I don't know about you, but at Obeo we're preparing for EclipseCon North America. Eclipse Conferences are great, so many things are built on top of Eclipse or within the Eclipse projects. Tooling of course, but also rich applications, runtimes, you can get a clear vision of what's going on in these areas in just a few days being there. You could think : "all right, but he is an Eclipse commiter, of course Eclipse conferences are interesting to him". Actualy I'm also CTO at Obeo and when Obeo comes at EclipseCon it's not a one man trip. Seven people from Obeo will go this year to Boston, it's not unusual, and for a company like us it's no small investment.
So, with my CTO hat (and not the Eclipse commiter one) let me give you a hint : its worth it !
During a few days your team is getting to learn from the source ! The community is so diverse, they will learn about developping mobile apps, web apps, rich applications, runtimes, but also about product management, tooling, business intelligence, quality, processes. They will learn tips and tricks on using technologies and in our world these tips are making the difference between a successful project and a complete failure. The knowledge you'll get is high quality: you'll learn either from people using the technology day to day or from people actually building the technology !
Looking back at the few years the company have been around, there is no doubt Eclipse conferences had the most profound impact on how we use technology and how we develop products.
I'll take a few samples from what we are presenting there but make sure you have a look on the program yourself.
EMF Compare 2.0 : Scaling to Millions : performance and scalability related talks are in general giving a lot of insight into a technology. Here Mikaël will describe by which mechanisms Compare is now able to produce diffs from models too huge to even be completely loaded in memory and merge these diffs while keeping the model integrity.
EMF.Edit : the Force Unleashed : how EMF brings a flexible command support, and how you can use it even not how of an Eclipse context in for instance, a JavaFX application. "This talk is dedicated to EMF rookies that know EMF as a generator of JavaBeans on Steroids and want to know more about steroids "
Documentation Driven Testing : if you think documentation is an important part of your software but you don't want to spend time doing it for nothing.
Buildroot Eclipse Bundle : a powerful IDE for Embedded Linux developers : see how Eclipse tools can help in building your complete embedded Linux system.
Stop Throwing your doc away : Agile Documentation with Mylyn Intent : you might learn there how the tools from Eclipse can save you a lot of time telling you where your documentation is not up to date.
And thats a tiny extract of the conference which has 7 parallel tracks during 3 days + a full day of 3 hours tutorials.
And I am not even mentioning the discussions, the BOF sessions and the keynotes.
Well, of course you won't be able to send all your developers there. Just make sure to send those who are good at sharing knowledge with the others and you'll see it will impact both your software and your practices.
ps : better hurry to register