Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Preparing for DevLearn - Part 3 - Don't forget!

Don't forget!  Since we're in learning its important to start applying those memory strategies so YOU don't forget the important things for DevLearn.  Besides comfortable shoes, pants, etc, you should dress for chilly conference rooms.  And don't forget to get your dry-cleaning before you leave.  FEDEx got my Guild shirts too me just in the nick of time last year ;-)
The most important thing is to clear your mind, and come prepared to ENGAGE!  This isn't a "sit around and listen" crowd.  So, be prepared to think, connect, play, and LEARN.

Image Capture Device: Camera/VideoCam/cellphone
Capturing images can be better/faster/cheaper than writing everything down.  Snap a shot!  Remember a "picture is worth a thousand words" right?  DevLearn is YOUR opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.  So, let's try capturing our experiences with pictures.  And in order to truly understand how much fun this can be you should also set up a Flickr and/or YouTube account.  As soon as you take a photo you send it to Flickr and your colleagues will be immediately updated.  They will love you for this. 
If you are into video and can't capture video on your phone you should try out a Flip cam.  You'll need your laptop so you can get the videos downloaded, edited, and posted to YouTube or Flickr.

Bring Your Laptop
I feel kind of strange even saying this, but yea, bring your laptop.  You're meeting people, connecting, learning, demoing new tools and web sites/apps.  Many DevLearn presenters expect you to bring your laptop to the session.  So, don't feel like your being rude.  You aren't!  Its expected.  How else are you going to blog, twitter and...um...kill zombies? The wifi is excellent at the Fairmont and so being connected is easy.  Live blogging your experience is a great way for you to stay connected with your team members NOT attending the event.

Business Cards

This might be a no-brainer, but I forget biz cards more times than I can remember.  This year I got it done early with the NEW Minicards from Moo.com.  Now if I can just remember to get them packed into my bag.

Get Social

DevLearn09 LIVE! I know I already mentioned this in the last post.  Trust me.  Getting connected early saves a bunch of time when you are AT the event.  So, the more you can get some chatter out of the way early, the more time there is for serious conversation when you are F2F in San Jose.  Seriously!  Meet, talk about where you're from, projects you are working on, family, the weather, life, etc. online BEFORE you get to the event.  This makes for MUCH richer conversations at the event.  This is also what gets you from handshake to hug...unless, of course, you are not a hugger then I suppose it doesn't matter.  But, you get the idea.

Instructional Alternate Reality Game (iARG)

You might also be wondering what all the fuss is over Zombies at DevLearn09?  Well, this is another trust moment.  Trust me.  There is a significant connection between killing zombies and learning.  I don't want to give away all of the details, for two reasons: 1) I don't want to spoil the fun for you, and 2) I don't have any of the details because I'm playing too!  This is a "Don't Forget" because the game will be a LOT more fun if you get signed up and join a team before the event.  Then you can just focus on playing the game instead of wrestling with setup.

Brochure (for the flight)

If you MUST procrastinate and tend to other priorities...like...oh...say...maybe...your JOB, then be sure to slip your brochure into your carry-on so you can start highlighting the sessions you'd like to attend. And plan your activities once you're on the ground.

I'm certain there are more "Don't Forget" items so I will ask my colleagues who have attended in the past to add their thoughts in the comments.  What did I forget?

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