What I Love About #DevLearn: Kevin Thorn

To help celebrate the 10th Annual DevLearn Conference and Expo, we’ve invited members of the Guild community to share what they love about DevLearn, and why they return to the conference year after year.

thornToday we welcome Kevin Thorn, Chief NuggetHead of NuggetHead Studioz as he shares his thoughts about the DevLearn.

It was a Friday in late Spring. There was a level of anticipation that had me fidgeting all day watching the clock from one class to the next. The last class of the day finally arrived and I think I watched every minute tick forward on that wall clock. When the last bell rang I darted for the door, met my buddy, and we wasted no time walking to town to the Hobby Store. It was the annual Grand Championship Slot Car Races.

Have you ever felt a level of anticipation like that? Excited about a trip or event that days leading up to it were just not moving fast enough? That’s DevLearn!

My first eLearning Guild conference was the Annual Gathering (now Learning Solutions) in 2009. My second Guild conference was the next year at Learning Solutions 2010. I was working in an organization that only permitted conference travel twice within a fiscal year. In 2010 I had to make decision to attend another conference (earlier in the year) or attend DevLearn. I had worked on a project that summer and it was suggested I submit it to DemoFest, the showcase event held during the conference. Without knowing much about DevLearn other than it was another Guild event, I attended my first DevLearn in 2010.

I’ve been attending every year since then and the anticipation never gets old! So what is it about this conference that I’ll choose first over all the others every year? One word: Community.

CaptureI can’t begin to list all the people I met in this industry that first year. To be honest, I was more intimidated than I was anticipating what was to come. Yet, as soon as walked into the conference I felt at home. A home of like-minded people all working in the same industry, facing the same challenges, and looking for ways to improve their work; that is the DevLearn community.

One thing DevLearn fosters is a venue and atmosphere to encourage networking. If you have ever attended an industry conference, you know how difficult and exhausting it is to attend a session in every block during a day, not to mention two and half days. Unlike other conferences, the Guild knows how important it is to meet and talk with others.

More importantly, DevLearn is about learning from others whether it’s a conference event or session, or morning coffee with someone you just met. DevLearn is also about growing as a professional by sharing ideas and helping others solve problems.

Why do I love DevLearn? It’s really about that community. Many of those I met that first time are good friends today and that is what I anticipate the most!

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