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5 Can’t-Miss IT Events for CIOs in 2017 (You Might Not Know About the Last One)

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So, this article about IT Events won’t be this:

IT Events

But it’s kinda close.

IT Events

Here are the five IT Events that CIOs cannot miss in 2017. Four of them you’ve probably heard of, but the last one might be a surprise.

1. DARPA

IT Events

Engadget’s Mariella Moon calls DARPA “the Pentagon’s mad science division.” DARPA is where it releases the “extreme tech” it’s been developing for military use.

It covers a broad range of stuff, from records management software that is un-hackable to autonomous robots and other advanced weaponry.

But not everything developed by DARPA for the military stays in the military. Sometimes these crazy inventions get loose and change the world. For example, the internet, which began as a DARPA project. Or speech-recognizing virtual assistants like Siri and Cortana. DARPA’s 70s-era Speech Understanding Research (SUR) program contributed greatly to speech recognition technology.

“DARPA’s at the heart of some of the most significant technological advances of our time,” Moon wrote.

Come for the brain-controlled bionic arm that is capable of feeling, (grab it again, this time with feeling!) (making it more emotionally intelligent than my last boyfriend) stay for the Wildcat.

2. TechCrunch Disrupt

IT Events

Dan Kelly at the ContainerShip blog calls TechCrunch Disrupt “a leading convention”  for technological startups who need to introduce themselves and their game-changing technologies. Here, incumbent players showcase their latest innovations next to plucky upstarts. There are two conferences per year, one in San Francisco and one in New York City.

IT Events

Kelly calls the Startup Battlefield “the central focus” of the conference. Early-stage startups compete for the Disrupt Cup, which comes with a $50,000 prize, not to mention press and investor exposure. If nothing else, you get in front of the judges, which include “some of the most important tech experts in the world,” in Kelly’s estimation. Past winners include Dropbox, Mint, and Yammer.

There’s also a 24-hour hackathon, previews of early-stage companies, and, of course, the afterparties.

Entrepreneur Andrew Leyden had a slightly different perspective on Quora. He recommends Disrupt strongly for people who have an idea or startup to pitch. Or those who need a job. The value, he’s saying, is in the networking. But if you don’t need to meet people, you can always stay home and watch the videos. Which is true of most conferences.

3. Google I/O

IT Events

The Google I/O developer conference is the company’s biggest event of the year. It’s where the Goog debuts its latest products and services, including Pixel phones, Google Home (its answer to Amazon’s Echo), Google Wifi, and the Daydream VR headset. Many of these products are there for you to try out yourself.

It’s always good to be around forward-thinking developers for networking and hiring. In addition, there are some big names that run around that conference. On Quora, Software Engineer Jennifer Apacible wrote that you can expect to find “researchers, professors, entrepreneurs, founders, and other people you only read about in tech blogs” at Google I/O. “For example, I met Luis von Ahn (Duolingo) and David Byttow (Secret) within an hour of each other last week,” Apacible wrote.

4. Gartner CIO Leadership Forum

IT Events

The Gartner CIO Leadership Forum seeks to do what Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company (and Capterra’s parent company), does best — help CIOs learn more about how they can achieve success in the digital age.

The Gartner CIO Leadership Forum is a unique opportunity to rub shoulders with other CIOs. More than 400 CIOs, in fact. And you can do it without being mobbed by engineers and developers looking for a job or a contact. Because Gartner limits attendance to CIOs only.

The Gartner CIO Leadership Forum will take place twice in 2017 in North America. There’s a February 26-28 Forum in Phoenix, Arizona and a March 19-21 Forum in Hollywood, Florida. In London there’s a March 13-15 Forum.

5. Defcon

IT Events

CIOs need to understand information security threats and keep up-to-date on the latest and greatest tools and techniques for building and maintaining a secure infrastructure.

A lot of CIOs go to Blackhat, which CEO Gene Hoffman calls “the shiny corporate version of Defcon.” In his estimation, the who and what CIOs are really up against isn’t at Blackhat. Defcon is for “learning how to think like a hacker and see their business like a hacker sees it.”

Of all the IT Events, this is possibly the most nerdy affair. I mean, the name is a pun. According to Concise Courses, the name “Defcon” refers to the military abbreviation for Defense Condition, or the condition your defense is in, how ready you are for attack. Also, you know, “con” is short for conference.

Concise Courses recommends Defcon, saying it “attracts some of the world’s best cyber security researchers and hackers with interests in software, computer architecture, hardware modification, and anything else that can be ‘cracked or hacked.’”

A few more

Okay, maybe you’ve heard of Defcon. If so, to make sure you’re not cheated out of learning about a new conference, I’ll give you a few more to check out. Cheryl Conner, Founder of SnappConner PR, recommended The NextGen Summit in 7 ‘Can’t Miss’ Conferences For Entrepreneurs in 2017. Now obviously you’re not a Millennial entrepreneur. Or, maybe you are that and a CIO. But if you’re looking to hire Millennial tech types with entrepreneurial zeal, this might be a great conference for doing some poaching. It’s gonna have 500 attendees from six continents competing for $3 billion in capital.

To keep on top of sales tech, try out Dreamforce, where you can get better acquainted with tech for salespeople far beyond SalesForce. Nerd Bastards recommends DreamHack and Assembly Demo Party for nerds generally. But I think these sound great for CIOs. DreamHack, the world’s largest computer festival, holds world record for largest LAN party ever. Come for the 12,754 connected computer systems. Stay for the world’s fastest Internet connection. Assembly Demo Party is the “demoscene” event for computer programmers to show off their skills and creativity via audio-visual presentations. Again, could be a great place to hire.

Conclusion

Alright, that’s a pretty packed agenda for you. What IT Events did you attend in 2016? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments.

Looking for IT Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best IT Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz helps B2B software companies with their sales and marketing at Capterra. Her writing has appeared in The Week, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications. She has been quoted by the New York Times Magazine and has been a columnist at Bitcoin Magazine. Her media appearances include Fox News and Al Jazeera America. If you're a B2B software company looking for more exposure, email Cathy at cathy@capterra.com . To read more of her thoughts, follow her on Twitter.

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