HOWTO: Justify ApacheCon to your boss

I’m looking forward to attending ApacheCon US 2009 in Oakland, 2nd-6th November. We’ll be celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Apache Software Foundation, with more content, more people, and more fun than ever before.

If you’ve ever been to an ApacheCon, you’ll know that there are hundreds of great reasons to go. If you haven’t been before, check out Jeremy Thomerson’s Top Ten Reasons to attend ApacheCon. (Note that the trainings aren’t just for Wicket. Naturally, we’ll cover other top Apache projects, from Solr & Lucene to httpd & Tomcat. But we also have training on everything from dealing with the media to keeping your web applications secure!)

Of course, there’s more to attending a conference than deciding you want to go. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that “gets” open source, and is happy to give me time off to attend. (Wanna come work with me? :-) )

What if your boss isn’t so keen to let you disappear off to California for a week? You might know that the value of the networking you can do at ApacheCon way outstrips the pricetag (and you know you can get a special discount if you’re staying at the conference hotel!), but “networking” is a bit of a vague proposition. Especially if your boss has to justify it to her boss, and so on.

So here’s just some of the business-friendly reasons you should come to ApacheCon:

  • Just started doing open source, and your team haven’t quite got the hang of open development, working with the community, or exactly how this “open source” thing works? Come along to the Hackathon, for a serious crash-course in collaboration–and a behind-the-scenes peek at the upcoming features of the products you use!
  • Oakland is just a stone’s throw from the Valley–whether you need to check-in with head office in Silicon Valley, or entertain a client in Napa Valley, why not combine it with a trip to ApacheCon, and kill two birds with that one stone?!
  • Two days of top-quality trainings (Monday and Tuesday) will bring you right up to speed on the technologies you need to know about, quickly and efficiently.
  • If you’re not attending trainings, the BarCamp gives you a chance to talk and learn about anything under the sun, with some of the coolest people in Open Source. If you want to know what’s going to happen in the next ten years of open development, you can’t afford to miss this. And it’s free :-)
  • What other vendor invites you along to meet the Chairman of the Board!? At ApacheCon, you can meet the movers and shakers who are shaping the products you use, creating the technologies of the future, and paving the way for bigger and better opportunities yet! (Heck, you can even get training from our Chairman!)

Pick the ones that make the most sense to you, and put together a pitch for your boss. Check out the schedule to get an idea of the relevant trainings and tracks, and see if there’s a Meetup that would go into more detail on the projects you work with. There’s so much going on at ApacheCon, that there’s really no reason for your boss to say no!

P.S. If your boss is still a little unsure, why not offer to do a training session for your colleagues when you get home? You’ll learn more than enough at ApacheCon to justify the expense–heck, for the cost of hiring in an expert, your boss could send several people to ApacheCon to quiz a whole collection of experts!

2 comments to HOWTO: Justify ApacheCon to your boss

  • [...] October 13, 2009 · Leave a Comment As I’ve blogged previously, I’m gearing up again to present my training session Apache Maven: End-to-end at ApacheCon US in Oakland in just a few weeks now. There are still spots available, so go ahead and register from the ApacheCon US site. Noirin offers some tips on how to justify ApacheCon to your boss. [...]

  • Bill Shakespeare

    Hi, I know the marketing folks have gotten to the word “trainings” and it’s too late and all that, but could us normal folks please not use that abomination? “Training sessions”.

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