Top Tech Conferences I’m Watching Right Now

Empty Conference Chairs | Photo by ål nik on Unsplash

I don’t think of myself as an extroverted person, but I enjoy attending tech conferences. The buzz of being in a room of other like-minded people when there is so much to learn is difficult to replicate elsewhere.

That said, I try to stalk the internet regularly for relevant conferences.

I do email development by day but have interests that span to other parts of tech, design and web development.  I certainly don’t have an endless amount of cash to attend some or all of these conferences, but I certainly can dream.

Here are the top conferences I’m looking forward to for 2017 (and 2018)!

Adobe Max / Adobe Summit
Las Vegas, NV
I’m including these two together because the content has some overlap. Adobe Summit is advertised as a conference for Digital Marketers while Adobe Max is for creatives. I was lucky enough to attend Adobe Summit and even with not being a marketer, got a lot out of it. There was a lot of content (multiple tracks running at once) and I got to see demos and sneak peaks of upcoming Adobe Products.

New York City, NY
Codeland is a conference by CodeNewbie, the popular Podcast for beginners to tech and coding. Codeland was held for the first time in 2017. Although I was not able to attend, I heard great things about it and I’m looking forward to attending in 2018! If you are a fan of the CodeNewbie community (I love their weekly Twitter Chats) this may be worth checking out.

Ela Conf
Philadelphia, PA
I heard about Ela Conf by chance via Twitter. I hadn’t seen many conferences focus on the leadership aspect of tech so I bought my ticket as soon as possible. Ela Conf prides its self on being “a safe, inclusive tech leadership conference” and I couldn’t be more excited to attend later this month!

Lanyards by Simon Collison on Flickr
Lanyards by Simon Collison on Flickr

Front End Design Conference
St.Petersburg, FL
Similar to Ela Conf, I was excited to hear about a conference that caters to a specific group within web development. I consider myself a Front-End Developer so some web development conference seems intimidating from the outside. Coming into its 10th year I’d consider attending the Front End Design Conference in 2018.

GitHub Universe
San Francisco, CA
Git and Github are necessary tools to know if contribute or write code in any way. I consider myself a beginner in Git / Github with a desire to learn more. The line up of speakers for 2017 has folks from different roles, companies, and aspects of tech. Bonus! Github Universe is being streamed live for those of us at home!

Litmus Live
Boston, MA
If you work in email design, development and/or marketing, this conference is one you have to try and attend. With development and marketing tracks, and optional workshops, there is something for everyone else. I attended (and spoke!) in 2016 and had a blast hanging with my #emailgeeks. Bonus, the conference also travels to London and San Francisco and attending one will give you access to videos of all three locations afterward.

A post shared by kate (@katemharmon) on

Word Camp Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
Who can pass up a tech conference in their home state? WordPress is a popular, open source CMS and Word Camps are conferences put on by local chapters. I attended Word Camp Baltimore in 2016 for the first time and had a blast (the night ended in Karaoke) and did not hesitate when ticket went on sale earlier this year. Multiple tracks are running at once where everyone is encouraged to switch rooms/sessions to find which works best for you.

Write / Speak / Code
Portland, OR
Another conference that focuses on the non-code related aspects of working in tech. I’m interested in technical writing and contributing, so I’ve been watching Write / Speak / Code for a while. Their conference is four days with a different track/theme each day. Write / Speak / Code also has local chapters / meet up groups with other events throughout the year.

More conference chatter to come!

Photo by ål nik on Unsplash

The One Where I Tweeted About Imposter Syndrome

Moustache ! by

On Tuesday, I tweeted about imposter syndrome.

I didn’t expect my Tweet to catch on, but it did. My phone has been blowing up with new comments, likes and retweets. It seems a lot of people can relate which makes me feel less alone in the world.

For me, imposter syndrome hits on occasion. I’ve briefly written about it before. Some days, I’m confidence, I’m ready to tackle anything that comes my way. No one can stop me! Other days, like on Tuesday it’s the opposite. Intense feelings of doubt in my coding skills come from nowhere. Am I really a developer? I can code, yes, and I’ve been doing so for most of my professional career, but am I really a developer?

Imposter by Robin Zebrowski |
Imposter by Robin Zebrowski

It can be a crippling mindset to be in.

Which is why the responses, advice, resources, etc I have gotten over the past few days have been encouraging. I’m getting out of the imposter syndrome funk and am moving forward. Heck, any other day, I would have talked myself out of write this post. I would have thought myself not good enough of a writer / blogger to put together this post. Yet. Here it is!

