Meeting in the Middle: Kansas City Developer's Conference

Published on 05 September 2017

Smack dab in the middle of America's heartland is a conference that brings developers from all walks of life together.

During the first week of August, the Kansas City Developer's Conference (KCDC) was held on the Missouri side of the city at Kansas City Convention Center downtown. Smartsheet attended as sponsors, with the hope of increasing our brand awareness in the developer community as well as seeking any talented engineers to add to our growing team - did we mention we're hiring?

KCDC has a diverse crowd of attendees with talks from a wide range of topics. From our conversations with many of the 1,700 attendees who came by our table, we learned that the main players in the local corporate software arena were either large insurance or healthcare providers. Although, we also met developers from product companies such as Garmin and Stackify, as well as students from the several of the region's universities.

The speakers came from from far and wide, including several local talents. Talks ranged from .NET to JavaScript to Java to Alexa to Chromecast to Security to Women in Tech to Public Speaking, and the list goes on.

From one of our many hallway conversations, we picked up some sage advice from Jon Mills, one of the conference organizers, who said: "It's not about who you know; but who knows you."

This is a must-see event for every developer located in the central part of the United States. Next year will be the tenth KCDC conference and word is that there are big plans in the making.

Following the three-day software conference, the organizers of KCDC extended the fun by sponsored the first-annual Kansas City Kid's Conference (KC-squared) at the same venue. Local area children were treated with opportunities to learn how to code using Scratch, experience virtual reality, and something with a slimy goo that they all seemed to enjoy. There was even a book signing for the alphabet book that every future geek should have, Programming Languages ABC++.

Bloxels showed the kids how to build their own video games with the Bloxels Video Game Builder Kit. Not only did the kids get to try out the tools, but each kid was able to take home a kit of their very own!

We were there, doing our part to make sure that every child had yet another fidget-spinner - some of which we know went to good use. It was fun to be part of such a cool event, watching the kids young creative minds take hold of new ideas while exploring a wide variety of STEM topics. It's definitely an event we hope will continue, and that we can be a part of.

Oh, and, holy cow, pig, and chicken - the barbecue in KC is on point! The conference provided some quality fare onsite, but the city has several options. The next time you make it to the area, get yourself across the state line and make a visit to Joe's KC Barbecue. You won't regret it.