When the 2009 DevDays were announced one of the primary goals (from my understanding) was to have a useful and accessible (in terms of time and cost) conference.

The 2011 conference, while still reasonably affordable for the event, will incur significantly more cost for hotel, airfare and meals. Thus, in my opinion, defeating the point of the "accessible" conference.

An additional day along with the added costs make it very unlikely that I will be able to make it to the conference. It is now lumped in with all the other conferences that I won't go to.

$399 event cost
$500 airfare cost
$150 hotel (1 night)
$100 meals for 2 days

So we're talking close to $1200 and two days rather than $99 and one day.

I am sorry to see this happen. I realize it was a lot of work for Joel and Co, but perhaps there is another solution. Perhaps not for 2011, but maybe in 2012. Or, someone else can take up the helm and bring back the spirit of an affordable, local one day conference.


For the record - I was at the Boston DevDays - it was an easy drive for me and would have paid double for the event. However, making a commitment to a further destination, more time and significantly more money just doesn't make it compelling. I'd rather just spend the time looking for more sources online.

I am more than happy to pay $399 for the event itself - the issue is the other additional costs due to fewer venues.


Well, the 2011 is officially canceled. That is a shame. I actually just bought my tickets a few weeks ago and made a commitment with my own money and time away form work. (D.C. - with some museum tours the days afterwards, etc)

I do hope that the folks at SO/SE/DevDays will continue to look for good dev conference alternatives. I was really happy with the 2009 Boston event and I am very hopeful for another.

Thanks for the good effort guys and keep trying - I will be at the next one if it is close enough to me.

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    You can always go and attend only one day. Saying that you can't go because it's 2 days and you have the time only for 1 doesn't make much sense.. Just go for the one day May 4, 2011 at 16:31
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    @Kop They don't have single day passes though (discussed in the comments here) -- it would still cost $399 May 4, 2011 at 16:44
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    I understand that, but the locations are also more centralized - rather than having more cities there are only a handful. Yet another drawback. (for me and people like me)
    – tim
    May 4, 2011 at 17:31
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    You're getting ripped off for the airfare cost. I've just paid under $70 for a BOS->DCA one-way flight. Or are you insisting on business class? Jun 27, 2011 at 19:11
  • One way - and that is a route with cheap flights - this is a general question - most airfare will be more than $140 round trip. And no - those prices were not for business class.
    – tim
    Jun 28, 2011 at 14:50

4 Answers 4


I would hate for that to happen. I think that even at $399 it'll the best value out there -- less than half the price of typical two day developer conferences -- but I know that a few of the people who have to pay their own way may decide that it's just not worth it this time.

The best way to get a comped ticket is to participate! Join the curriculum committee, submit a proposal to speak, or volunteer to staff the conference... we'll have plenty of opportunities to help out for people who just can't get their employer to send them.

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    Joel - the $399 is not the problem - I would pay that myself (as I paid for the $99 last time) - the issue is time and location. I am just lamenting the lack of proximity is all. I really enjoyed the conference last year in Boston. Half the issue is time, the other half is the money.
    – tim
    May 4, 2011 at 18:27
  • Well, in the long run, maybe we'll settle into a pattern of two or three BIG conferences that people travel to, and a bunch of little conferences (1/2 day? 1 day) in dinky little frozen-over college towns ;) May 6, 2011 at 13:00
  • That's funny. I live 30 minutes from a dinky little college town - Manhattan... but no DevDays there? :)
    – tim
    May 6, 2011 at 14:14
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    $599 for London? Think I'll pass this time...
    – ingh.am
    Aug 9, 2011 at 11:36
  • @Joel Spolsky So you'll have a conference in Rochester, New York in the middle of December or January? You'd probably get a crowd from the UofR CS department and RIT's College of Computing and Information Sciences, and it definitely meets your "dinky little frozen-over college town" requirement. I'd love to see that. Sep 7, 2011 at 14:01

The new format required a larger commitment in terms of time and money than the old format did.
As a result, many people who attended DevDays 2009 couldn't afford DevDays 2011.
As a result, not many people registered.
As a result, the conference couldn't support itself.
As a result, the conference was scrapped.
As a result, DevDays 2011 is a completely inaccessible conference for everybody.