I put this post together as a resource / inspiration board for myself and whoever else may need it. My favorite Tweets / takeaways are included below, but I encourage keeping the conversation going.

How do you deal with imposter syndrome?

Photo by marlenedd is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The One with the Cover Letter

Lane Co. fair beauty 3.1 by jmb_craftypickle on Flickr

On a whim, I signed up for the course BerkeleyX: ColWri2.2x Academic and Business Writing. It is a 5 week course with weekly journal assignments. I’ll be posting responses to the journal prompts here as I go.

This week’s focus was on being a critical reader, note taking and annotation and to start brainstorming ideas for our final writing project:

With two topics being presented as part of this class, from the start, I choose to focus on business writing. Writing memos or to-dos comes easy for me, but I get hung up on where business writing really matters: The resume and cover letter. Yikes! While I’m not actively searching for a new job, getting comfortable with the process, will benefit me in the long run.

Photo by jmb_craftypickle is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The One with the Tone

Tone by delete08 on Flickr

On a whim, I signed up for the course BerkeleyX: ColWri2.2x Academic and Business Writing. It is a 5 week course with weekly journal assignments. I’ll be posting responses to the journal prompts here as I go.

This week’s assignment was to experiment writing in different tones or styles. With the example of writing a colleague for a favor we were instructed to write two versions. The first one, neutral/formal, the second informal and the last, formal but with more of a negative tone. Here goes!

Original writing

Good Morning Sue,

I hope you are doing well. I have an important meeting later this week and I was wondering if it would be possible for me to borrow your office. Two representatives from ABC company have asked to meet with me and your office is quieter and better suited for multiple visitors compared to mine. The meeting will only be an hour and the date and time are flexible, depending on your availability, etc. I would be happy to trade offices a well.

Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you in advance!

– Shannon


Hey Sue. Can I borrow your office later this week? It’ll only be for an hour. Date/time is flexible depending on what you have going on. Let me know. Thanks!

Formal with negative tone

Hi Sue,

I know things are busy, so I wanted follow up just in case you didn’t see my previous email. I have a really important meeting this week and I wanted to know if I could borrow your office. Two representatives from ABC company have asked to meet with me and, if possible, I want to avoid meeting them in my office since it’s next to the lunchroom and can get loud at times. The meeting will only be an hour. I haven’t set a date yet since I was waiting to hear back from you.

Let me know.

– Shannon


Like I mentioned in my first post, writing emails is easy for me. I do memos like this on a daily basis so I enjoyed the first part of this assignment. However, writing the 3rd version (polite but insistent) was uncomfortable and difficult. I struggle with how to be firm without coming off as bitchy or rude. Email makes this challenging since tone can be lost or misinterpreted when you can’t hear how something is being said.

Photo by delete08 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The One Where I Signed Up for an edX Course

Arts Crawl 11.20.09 | kellywritershouse |

On a whim, I signed up for the course BerkeleyX: ColWri2.2x Academic and Business Writing. It is a 5 week course with weekly journal assignments. I’ll be posting responses to the journal prompts here as I go.

This week’s assignment was to write about what type of writing you do normally, your thoughts on writing and what areas within writing you want to improve in the most.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with writing. I disliked the writing process at times, but I felt found myself drawn to the idea of being a writer. Call me Carrie Bradshaw! Or, call me someone who knows that being a strong written communicator can come in handy in the business world. Those emails aren’t going to write themselves! Which is where I come in. For ColWri2.2x’s first journal assignment we were asked to describe the type of writing we do most and for me that’s business writing. Emails and memos, mostly, but on occasion, training materials/documentations and slide decks. It may not be glamorous but I feel in my element when typing up a memo or documentation.

I didn’t feel as in my element when it came to academic writing. The essay section of the SAT, for example, was a nightmare. The writing prompt I had was lobsters (why?) and I’m pretty sure I got the lowest possible grade on that essay. In college, writing assignments went either way. Sometimes I felt happy with something I had written or surprised by positive feedback I’d written. Other times, it was a a source of frustration, stress and tears. No, with college and work experience behind me, I welcome the challenge of writing, but I do psyche myself out of it sometimes.

As far as improving, I’d like to get better at the idea of sitting down and just being a writer. Here’s to less talking myself out of writing and more talking myself into writing. There’s really no harm in writing, even if it’s not “great” or “perfect”. Practice is the only way to improve and it’s never too late to start.

Photo by kellywritershouse is licensed under CC BY 2.0