Conference seats

The best software testing and performance conferences of 2017

For an updated list, visit TechBeacon's 2018 list of the best testing conferences to attend.

Are you an IT professional working in the areas of software testing, quality assurance, performance monitoring and management, or other areas related to software user satisfaction? If so, you should consider attending a few conferences this year to learn how the experts, including your peers, are handling their constantly evolving job roles and demands.

Testing tools, processes, and expectations are constantly changing, and the conferences listed below can help you keep your skills and knowledge up to date.

TechBeacon sought out the best conferences, and ranked them in four categories:

  • Must-attend.
  • Worth attending.
  • Events with a broader scope, but have strong testing, QA, or performance management content.
  • Large, quasi-legendary conferences whose size and breadth makes them interesting to testing and performance professionals.

The world of testing and performance management is turning fast. DevOps, continuous delivery, agile, and other modern software practices are steadily replacing traditional waterfall methods. As a testing professional, you need to adapt to this new reality.

Testing and QA are interwoven into the development and delivery cycle in a tighter, more automated way, and testing pros need to stay on top of new products, technology changes, and business requirements, especially tighter software security, cost efficiency, and regulatory compliance.

World Quality Report 2018-19: The State of QA and Testing

Must-attend testing, performance conferences

This year's must-attend list of testing, performance and QA conferences is based on high levels of interest among attendees, shown through year-over-year growth.

Agile Testing Days

Twitter: @AgileTD / #AgileTD
Web: agiletestingdays.com
Date: November 13-17
Location: Dorint Sanssouci, Potsdam/Berlin, Germany
Cost: Not available

Considered one of Europe’s main software testing events, Agile Testing Days is aimed at companies that want to in gain an edge through “early, rapid and iterative application releases.” Past attendees say that the conference offers a mix of fun interludes and serious sessions that make the experience both enjoyable and worthwhile.

"In short, this was an astounding event," wrote conference goer Pete Walen of the 2016 event. "I slept little and did much thinking and learning. Less drinking this year (good thing) but fantastic conversations that have impacted my thoughts more than any week I can recall in years and years. The information flow was non-stop. Oh, and there were really good conference sessions, too."

At most conferences, there are breaks between tracks and keynote sessions. Usually they're used to grab a beverage and head to the next event.  "That’s not what happens at ATD," writes Nathalie Rooseboom de Vries - van Delft, who attended the 2016 conference. "During these breaks, attendees gather and confer. I guess this is a combination of the type of people (active, engaged), the type of conference and content (living up the Agile manifesto ;-)), the size of the venue (not that massive) and the way ATD is really pampering their audience with snacks, fruit, food and different kinds of beverages."

Who should attend: Anyone involved with software testing—test managers, designers, analysts, consultants, architects, quality directors—as well as software architects, application developers, IT managers, CIOs, CTOs, software engineers.

Agile Testing Days USA

Twitter: @Agile_USA / #ATD_USA
Web: agiletestingdays.us
Date: [Cancelled] June 19, tutorials; June 20-21, conference
Location: Double Tree Hilton, Danvers, Massachusetts.
Cost: Tutorials, $799 each (through March 2), $849 (through May 1), thereafter $899; conference passes range from $899 for one day (through March 2) to $1,998 for two days.

Update: Unfortunately this conference (the first time Agile Testing Days was having a US event) was canceled recently due to the political situation in the US.

This event gives attendees an opportunity to learn best practices from testing leaders and practitioners, as well as network with peers, according to the conference organizers.

Tutorial sessions were slated to include Mob Programming Hands-On Workshop, by Woody Zuill; Leading Global Agile Adoptions Workshop, by Ray Arell; Lean Software Testing: Explained, by Matthew Heusser; and Agile Testing 101, by Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin.

Who should attend (if there's a conference next year): Anyone involved with software testing—test managers, designers, analysts, consultants, architects, quality directors—as well as software architects, application developers, IT managers, CIOs, CTOs, and software engineers.

STAR Software Testing Conferences

Twitter: @TechWell / #StarEast / #StarWest / #StarCanada
Web: techwell.com/software-conferences/star-software-testing-conferences
Dates/Location:
Star East: May 7-12, Rosen Centre Hotel, Orlando, Florida
Star West: Oct. 1-6, Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, California
Star Canada: Oct. 15-20, Hyatt Regency, Toronto, Canada

Cost: Star East, training and conference packages from $3,495 (through March 10) to $4,245; conference packages from $595 (testing and quality leadership summit only through March 10) to $3,295.  Star West, training and conference packages from $3,495 (through August 4) to $3,995; conference packages from $595 (testing and quality leadership summit only through August 4) to $3,295. Star Canada, training and conference packages from US$3,495 (through August 18) to $3,995; conference packages from $795 (one full or two half-day tutorials through August 18) to $2,495.

