Volunteering at a Developer Conference
and why you should do it!
This past weekend, I attended the 5th annual UtahJS Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. As an aspiring front-end developer currently focusing on React, this seemed like an amazing opportunity. About a month ago, I went online to look at tickets, and they were about $200! While those tickets were definitely worth that pricetag, my student budget disagreed. I sent an email to see if they needed volunteers, and — BOOM! — I was officially signed up for my first ever developer conference (for free!).
If you are ever on the fence about attending a conferece because of the cost, just ask to volunteer! Here’s what my 8am-5pm duties consisted of:
- Ushering people into the room
- Helping them find seats
- Giving the speaker a 5-minute warning
- Folding chairs & picking up trash at the end
Not too difficult, huh?
Still not convinced by free entry alone? Well here are some of the awesome benefits to attending a conference like this one.
Yes, even I hate this overused, tacky business term. However, being a volunteer led to lots of one-on-one time to meet and talk with speakers, event organizers, and other incredibly smart people. Do you want to meet some people that work at your dream company? Volunteer at a developer conference and introduce yourself.
Alright, so this shouldn’t be the only reason you volunteer, but it sure doesn’t hurt! I received two awesome shirts, some stickers, and a free lunch from the amazing Cupbop food truck.
All in all, the experience was a great one. I ended up a little bit smarter and with a collaboration invite into a GitHub project :)