OK, all major cities are covered, but why not NYC? Joel can do it right out of his FogBugz office. DevDays in NYC would generate so much interest!

5 Answers 5


Here is Joel's response to the question in his blog. He cites two reasons:

  • too expensive
  • poor turnout
  • First off, in NYC most of the tech meetings arranged via meet up www.meetup.com. I personally attend a lot of semweb.meetup.com/25/ (The New York Semantic Web Meetup) meetings. And let me tell you -- the turnout is great. I have also attended other meets of this caliber, and they usually fill up... Joel mentions a lot of valid reasons. Notwithstanding, if THERE IS A WILL, there is a way...
    – Andrei
    Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 15:32

It's too expensive:

alt text http://welbog.homeip.net/~inferno/images/money_in_hand.jpg

  • 5
    George Stocker answered first, but I answered shorter, so my answer is obviously the best.
    – Welbog
    Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 13:25
  • Ah ha, but I was more complete! :-D Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 13:26
  • 1
    Ah ha, but I have an image! :-D
    – Welbog
    Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 13:29
  • 3
    Refuse to upvote because of contradiction. Answering "too expensive" by using cheap rep-whoring. Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 13:46
  • @John: I had an "It's" in there, too. Plus it's the right answer.
    – Welbog
    Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 13:51
  • I'm thinking about turning the "it's" to "its" just to hear you cry. Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 13:58
  • I won't cry. I'll get Jim to get you with his laedans ad hominem.
    – Welbog
    Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 13:59

He had mentioned in his blog that it was just too expensive to host DevDays in NYC. That's why DC and Boston were offered.

  • Can't he do it out of his office? I would be willing to pay reasonably more, and not have to travel to Boston or DC.
    – Andrei
    Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 13:32
  • After seeing screenshots of the office and the number of attendees (200) I don't think there's any reasonable way to fit everyone in the office for that event. Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 13:42

There's always Jersey City. I mean, there isn't a DevDays there either, but it addresses all the issues (except turnout) and it's surprisingly accessible. Put the conference near the PATH or on the Light-Rail and New Yorkers can get there a lot faster than they can Boston, even if they're in Queens or Staten Island. Boston's hotels aren't cheaper for visitors.

Alternative: get NYU or Columbia to lend a hall (probably for cash). After all this kind of conference is unusual in that it fits in one hall/room. Then you need to work with their rules about food though; which is likely to be cheaper than a hotel's food service. They do symposiums and such quite often. Positive: slightly better Wifi; Negative: they might not open the wifi to non-students just for this.


Something to consider -

Joel points out that it would cost $23 per person to run an event on the East side of NY. This would include only a single coffee break. But this is NY - you can get coffee on every street corner and buying your own lunch isn't going to be a problem either. It's a lot easier than finding food in BumbleF, VA. For an NYC conference we could put a list together of suggested local eateries on meta and everybody can just do their own thing. In that case maybe lunch could be 90 minutes long, eliminating the need for so many coffee breaks.

As far as hotels go, I would guess that people traveling would mostly be those who can't get to Boston or D.C. And for a lot of those people NYC is a day trip to Grand Central/Penn Station/Port Authority bus terminal. So a lot of them wouldn't need a hotel.

I don't know what the target cost per person is that Joel is shooting for, but let's say that to break even and still make some profit, they had to raise the DevDays NYC price to $150-$200. Still would be a fantastic deal for such a great conference. For people like me who had to travel from NYC, it's on the low end - $25 bucks for a Bolt Bus and a sleep on a friend's couch, and on the high end it's a roundtrip Amtrak ticket for about 150-200 and maybe even more if you want to stay in a hotel. So NYers having to make a trip is more expensive then it would be for a "premium city" DevDays ticket.

  • I cannot agree more with the suggestion! If we garner a lot of support, perhaps Joel and Jeff will make this investment.
    – Andrei
    Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 15:26

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