SANS offers more than 45 cyber security courses so you can 'level up' and gain practical skills you can use immediately. Plus, if you're unable to attend in person, you can attend the event remotely.

4. DEF CON 27-- August 8-11, 2019 -- Las Vegas, Nevada

Cost: The cost is $280 for all four days. Credit cards are not accepted; you must pay cash at the door. There is also no preregistration. Seriously, just pay when you get there.

DEF CON is recognized as one of the longest continuously running hacker conventions. It's also one of the largest with roughly 18,000-22,000 attendees in the last few years of DEF CON. DEF CON 25 had a record showing with well over 23,000 attendees.

Another thing that makes DEF CON special is nearly all events are conceived by the attendees. You'll get specialized expertise straight from expert practitioners in an 'adult' atmosphere. This year's theme is 'Technology's Promise'.

If you're interested in working for the government, the Feds are known to attend DEF CON (come on...it's a hacker conference!).

5. DerbyCon 9.0 -- September 4th – September 8th, 2019 -- Louisville, Kentucky

Cost: They have not announced ticket sales yet. Check the @DerbyCon twitter account for notifications. (Training in 2018 was $1,200 and includes admission to the general conference that takes place after training ends. It does not provide hotel reservations or travel expenses.)

DerbyCon is a southern information security conference that offers a more intimate and friendly setting than many tech events.

There is training on September 4-5th and the actual conference is Sept 6-8th.

DerbyCon was conceived for experts and regular folks alike. The organizers describe it as an InfoSec conference with the feel of a family reunion. Some of the past keynote speakers include Matthew Graeber, Principal Security Engineering Lead at Microsoft, and John Strand, Owner of Black Hills Information Security.

If you want to learn about the security industry and have some fun with events like capture the flag, you may want to check this conference out. Especially as 2019 will be the last year of DerbyCon.

6. OSCON-- July 15-18, 2019 -- Portland, Oregon

Cost: Details are forthcoming. The cost was $1,395- $3,495 in the past. Registration opens in March 2019.

OSCON is an annual event that brings together engineers, developers, and business leaders to focus on leading-edge software development incorporating AI, cloud technology, and distributed computing.

The NSA is an exhibitor as well as Square, GitLab, and WP engine.

There are training and tutorials on Monday and Tuesday with the keynotes and sessions taking place on Wednesday and Thursday. When you're ready to unwind, the Oregon Convention Center is only a short light rail or streetcar ride away from top restaurants, tax-free shopping, and other attractions.

According to the organizers, this year's event will focus on five substantial pillars that are driving the software development industry forward, these include:

  • Open Source - All innovative and emerging open source projects are at the heart of software development and OSCON 2019
  • Cloud-Native - While still not completely open source, this important pillar of software development allows for open source to thrive
  • Data-Driven - Learn how to deal with massive amounts of data and how to use techniques to create fast, reactive, resilient applications
  • AI-Enhanced - Machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing are making significant changes to building the software of today
  • Customer-Centered - Product management and design are essential to ensuring that coding and development are used to their fullest potential

7. QCon New York 2109 -- June 24-28, 2019 -- New York, New York

Cost: There are different price points depending on when you register and what sessions you want to attend. You can see the pricing and get additional details on the registration page.

QCOn is a conference for senior software engineers and architects on the patterns practices and use cases leveraged by the world's most innovative software shops.

QCon's audience includes developers who are influencers in their companies and fields. Attending is a great opportunity to bring trends from innovator and early adopter companies home to your team.

Last year's featured speakers included: Matt Klein, Creator of Envoy and Software Engineer at Lyft; Michele Titolo, Tech Lead & Architect at Square.

Popular sessions included: Scaling Push Messaging for Millions of Devices @Netflix; Software Is Eating the World, ML Is Going to Eat Software; The Effective Remote Developer.

With more than 75 editorial presentations, 18 sponsored presentations, 100 speakers, and Evening receptions, QCon allows you to learn from and network with experts from places like Uber, Google, Dropbox, Slack, Twitter, and more.

And in case you're wondering, the conference serves healthy food, including gluten-free and vegan.

8. DeveloperWeek 2019 -- February 20-24, 2019 -- San Francisco, California

Cost: The cost is $50.00-$1,345.00 with discounts for students, government, and groups of three or more.

DeveloperWeek 2019 is the world's largest vendor-neutral developer expo and conference with many events to choose from including the DeveloperWeek 2019 Conference & Expo (8,000 attendees).

With exhibitors from Adobe to Atlassian to Microsoft, DeveloperWeek hosts talks from leaders in the field and 50 different events over the course of the week.

Speakers include Cal Henderson, CTO and Co-Founder of Slack; Renaud Visage, Technical Co-Founder of Eventbrite; Andy Fang, Co-Founder & Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of DoorDash; and Leemay Nassery, Senior Engineer at Comcast.

There are hundreds, if not thousands more in-person events you could attend, but hopefully you've found one or two you'd like to attend to further your career. And if you want to search for jobs near you, just click here.

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