How to convince your employer to send you to JSConf Budapest this September
The date of JSConfBP 2019 is getting closer day by day (just a reminder: it’s on the 26-27th of September, while CSSConfBP is one day before), and you still don’t have your ticket? Maybe you’re checking our speaker lineup on a daily basis, crippled by the fear of missing out and not knowing how you’ll manage to get here? Or you just got word of our announcement that Google’s own Jake and Surma are bringing their YouTube show live on stage for the first time ever at our conference? In any case, we’ve got some suggestions for you.
Look, we know our ticket prices can be quite hefty - conference tickets usually do that. We think we’ve got a legendary speaker lineup to make it worth it, but we’re also aware of the fact that not everyone has the means or the willingness to cough up that kind of money. That’s why we say you should look at your own employer for a solution.
Maybe your team has just gotten into serverless architecture, and you’re interested in learning more about lambdas. Or you work with a company-wide design system created by an in-house UX/UI team, so you’re looking at how to create visual tests to make sure everything is pixel-perfect in your component library. Or you’re simply annoyed by all those red numbers in your NPM output that say you have a ton of vulnerable packages, so you want to know what you can do to amp up your package security. Maybe you’re a tiny bit dissatisfied by the current software architecture or software delivery processes in your project, and it’s our range of topics from understanding Git to modernizing APIs and mastering the technologies of the future is what caught your eye.
Either way, we’re convinced that there are enough topics there so that you can build up a solid case for your employer on why you should attend our conference. Here is our list of things to look out for before you go up to your boss.
First step: Prepare
- First off: we created a fancy pamphlet for you to “accidentally leave” it on your manager’s desk. Hopefully, it’ll help you boost your chances of getting them on board.
- Take a look at your contract. Maybe you have a conference budget that you weren’t even aware of.
- Ask around among your peers. When was the last time any of you folks visited a conference on company money? If it happens on a regular basis, you probably will be fine. If it happened a long time ago, it’s up to you to ramp up the interest in it again, and we have just the right conference to get you started.
- Take a long hard look again at our speaker lineup. As we mentioned above, hopefully, you should be able to build up a case just based on the topics we have this year. Cross-reference your own plans to improve with your team’s project roadmap and our lineup, and make sure you find the four or five talks most relevant to you.
- Look at our ticket prices again. We have a surprise for you: that €311 price tag you see plastered across our site? That includes VAT. Which is something your company won’t have to pay. Go to the tickets page to see the full list of tickets available, including combo tickets with CSSConfBP. You’ll find that once you subtract the hefty 27% VAT from the ticket price, you have a much leaner number to flash for your boss. A number that is probably tax deductible anyway.
- Look for accommodations around the venue. Don’t forget to check the travel costs as well. Maybe you can get your employer to pay for these, too. September is off-season in terms of tourism in Budapest, but still, the sooner you act, the cheaper prices you’ll find. You won’t have to worry about meals, we’ve got you covered on that one even if you're vegan or vegetarian. Unless you decide to stay for a few more days in our lovely capital city. Which we would wholeheartedly encourage.
- Look at the calendar: our conference takes place in September. Let’s be honest, some larger companies have the tendency to not allow non-business critical expenses in the second half of the year to prop up the end-of-the-year numbers. If you don’t want to miss out on our conf, this might be the only chance you get your boss to pay for your ticket.
Second step: Reasoning
Good. Now that we have the basics covered, so it’s time to get into why our event is worth it. These are things you can mention to your manager to get them to understand that attending JSConf Budapest is good for both of you.
Spread the knowledge
- We’re pretty sure you’re not the only JS developer at your workplace, so there are already lots of others who would benefit from you attending our conference. Even if you’re a single lonely soul tending the gardens of JS in your team, we’ve got quite a few cross-disciplinary topics to cover a wider range of interests anyway. Offer to share what you learn at our conference with your peers.
- Write up a blog post or two. If you have a public facing blog, you can help raise awareness of your company. In case you maintain an internal tech blog, even better. Your peers will learn the most relevant stuff you’ve learned at the conference, specifically tailored to your in-house needs. If you spread it on social media, we'll be more than happy to share it with our followers!
- Offer to give a tech talk that covers the two or three most important topics from JSConf Budapest.
- Mention some of the key aspects in which your team or your tech stack can improve upon. Remind your manager that these are things you’ve been talking about for a while now. Relate them to the talks you’ve gathered in preparation (if you haven’t, go back to the first step).
- Throw in our workshops in passing. They're free if you have a conference ticket! We know there aren’t many seats left, but these sessions will be held by our sponsors. You’ll be able to find them during the conference as well. If you were always interested in what RisingStack, SuperCharge, Twilio or Unmock.io too, now’s your chance to get your boss on board.
Maybe your manager isn’t so convinced that there enough for you to learn at JSConf Budapest. We’re not going to argue with them, in fact, we are humbled by your visitation to our blog. It’s always good to have such smart people around! Anyway, if training material is not appealing enough to your bosses, you can always throw in the next best thing. Something that still benefits your boss and lets you put all that sweet knowledge into the limelight. Which is:
- Conferences are a perfect opportunity to meet other people from the tech industry who just might be interested in your product. Do you create business-to-business software that makes development processes more efficient? Or do you work on a cybersecurity solution for large companies? Offer to raise awareness of your brand, and pack a deck of business cards, a set of stickers with furry animals on them, and print out your nicest QR codes.
Prevent burnout, take some time off, be inspired
Being a full-time developer can be exhausting, we know that. But some managers are reluctant to send away their best people for a few days to not write a single line of code on a company budget. Tell them that conferences help prevent developer burnout. Looking at the same codebase the whole day can become monotone quite quickly. An uninterested developer is detrimental for both employer and employee. Conferences do inspire people, fill your head with new ideas, state-of-the-art technologies that you will want to try out the next day. You can even make new friends, professional connections, get some useful tips on how to approach an issue that’s been bothering you for a long while now.
Just a few things to keep in mind before we wrap up:
- Look at our talks and build a solid case on why you should attend our conference.
- Just flash the price tag: JSConfBP is quite affordable, especially if you take accommodations into account.
- Do not oversell it - this is a tech event, you don’t want to seem like you just need an excuse to go on a holiday - however lovely our city Budapest is.
- Promise that you’ll share what you’ve learned here.
- Make sure you find the opportunity for networking at our even. I mean, we’ll throw a few parties just for that.
- Use the conference to get yourself mentally refreshed. An enthusiastic programmer is the loveliest programmer.
Great, by now you should have convinced your employer to send you to Budapest this September. But what if they still said no? Let us tell you that it’s no time to give up. Even if your direct superior doesn’t like the idea of you going away for a few days and not coding, you can still talk to the people at Marketing.
Why yes, we have a sponsorship program for those interested. If you’ve run out of your conference budget for the year (or you never had one, to begin with), the marketing department might have something in the Q3 budget that could help you out as well. We still have a few sponsorship slots left open, which will give your company the chance to reach out to our attendees. And it’ll get you a ticket at the same time!
I don’t even work at a company
In that case, thank you for reading through this whole article anyway.
Are you self-employed? If you’re looking into expanding your clientele, all of our key points about networking still apply to you. Besides that, learning new skills is important for freelancers as well, we’re absolutely sure. Are you between jobs or just starting your career in the tech industry? If you are in a tough financial situation, try applying for our scholarship program and get a free ticket and it’ll cover your travel expenses.
Good luck, and we’re looking forward to seeing you in September!