So we can conclude with certainty that yes, the new format did turn DevDays 2011 into an inaccessible conference.

(Yes, I know the question was updated already, but the info in the edit does answer the question. With the One Correct Answer, no less.)

  • Twist that knife! ;-P
    – Pollyanna
    Sep 7, 2011 at 18:58
  • For what it's worth, I was in the "excited about attending DevDays" camp myself, @Adam.
    – Pops
    Sep 7, 2011 at 19:04
  • I think a lot of people were. Iterating is annoying for this sort of thing, but I think it'll work out down the road.
    – Pollyanna
    Sep 7, 2011 at 19:19

The 2011 conference, while still reasonably affordable for the event, will incur significantly more cost for hotel, airfare and meals

Depends on your point of view. If I wanted to go to a previous devdays, I had to fork out thousands of dollars for an international airfare, spend 20 hours on a plane, in economy, organise visas, passports, and then pay for all the fun things you mention.

This year, I can just go to the one that's in my local city (if it's in Sydney), or if it's in Melbourne I travel there regularly anyway.

This is a huge win for everyone outside of the United States and in or near a new DevDays country.

  • "Everyone else", er, maybe not. I think it's more of a case of "some you win, some you lose". Ergo, changing locations each time is a good idea.
    – Benjol
    May 5, 2011 at 4:57
  • @Benjol - perhaps I should have been more specific. I'll update my answer. May 5, 2011 at 4:58

Joel mentioned in another post that:

One day would cost $199 and be a lot like the last DevDays. (Yeah, it's more expensive than last time. Unfortunately last time we really killed ourselves trying to get the price as low as it was in 2009, skimping on necessities like internet access and coffee).

So it sounds like it really won't ever be as cheap as it was, even if it's one day. One day would change the figures to:

$399 $199 event cost
$500 airfare cost
$150 hotel (1 night)
$100 $50 meals for 2 days 1 day

It still comes to $750 -- much cheaper, but no $99 (although of course that was only the event cost). I think one of the reasons they did two days was to try and give people more value, since the event costs more anyway and it's more likely you'll need to fly (since it's in less cities)

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    I'm confused.. Does internet and coffee in an event cost $100 for EACH PERSON, PER DAY? I really hope it's good internet May 4, 2011 at 17:14
  • @Kop: Don't forget the venue! May 4, 2011 at 17:33
  • Going for one day is reasonable, but given the airline security nonsense and time issues I still prefer the prior scenario of a drive to a local city. Oh well, I guess this is progress and reaching a wider audience.
    – tim
    May 4, 2011 at 17:33
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    Just to give you an example, very good internet access at a conference is going to run about $60,000. Assuming even 600 people per city that's $100 each (for two days). Food and bev can be as much as $100 per person per day. I know, it's outrageous, but when you add everything up, it's gets pricey to do these things. May 4, 2011 at 18:09
  • @Kop - To second @Joel, even our internal catering service at the hospital puts the coffee at $45 a pot. We (the Training and Development department) have started buying our own coffee and putting out a "coffee fund" jar for people to contribute if they want (we do keep it optional). I don't have the figures for a plate of cookies or other snacks handy, but you can see where even in a class of 60 people (who have gone through 3 - 5 pots of coffee in a 4 hr. class) it gets expensive fast...
    – AnonJr
    May 5, 2011 at 0:17
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    @Kop: The previous DevDays sparked a related Server Fault question: Why is Internet access and Wi-Fi always so terrible at large tech conferences?, with an answer that explains the very difficult technical issues.
    – Jan Fabry
    May 5, 2011 at 13:55
  • I don't drink coffee.
    – tim
    May 5, 2011 at 14:01

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