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Missing out on software conferences? Here are four worthy alternatives

Developers, testers and QA professionals all like to fill the seats at software conferences. While there are ways to convince your employer to send you, sometimes travel is just not in the cards, due to a busy schedule or daunting costs.

When you skip a conference, you miss the chance to hear talks from thought leaders, learn new practices, network and even discover upcoming technological advents. Here are four comparable ways to attain the same benefits from software conferences in the comfort of your office chair.

1. Hear from thought leaders

Follow interesting conference speakers online to stay privy to new ideas — whether it’s on their blogs or social media. It can be difficult to find entities that share genuinely informative content — versus strictly promotional info — but there are definitely those who are worthwhile to follow. Seek out opportunities to engage with, ask questions or network online with these teams or individuals.

2. Tune in to conferences remotely

Nearly every software conference, summit or large-scale event streams a number of its sessions live. While there is no opportunity to chat with like-minded listeners or ask speakers follow-up questions, live streams give you the same information as conference attendees, without missed days at the office.

This approach may also allow you greater flexibility to pick and choose which sessions or speakers to tune into. However, be mindful that smaller events within a conference — including specialized sessions relevant to your particular interests — might not air online.

3. Read about these events afterward

Look for coverage that recaps and analyzes software conference sessions and news. Many of our contributors regularly attend these events and share information from several of the speakers. If you missed a conference this year, we have stories from it — including events like IBM Think, Red Hat Summit and OpenStack Summit. Furthermore, look forward to news from upcoming conferences like Cloud Expo.

4. Check back often

If you are looking for more analysis and insight written by industry professionals, our contributors have experience in a variety of software development capacities, including DevOps, software testing, APIs and microservices — to name just a few topics. From these writers you can find breaking stories, problem-solving tips, guides for beginners, video tutorials and more.