These conferences, organized by TechWell, designed specifically for testing and QA pros, dig into on topics such as test management and leadership, software testing techniques, mobile app testing, test automation, certifications, QA methodologies, tools, agile testing, performance testing, exploratory testing, DevOps and software testing, and QA tester careers.

Writing for TechBeacon, test architect Gerie Owen called the Star conferences “among the most prestigious QA and testing conferences in North America” and “suitable for junior-level testers as well as seasoned test professionals and test managers.”

The conferences are geared toward practical knowledge that attendees can apply immediately at work, and include short sessions, half- and full-day tutorials, multiple day in-depth training, and a leadership summit.

Who should attend: Software and test managers, IT directors, QA managers and analysts, test practitioners and engineers, development managers, developers, CTOs.

Google Test Automation Conference (GTAC)

Twitter: @googletesting
Web: developers.google.com/google-test-automation-conference
Dates: No 2017 date set yet
Location: London, United Kingdom
Cost: Free. By invitation only.

GTAC, first held in 2006, draws engineers from industry and academia. It focuses on the latest technologies and strategies in test automation and test engineering.

The event draws big names: 2016 speakers included Manasi Joshi, a senior staff engineer at Google; Hima Mandali, leader of the DevOps engineering teams at Capital One; Boris Prikhodky, leader of the QA Infrastructure team at Unity Technologies; Dan Hislop, an audio test engineer at Citrix; Yanbin Zhang, a senior software engineer in Intel's  Software and Services Group; Atif M. Memon, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland; Taejun Lee, a software engineer on the productivity engineering team at Box; and David Buckhurst, an engineering manager at the BBC.

Writing about last year's conference, TOPdesk's Tobias Spöcker said: "All in all, it was a really cool conference with so many interesting and unique topics from all kinds of speakers. I really liked the broad variety of subjects and how they were presented, but that is not all such an event provides. It was really nice to meet so many people from around the globe who are equally enthusiastic about the field of automated testing. It was very enjoyable to get together with these guys and have some nice chats about problems we currently face at our companies, and share some tips and tricks that could possibly solve these issues."

Joe Nolan of SauceLabs called the 2016 GTAC " unique and engaging" for all types of test automators from both industry and academia. "Where else can you see a live demonstration of how a robot uses fake fingertips to test swiping a mobile phone, and then see how to component test soup dumplings?" he wrote.

Who should attend: QA and test pros.

STPCon Spring 2017

Twitter: @SoftwareTestPro / #STPCon
Web: stpcon.com
Date: March 14-17
Location: Renaissance Phoenix Downtown, Phoenix, Arizona
Cost: Ranges from $745 (one conference day) to $2,195 (conference and all workshops).

Organizers say that this conference, “designed by testers for testers,” focuses on testing management and strategy to help attendees improve their techniques, get up to speed on the latest tools and trends, improve processes, and better understand the testing industry.

Who should attend: QA and testing professionals.

Workshops and conference sessions have been posted posted online.

Monitorama

Twitter: @Monitorama / #monitorama
Web: monitorama.com
Date: May 22-24
Location:  Gerding Theater, Portland, Oregon
Cost: $400

As its name implies, Monitorama focuses strictly on software monitoring. It’s narrow in scope by design, with a single track, so that attendees have a cohesive, unified experience and don’t suffer from “choice overload,” as founder Jason Dixon explains. The conference strives to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness among attendees, all of whom Dixon wants to feel welcome.

“I know what it feels like to be an outsider at an event where you're not part of the inner circle, and I never want anyone else to feel that way at Monitorama,” he writes.

Mehdi Daoudi notes that his head was "spinning with all of the great content, amazing speakers, new tools and technologies that were covered at Monitorama 2016."

"One of the best themes for this year’s Monitorama is around the 'human' factor," he writes. "Placing a premium on the people that consume the monitoring data and implement monitoring tools. We need to do a better job in certain areas."

"I really enjoyed Monitorama 2016; it was my first time there, but certainly not my last," he adds. "I strongly encourage everyone to attend next year."

Apollo Catlin, a senior operations engineer at Threat Stack, says he learned a valuable lesson at last year's Monitorama: It has never been easier to monitor your infrastructure. "Not only have the tools come a long way in the last few years," he writes. "But the community and perspectives on monitoring have rallied as well, by focusing on the people who build and use monitoring systems."

Who should attend: Developers, operations staff, testers, QA pros.

EuroSTAR Software Testing Conference

Twitter: @esconfs / #esconfs
Web: eurostarsoftwaretesting.com
Date:  November 6-9
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Cost: Ranges from €865 to €2,310

EuroSTAR is Europe’s longest-running testing conference, with a rich history reaching back to 1993, when it first took place in London.

