In just a week I’ll be heading out with some of my colleagues of collaboration Factory to SaaStr Annual 2019 - the convention for any SaaS enthusiast to be. Since I have only attended DEFCON as a (somewhat larger) conference last year - where my experience has been just amazing - and JS Kongress in 2016 - which was also great - I am pretty excited to see what’s coming.

The pre-con experience has really stoked me to be honest: it is definitely one of the best conference on-boardings I can probably imagine. The only caveat is that you cannot directly create a user account so when changing or viewing your agenda you always have to enter your mail address, then get a confirmation mail with a link, and only now you are able to make the changes. Apart from that you get a multitude of offerings: conference app, braindates, VC funding opportunities, party nights, …

A lot of focus has been put on the networking-side of things - get everyone connected and ensure attendees get face-to-face conversations with great people. For me I have already taken advantage of the offered braindates - quick 30 minute sessions with mentors offering insight into various topics. The first one I booked is Building, prioritizing, and leveraging ranger teams to solve fuzzy problems with Brian Fritton of Civis Analytics. The second one is Developing a coaching culture on your team with J. Ryan Williams. Really looking forward to having great conversations with them!

Regarding the talk-side of things my agenda is pretty packed. While I’ve planned to attend quite a variety of different topics I’m mainly going to focus on the engineering-related talks. My colleagues will then also cover the sales and business aspects thoroughly. Nevertheless my top five of talks I selected so far is:

  • Building a Stellar Engineering Organization: Lessons from Databricks, Apollo, and Salesforce
  • Multiple Offices, Multiple Teams - How to Make It Work with Pendo, Textio, Intercom and Marketo
  • Lessons from New Relic: Five Critical Steps to Scaling Enterprise
  • The Top Tough Management Lessons — And Mistakes — From Founding a $3.8 Billion Market Leader with SafeGraph
  • Deep Dive: How to Hire a VP of Engineering with PlatoHQ, Mode and Segment

Conference will be here soon and there’s still some preparation to be made - setting up all the braindate questions, preparing the outline to take notes to easily digest afterwards, connecting with people to meet, and a lot more! I’m excited - so let’s get it going!