10 IT Automation Conferences toAttendOne of the best opportunities for networking and keeping up to date on all the latesttrends in software development, ITIL best practice implementation, innovative methodsof handling automation, new methods of tackling ever-expanding configuration drift, andlearning to navigate increasingly tricky compliance issues is attending industryconferences. IT professionals focused on automation will need to read between the linesto find a convention well-suited to their interests. These events are massive inproduction and are usually more broadly focused.1) ITEXPO* – January 30th – February 1st in Miami Beach, FloridaThis expo is focused on the communications industry and has broad representation withcompanies of all sizes. Attendees are a broad mix of management and developmentteams.ITEXPO puts a focus on networking, hosting a number of events over the courseof the weekend designed to encourage attendees to mingle, including an event on thebeach and a panel which gives start-ups an opportunity to pitch their great to a panel ofpotential of investors, and then grants them the opportunity to receive feedback rightaway.
2) ApacheCon* – February 24-28th in Portland, OregonApacheCon is “the conference for people who build the technologies that drive theInternet”. ApacheCon explores the issues associated with creating open-sourcesolutions “the Apache Way”. The main theme of the 2013 conference was “Open SourceCommunity Leadership Drives Enterprise-Grade Innovation”.3) ITNG – April 15-17th in Las Vegas, NevadaITNG is geared specifically towards IT professionals, with a broad range of industrialfocuses. It offers three prizes as well: one for the best student paper, one for the bestposter paper, and a service-oriented reward. The convention plays host to industry,government, and academia experts. Tracks for panel discussions are well suited to ITpros, with topics like “information systems and internet technology”, “high performancecomputer architectures”, “data mining”, and more. There will also be opportunities tomingle with panelists and presenters to expand networking opportunities and a chanceto get papers published in a special edition of an international journal after theconference.4) Open Networking Summit – April 15-17th in Santa Clara, California
The first of two Software Defined Networking (SDN) conferences on this list,thisconference was started by the founders of the concept of SDN. This is a greatopportunity to network with the “key players” of the growing SDN industry, see the latestdevelopments within the technology, get a glimpse into SDN’s future, and to even trySDN out for yourself.5) QUEST Conference and Expo – April 15-19th in Chicago, IllinoisQUEST (Quality Engineered Software and Testing) will take place in Chicago this year.Some of their “hot topics” include: Agile, Automation, Leadership, Measurement, Mobile,Planning/Designing, andSoftware Development Techniques. QUEST emphasizedlearning from thought leaders, assessing your skills with certification courses, applicationof experience and knowledge in work-groups, and connecting with fellow practitionersand industry leaders.
6) HDI – April 16-19 in Las Vegas, NevadaHDI is a conference focused primarily on IT service and tech support that attractsattendees from all aspects of this industry; from senior-level VPs and directors, down tocustomer service professionals, and everyone in between. They offer well-designedtracks, catering to various levels of professionals in the industry, with a “Technology inAction” track that includes sessions, such as “Improving Operations with CloudComputing” and “Adapting Workflow Management Tools to Service and Support”. This isa well-organized conference with big name keynote speakers; in 2013, Steve Wozniak(of Apple fame) is the conference headliner. They also offer a number of breakoutsessions, called “Breakfast Briefings”, designed to help you network, and an expo to giveyou a glimpse on what industry vendors are up to.7) Interop – May 6-10 in Las Vegas, Nevada
This is one of the largest events for IT professionals, andoffers very narrowly targetedtracks to help you get the most out of your conference experience. Tracks include topicssuch as Data Center & Storage, Security & Risk Management, Cloud Computing & BigData, and more. As a vendor-neutral event, Interop is able to offer a powerfulcombination of excellent workshops, conference sessions from industry leaders, afantastic exhibition of tech providers, and solid networking opportunities. Interop hasbeen active for 26 years within the US, beginning with a focus on network infrastructure,and then evolving over time to include a broad range of technologies.8) ISTE – June 23-36 in San Antonio, TexasThis conference is primarily focused on the technology involved in education, andfeatures content developed specifically for IT pros and tech coordinators. Theirtechnology track includes themes including Cloud Computing, Integrated Data Systems,Emerging Technologies,Support& Maintenance, Safety & Security, and more. Thisconference is very well produced and has been running for 33 years.
9) SDN & NFV Summit – September 30th – October 2nd in PragueThe second SDN conference in this list. SDN & NFV (Networking Visualisation) Summitattracts various telecom service providers, SDN vendors, associations, consultants,industry analysts, and investment pros. This is the 2nd annual iteration of the SDN &NFV Summit, having taken place last year in London. This conference is mostly gearedtowards European Operators.10) EuroSTAR Conference – November 4-7th 2013 in Gothenburg, SwedenHeralded as the “Europe’s premier software testing event”, the EuroSTAR SoftwareTesting Conference is the largest software testing event in Europe. EuroSTAR is anexcellent place to network. As you can tell from the full name of the conference, theprimary focus of the event is upon software testing.*As of posting this, the event has already passed, but we highly recommend checkingout the 2014 version next year!