EuroSTAR's key strength is the community focus that drives it. Each year a newly selected Program Committee and 40-person panel of volunteers score upward of 500 submissions, selecting the best to create a comprehensive program that caters to a broad range of testing topics and specialties.

Daniel Knott, who describes himself as a passionate software tester, highly recommends EUROstar. "The EuroStar conference is one of the software testing conferences in Europe that every tester should try to attend," he writes. " It is a great conference to meet great software testers from all over the world to exchange and share your own knowledge and to learn something new."

EUROstar can be a very creative environment, maintains software test developer Kristoffer Nordström,  who conducted a workshop at the 2016 event. " It’s an open safe environment where ideas can flourish and come together with other ideas and problems, to form into something that is sometimes larger than the sum of the parts," he writes. "Going from the [2016] conference I already have new ideas and initiatives that I want to work on."

Who should attend: Software testers and test managers, test consultants, test analysts, senior IT managers, and software developers.

Worth attending

Some readers might describe many of the conferences in this category as “must attend,” especially those that appear to be growing in size each year. But these conferences are either smaller in attendance or targeted at specific industries.

Surge 2017

Twitter: @surgecon / #surgecon
Web: surge.omniti.com/2017
Date: Sept. 20-22
Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Cost: $500-$750.

Surge is organized by OmniTi, a web app scalability and performance vendor, and features “practitioner-oriented sessions.”

Who should attend: IT Ops, infrastructure administrators, developers, QA pros.

Video of sessions from the 2016 event is available available online.

Perform 2017

Twitter: @Dynatrace / #dynatrace
Web: dynatrace.com/en/perform.html
Date: Feb. 6-9
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Cost: Not available

Application performance management vendor Dynatrace organizes this conference. Breakout sessions in 2017 included A Brand New Dimension to UX; The Coop Story: Still Re-inventing the Customer Experience 150 years on; Adobe's Operations Monitoring Transformation Story; Performance Engineering in a DevOps World; and Pushing the Limits of Visibility: How Improved Insight into Customer Experience Drives Digital Transformation.

Who should attend: Developers, IT Ops, testers, QA pros.

8th ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering

Twitter: @spec_perf / #ICPE
Web: icpe2017.spec.org
Date: April 22-26
Location: L'Quila, Italy
Cost: Workshops and tutorials, €100-€250 (through March 24); thereafter, €200-€350

ACM/SPEC provides a forum for the “integration of theory and practice in the field of performance engineering,” say organizers. It draws researchers and practitioners who discuss research, ideas, and challenges to the performance engineering of software and systems.

Who should attend: Software and systems performance engineers.

American Software Testing Qualifications Board conference

Twitter: @astqb / #ASTQB
Web: www.astqb.org/certified-tester-resources/astqb-software-testing-conference
Date: September 15
Location: Irvine, California
Cost: Exam fees range from $150 to $375

This conference features tutorials, classes, keynotes, sessions, and networking opportunities, and is designed to teach attendees “practical, ready-to-use” software QA and security strategies so that they can improve the quality and security of software, and be more efficient.

Breakout sessions cover areas such as mobile, agile, security and performance testing, as well as test automation and business analysis/UAT.

Who should attend: QA pros, software testers, managers, directors, developers, security staff, CxOs, engineers.

QAI Quest 2017

Twitter: @QAIquest / #QUESTconf
Web: qaiquest.org/2017
Date: April 3-7
Location: Renaissance Chicago Downtown, Chicago, Illinois
Cost: Workshop, conference, expo combos range from $2,195-$2,895; single admission items range from $595-$1,945

Focused on software engineering, delivery, and testing, QUEST features classes, tutorials, sessions, hands-on workshops, discussions groups, an expo floor, and networking events. Topics covered include agile, test design, automation, performance, mobile, security, and DevOps.

Who should attend: Testers, QA pros, developers, IT Ops, software engineers, architects.

Mobile Dev + Test

Twitter: @techwell / #mobiledevtest
Web: mobiledevtest.techwell.com
Date: April 24 - April 28
Location: San Diego, California
Cost: conference, training, certification packages, $3,495 (through February 24) to $3,895; conference packages, $1,595 (through February 24) to $2,895.

This conference focuses on mobile development for iOS and Android as well as mobile testing, performance, design, user experience, smart technology, and security, according to its organizers. Topics include wearables, mobile security testing, and mobile app design.

Who should attend: iOS and Android developers, testers, UX designers.

Cross-discipline conferences

Conferences in this category are targeted at specific industries or technologies. Although they may not be exclusively about QA, monitoring, performance or testing, these events will be of interest to people who work in these fields.

