Farewell to the devLink Technical Conference

devLink Technical Conference
   After spending the past nine years working with several amazing people to build the devLink Technical Conference, I have made the decision to retire the event.  Over the years, we have seen the event grow from approximately 287 attendees in 2006 to regular attendance of 800+ individuals from across the United States and beyond.  I have had the opportunity to share experiences that I will never forget and participate in life changes (good/bad) of everyone on the team as well as some attendees.  In the end, it really boils down to focus and what’s next for everyone on the team as we move forward in our lives.  Personally, I will take this opportunity to refocus and invest my efforts more fully toward my faith, my family as well as make some determinations on the next steps for my career.
    This may disappoint a few people, but my hope is with devLink coming to an end, it allows for other events to be highlighted and hopefully spurs others to take that step toward impacting the community in their own way.  Some events that immediately come to mind are CodeStock, KC/DC, Code PaLousa, CoderFaire, Heartland Developers Conference and CodeMash, but there are many more.  If you don’t have one in your area, by all means go for it! Reach out to others in the community to build something, you just have to ask.
    Several questions have come up about letting someone else take over the conference and move it forward.  While we were proactive to incorporate others into the team for just this scenario, running an event of this size is a big commitment, not everyone has the ability to make that kind of sacrifice.  Other options were explored, but it became apparent that it is better for the event to come to end than to try and make it work another way.  If people remember devLink as something great that ended too soon, that is better than remembering when devLink was great.
    My hope is that the conference made an impact on the community and those who had a chance to attend.  I would like to recognize a few of the people who gave of themselves to help make this happen.  Whether in the beginning or year after year these people made significant contributions to the success of the devLink Technical Conference: Leanna Baker, John Baker, Jason Clark, Randy Walker, Tommy Norman, Amy Walters, Rebel Bailey, Keith Elder, Alan Stevens and most of all my wife and children who gave not only of themselves but also allowed me the freedom to pursue my passion.  While it is hard to give up something you have poured yourself into for so long, it is the right time.  I loved being part of it and will miss not only the event, but all the familiar faces.  Thanks for supporting the conference over the years!

25 thoughts on “Farewell to the devLink Technical Conference

  1. Thanks for all the fish, John. It’s been a pleasure.

    My first conference speaking engagement was at the original DevLink. I’ll always have fond memories.

    Best of luck with whatever comes next for you.



  2. John – you did a great job with devLink, I have had many encounters with developers / architects who shared positive experiences participating to the event.
    You and your team deserve strong congratulations and recognition for the efforts, and while it’s a pity to see the conference come to an end, I am certain you thought it over and struggled with the decision.
    Wishing you soon get the urge for organizing another great such effort


  3. This is indeed sad to hear, and while I am excited about the future of those other events you mentioned, it did seem like DevLink filled a gap in the region fit it’s size and content. Good to luck to you, and to all of those hoping to run any event that follows.


  4. John, I want to thank you for your hard work putting this together. I know the labor of love that these things often are and fully understand your decision and wish you well going forward.


  5. This was a fantastic conference. It really did what it promised and helped connect developers together. I “grew up” at the conference as a speaker, but also made many wonderful connections. The city is just a phenomenal venue and although I understand DevLink itself will not continue I do hope another event can be organized there, it’s always been one of the major things I look forward to each year.

    I appreciate the effort everyone put into this, I know it was a lot of work and a huge commitment and just can’t overstate how thankful and appreciative I am for the chance to participate these past several years.

    Best of success in all you do,



  6. Thanks for all the hard work and sacrifices of the entire team! I had the pleasure of attending I think every year, but maybe the first. I saw the event grow, made a lot of new friends, definitely learned a lot, and looked forward to the event as a time of renewal, refocus, and growth. I totally understand the logic behind the decision. Good luck in your future endeavors.



  7. Thank you for an amazing conference! I will always have wonderful memories of devLink, but I can fully understand needing more time for family. THANK YOU to you and the whole devLink team (and their families) for making this happen for so many years.


  8. Really sorry to see it go. I thought it was a well run conference and was looking forward to it again this coming year.

    Maybe there is a reason the big conferences are $2,000+ / ticket. :-/

    You can only work for free for so long.

