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.
Today we welcome Shawn Rosler, Lead Analyst/Project Manager for Geisinger Health Systems as he shares his thoughts about the DevLearn.
As many before me have mentioned, there is so much to love about DevLearn (the best eLearning conference an eLearning professional can attend, in my opinion). Choosing where to start on my veritable laundry list of awesomeness is like asking me to pick my favorite son (I have three). But, as I so often do, if just for a moment, pick a favorite of the three, let me attempt to give you some of the highest of high points of DevLearn.
I think one of the top love points for me of DevLearn is the ‘recharge factor’. Let me explain: Energetic as some know me to be, I actually am not part cyborg, nor do I have a battery inside me…anywhere, promise. What I mean by the recharge factor is a reinvigoration, if you will, of the very eLearning soul within me. I imagine we all get ground down, weighed down, and just swamped with work. And, eventually, this mountain becomes both heavy and a gnarly shade of grey, causing creative fatigue.
When you go to DevLearn, within the first two or three conversations you have, your switch is back on. You’re already set to head back to work with what you’ve picked up, and it’s only the first session you’re sitting in! The technology, the knowledge, the vibe are all so good and so immediate that you can’t help but feel something that, while still there, can (let’s be honest) be beaten down right out of you in your day to day. So that’s one thing…
Next one has to be the Keynote Speakers. Now, you might ask, “Outside of who it is, how can that be such a massive point?” Assuming you’ve asked this question (and even if you haven’t, just pretend), the answer is pretty simple. Every year, when the Keynotes are first announced, I admittedly have a moment (for a couple years running now) where I say, “Really? Him/her? How’s THAT gonna go over? What could I pick up, eLearning-wise, from them?”.
And EVERY year I’ve asked this question, I’ve not only been pleasantly surprised, I’ve been downright blown away. From Michio Kaku, to Jeremy Geutsche, to this year’s Dr Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, these icons and amazing speakers serve to show, in the best of all possible ways, how eLearning…scratch that…how Learning is affected by, and involved with, everything.
The conference itself, turning the big 1-0 this year, has to be noticed as a high point. Realizing this may sound redundant, I’m referring to the way it’s run, the way it happens, the event overall. I’ve been to a handful of conferences, though not as many as some of my esteemed colleagues. Having been to these others, I can say that from my experience, eLearning Guild puts on the most organized events I’ve ever attended – DevLearn being at the very top of this heap. Also, as a speaker (and this year, stage host too!), I have never been in a spot/bind with regards to equipment, room setup…anything. The staff are ALWAYS on, and already this year Juli (Balding) and Dave (Kelly) have made the process effortless. Not enough good can be said about the eLearning Guild staff, and it shows in their events.
Finally, and most importantly (not to mention a foreshadow of my session *wink*), you have the people who attend DevLearn. Now, I’m sure not every single one of them, as I’ve not had the pleasure of speaking to everyone, but the people who come to DevLearn are, to put it lightly, the most brilliant people I’ve ever associated with (professionally or personally). I won’t name names so as to embarrass (boy, would I love to), but if you want a brief sampling of those whom I speak of…look at the other “What I Love About DevLearn” blog entries, as well as a number of the other names on stage, in sessions, and so on.
I’m not exaggerating in the slightest when I say these people are THE MAIN REASON I come to DevLearn every year, and I’ve even been lucky enough to call a good number of them my friends. The knowledge they have, the knowledge they share, and the knowledge they still pursue despite their brilliance…this is what makes the people of DevLearn mean so much to me.
So, there you have it. My reasons why DevLearn rocks, why I keep coming back (and helping any way I can), and why 10 years is just the first of many milestones to come for what is, again, the greatest conference in the eLearning Industry.