I came to San Francisco for the first time last Christmas with my family for Christmas break. We did a lot of tourist stuff, but being in family of professors interested by technology, science and programming, you cannot avoid the “Tech tour” of the Bay. So we visited downtown Palo Alto, Stanford University, Berkeley and San Francisco SOMA…
It is kind of a dream come true when you recognized the logo/name of a product you use everyday. At that time I was not looking for an internship yet, but was very excited by the concentration of startups and high-tech companies. At the end of our journey I was sure that I want to come back in SF.
And I came back :) Last march I came for a week, to attend the Web 2.0 Expo. It was during my Spring break, and instead of getting drunk with hot babes in Cancun I decided to push myself to attend this professionnal conference. I was already interested and curious about the new startupmania, social media, SoMoLo (#buzzword :D) scene but I had to see it to be sure that I want to be part of it.
Attending the Web 2.0 Expo was the best decision I have made, because now I am interning in the Engineering team of ifeelgoods.com (winner of Web2.0 Expo Startup Showcase 2011) and I have a larger vision of what’s happening on the Web.
In October there will be the Web 2.0 Expo NY and I would like to share with you guys 3 reasons why you should attend, specially if you are student.
1. Trending topics and trending people
Talks, sessions and workshop are about what is happening now in the Internet world. You will hear experts in their domain about their experience. They are people who are making the Internet of today. I remember for example an interisting panel about pivoting with Kevin Systrom (founder of Instagram), it was just couple of weeks after their raised $7M.
The crowd of attendees is also made of great people, for example I’ve met the VP products of ICQ, engineers from Viadeo or someone from UberMedia. You will be impressed by the quality of these people and their availability. It’s a chance for you and your business !
2. Not only g33ks, not only bu$ine$$
You might be studying Computer Science or Business and really love that, but please stop being a nerd in your own field ! Go out and meet others, understand what others are doing. If you are the kind of kind who can understand and talk with both sides, you earn points on a resume pile.
Web 2.0 is great opportunity to understand the other side, you can attend sessions in Technical track or Business track and go back and forth between the two. Plus, sessions are very understandable even if you do not have a PhD in Computer Science or Business. No reason to be close-minded !
3. You learn more in one week than in a year of school
Kind of an evidence : it is too recent to be taught in schools.
I am wondering which kind of prof will be able to tell you more on OpenGraph, Ruby on Rails, or mobile devices economy than people who are using/making this technology everyday. You learn few things in school, but don’t forget that you have to learn the rest by yourself ;)
By attending this kind of conference you also prove to others that you are more than a basic good student. During social events (usually more than one every day) you will be able to improve your communication skills, work on your personal elevator pitch, and build your network.
Career fairs are something awful for students and not really a good place to show to recruiters your personality : you are just one student out of the 1000 others who stopped at their booth during the day. During conferences, there are few students, you are the exception, for once :) .
Beside talks you also have many other events in the city related or not with the Expo, plus some companies in the Expo hall, don’t miss that ;)
I am sure Web2.0 NY does not have the same “taste” because it is not in the Valley, but it still a great conference with interesting sessions and people. And I bet NYC is a nice city too, even if I never been…
For students you can have a 65% discount so it’s very interesting if you live in a hostel and take a low-cost flight, it might be cheaper than visit your parents or going to Cancun ;) Code: webny11fts
For others you can have a 20% off with this code : WEBNY11RF9
Unfortunately this post was not reviewed by a English native speaker, so if you read something grammatically chocking please send me an email me @@ nicolasgrenie.com