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TBCon: ToolBook Users Conference

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If you don't want to miss TBCon again this year, click here for tips on how to convince your boss that you need to go to TBCon next year. 

Download presentations from TBCon 2004

Presentations are from Robin McDermott

Download presentations from TBCon 2003

Presentations are from Peter Jackson and Robin McDermott

Download presentations from TBCon 2002

Presentations are from Peter Jackson, Robin McDermott and John Hall

TBCon:  Tough to Sell to the Boss?  Try this approach!

Sure, TBCon is a lot of fun and for that reason, you just don't want to miss it.  But, "fun" is probably not the reason your company is going to pay for you to go to the conference.  You need to be able to cost justify the expense and show that there will be an ROI for the investment in the conference.  But, how do you do that?

What does it cost and what's the return?

For sake of an illustration of how to easily cost-justify, let's say that you end up spending $1,500 on the conference and your fully loaded hourly cost (that's your salary plus benefits, employer taxes, etc) is $40 an hour.  Now, let's say that your company isn't going to invest in anything that doesn't generate a 2:1 payback in one year.  That means that you need to be able to save 75 hours of development time in one year as a result of what you have learned at the conference.  Is this really possible with a conference? 

Just some of the tangible benefits

Can you really get a tangible, measurable payback from a conference.  Based on most conferences I have attended, I would have to say no.  Sure, I come back with some interesting ideas and perspectives, but rarely do I return with tools and techniques that I can apply immediately to get instant results.  TBCon is different.  At the conference you will:

  • Meet other developers who can help you solve real problems that you could spend hours tackling on your own.  You can even bring problems with you and get immediate assistance at the help desk.

  • Get access to coding tips and tricks that will save you time in development, testing, and rework.  Presenters are extremely generous with their presentation materials and attendees get access to all presentations including sample ToolBook programs.

  • Learn how other developers overcome some of the "challenges" that we all encounter with ToolBook.  You will have a chance to meet and talk to the leading ToolBook developers in the world - really, they come from my country, Australia, Brazil, Germany, to name just a few. 

Reduced development time, less testing, better field performance

You will get great ideas to bring back to work in every session.  One example would be the Pre-Conference Workshop that Robin McDermott and I will be presenting:  Rapid and Robust Development Through Good Development Practices for Native and DHTML ToolBook Projects.  Robin's company consults and develops training focused on quality and productivity improvement techniques and with my assistance has integrated many of the techniques they teach into their ToolBook development process.  As a result, in the past year and a half, Robin's company, Resource Engineering, has reduced development time to a tenth of what it used to be with a 75% reduction in rework, and programs that are much more robust with substantially improved stability (which means less tech support).  (BTW - Resource Engineering deploys their programs natively and in dhtml - using one set of books for both purposes:-) 

Who will benefit?

If you are an advanced developer, chances are you probably already have a solid development process incorporating many of these techniques.  But, if find yourself doing a lot of rework, spending a lot of time managing ToolBook and accompanying media files, are frustrated with the performance and functionality of your ToolBook projects, and want to slash your development time, you will be able to do that after spending the four hours with us in our workshop.  For more information on what we will cover in the workshops along with descriptions of the other sessions that Robin and I will be presenting, click here

Do you have examples of tangible benefits you have gotten from attending past TBCon's?  If so, let me know and I will add them to this list.  It just might help someone else make their case to their boss :-)

Here are some comments* from past TBCon attendees.  You can find more comments on the TBCon website

  • In three days, I got a year's worth of knowledge
  • The best conference I have been to in over 20 years!
  • Conference exceeds the scale!
  • Very well put together - quite impressed overall. Very applicable to my work
  • You guys are awesome! Great content, very well organized.
  • Outstanding. Same high quality as last year!
  • Superb! Lots of content for me--an inexperienced developer.
  • Excellent - most well run, informative conference I've attended.

*Comments are from the TBCon website.

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