    Thanks for all of the sacrifice and efforts over the years. I got to rub shoulders with some pretty smart folks because of your efforts.


  9. You and your team are amazing. What you did for the city of Chattanooga was simply incredible. You are one of the most talented people I know. I am honored to know you and to have been a part of devLink. Thank you for your service to the technical community.


  10. The impact devLink has had on my life, professionally and personally, cannot be overestimated. It connected me to peers I deeply respect. The relationships made or strengthened are invaluable. It inspired me to get more involved in the developer community. I consider the opportunities to speak at devLink the past few years as some of my greatest achievements. Without a doubt, devLink has been my favorite conference. I am so very sad to see it go, but I respect the reasons and priorities for making the decision.

    To John, and all the others involved in making devLink happen over the years, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


  11. Wow! So sad but I understand. devLink has been my favorite conference for many years because it has been run with so much care and professionalism. Also, the range of topics has been spot on year after year. Whatever your secret sauce is, John, I hope that it shows up in many other ways as you look for new and exciting opportunities to serve the development community.


  12. John,

    Thanks so much for the work you did and the opportunities you gave everyone, myself included, at devLink. My first major speaking engagement was at devLink and it opened new doors. I always said that if I went to no other conferences during the year, I made sure to go to devLink. I’ll miss not coming to Chattanooga for my favorite conference but I’ll still remember all the wonderful experiences and people from the past five years.

    Good luck!



  13. John I am very saddened to hear this but I fully understand. You pulled off the impossible each year. DevLink has always been my favorite conference of the year and I am honored to have been a Speaker at what turned out to be the final year.


  14. John – Thank you so much for the sacrifices you’ve made over the years to make Devlink happen. It was an honor to be a part of it both as an attendee and speaker through the years. You’ve made a tremendous difference in so many lives – mine especially. I will never forget that! I wish you the best of luck and success in everything you put your hands to next. 🙂


  15. I’m so bummed! Thank you so much for providing such an awesome event! It was a great location and a great time. Like many other it was the first conference I ever spoke at. You are your team have done an amazing job. I wish you the best in your future endeavors!



  16. Very sad to see DevLink go away. It was always a FANTASTIC conference. I was fortunate enough to attend several of the events and all were awesome. Thanks far all the hard work of the years.


  17. John, I’m very sad to see this conference go but because of the passion and dedication I’ve seen you run it with, I know there must be no other option.

    I can say with absolute certainty that this conference has advanced my skills, network, and career in this industry more than any other I’ve ever been to. The whole conference was top notch, from the careful planning, the quality speakers/instructors, the diversity of track options, the workshops, the vendors/sponsors…if nothing else this should remain the model for all multi-day, multi-track conferences going forward, it definitely set the bar in my opinion, especially for the price.

    Thank you so much for the time and effort you and your team have put into this conference through the years, I wish you the best with your new commitments and hope maybe we’ll see a similar conference from you again someday.


  18. Well, after hearing about this, I was really hoping to find that this was posted on April 1….

    Guess it’s not a joke, huh??

    This announcement brings many emotions… sadness, certainly, but mostly, thankfulness that I got to be a part of all I experienced at devLink. John, you and the team deserve a huge virtual standing ovation from your faithful attendees. I know that I’m a much better developer, and a better person for having been there. Many thanks to all who ever played a part in putting on such a great conference. You have my greatest respect.

    I’m glad I kept my shirts… they’re gonna be collector’s items now!!


  19. John,

    I’d like to thank you for the time and commitment that you and your staff put into the conference. I looked forward to spending a week in Chattanooga every year, and as a speaker I felt welcomed and appreciated. Met a lot of great people as well.

    Again, thanks for the years of hard work on your part. We DevLink the community greatly appreciate it!

    Patrick Chu


  20. I was going through some of my conference pics this morning and saw a “roll” from my DevLink conferences. I’ll echo the others on this thread and say DevLink did what it set out to do, and totally delivered.

    I’m from Florida and this conference connected me to so many other great coders, thinkers, and great people I would have never met otherwise. Thank you to you and your team for the effort and sacrifices in hosting such a great event, over so many years.

    Best of luck to you…


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