On developer conferences

Going to a developer conference can be pretty intimidating when you’re not a professional programmer. The imposter syndrome of being the non-developer at the table can be substantial. But I think it can be useful for librarians who write code to attend these events.

First of all, it is reassuring to see the issues that professional developers are dealing with. Their programming problems are not really that different from those faced by programming librarians. It turns out that they are grappling with human-scale problems like the rest of us.

Second, it is empowering to see what can be done with code. Going to a developer conference can inspire ideas for actually realizable projects that can benefit our libraries. Having a sense of the possibilities can motivate us to push forward interesting projects at our workplaces.

Finally, they’re usually pretty fun. Programming is a great way to build upon one’s interests, however idiosyncratic those may be. The developer conferences that I’ve been to reflect that, with lots of oddball presentations that are usually quite entertaining. It’s usually a good time.

This post was inspired by PyGotham, which wrapped up on Saturday.

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