Velocity Conference

Twitter: @velocityconf / @OReillyMedia / #velocityconf
Web:  https://conferences.oreilly.com/velocity/vl-ca
Date:  training, June 19-20; tutorials and conference, June 20-22
Location: San Jose, California. (Also New YorkAmsterdam and Beijing.)
Cost: Not available

O'Reilly says it's taking Velocity in a new direction in 2017. Originally focused on web performance and operations, the conference will now encompass a distributed systems stack spanning from the application layer all the way down to compute, storage and networking to the data center—whether in the cloud or not.  Presentations at the 2017 conference will cover everything from automation, containerization, continuous delivery and DevOps to orchestration and scheduling, security and serverless computing. Expect to experience a technical, performance-minded, operations-centric conference on which developers, operations, and designers converge.

Who should attend: Developers, operations specialists, IT Ops staff.

Video of 2016 keynotes and other information is available online.

BlackHat USA

Twitter: @BlackHatEvents / @ubm / BlackHat / #BHUSA
Web: blackhat.com
Date: July 22-27
Location: Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada (Black Hat will also be held in London and Singapore in 2016)
Cost: Starts at $495 for a business pass, which includes access to the business hall, sponsored workshops, sponsored sessions, and the Arsenal; and goes up to $2,595 for a "Briefing" ticket. Training sessions are priced individually.

First held in 1997, Black Hat is one of the world’s biggest tech conferences, one that security professionals must attend or at least must follow closely from afar. It’s the preferred venue for researchers, security experts, vendors, and ethical hackers to disclose their latest vulnerability findings, the most dramatic of which become general-interest news globally.

For example, the 2015 conference exposed security gaps in cars that could let cyber criminals remotely disable key functions in moving vehicles, such as brakes. In 2016, a "danger drone" was aired that could hack into devices while flying over them, and a technique for planting ransomware on smart thermostats was discussed.

Black Hat features training sessions, a big expo floor, and A-list presenters and keynote speakers, as at many major tech conferences. But unlike other evens, Black Hat requires attendees to take precautions, as they’ll be surrounded by thousands of the world’s finest hackers, some of whom will be looking to play pranks, test their latest vulnerability discoveries in a real-world setting or,attempt criminal acts, such as stealing personal, governmental, or corporate data.

"I kind of like Black Hat better than the RSA Conference," wrote Jon Oltsik, Enterprise Strategy Group Senior Principal Analyst, after last year's Black Hat conference. "At Black Hat, you talk about the real challenges facing our industry, and discuss intellectual ways to overcome them. At RSA, everyone throws buzz words at you and tells you how they solve all your problems."

Attendees should be prepared for a large conference (more than 11,000 people attended in 2015), where revelations about security vulnerabilities will be detailed.

Who should attend: Security analysts, risk managers, security architects/engineers, penetration testers, security software developers, cryptographers.

RSA Conference

Twitter: @rsaconference / #RSAC
Web: rsaconference.com/events/us17
Date: February 13-17
Location: MosconeMoscone Center, San Francisco, California
Cost: Ticket prices vary widely, starting at $100 for an early-bird expo pass to $2,695 for a full-conference pass bought on site.

One of the world’s largest security conferences, RSA celebrates its 26th anniversary in 2017. RSA became part of Dell Technologies in September but the acquisition isn't expected to affect this year's conference or any future shows.

"Like many other exhibitors, I spent hours chatting with potential customers and technology partners," Tom Skeen, an IT, risk and security adviser with Safe-T Data, wrote about RSA 2016.

"Just about everyone had a common theme or two," he added. "What is the best way to protect information, at a reasonable cost and with the most operational supportability? This makes complete sense given the continued challenges around advanced cybercrime and hyper connectivity nowadays."

This is a very large event in terms of attendees, exhibitors, and sessions, which may signal robust growth in the IT security industry and just how dangerous the threat landscape has become.

Attendees should do their pre-conference homework and sketch out a game plan, since this is a very large conference. In 2016 there were more than 40,000 attendees and almost 700 speakers.

Who should attend: Security-minded testing professionals.

CanSecWest

Twitter: @CanSecWest / #CanSecWest
Web: cansecwest.com
Date: March 15-17, 2017
Location: Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia
Cost: Access to the conference ranges from CAD $2,100 to $2,500, depending on when the ticket is bought. Dojo registration, depending on when the ticket is bought, ranges from CAD $1,900 for one day to $7,400 for four days. Registration includes catered meals.  

"The technical depth and breadth of the research presented in Vancouver this year yet again lived up to expectations,"  Pieter Ockers, a senior security program manager at Adobe, wrote after CanSecWest 2016. 

"Of the security conferences that Adobe sponsors throughout the year, CanSecWest consistently draws a critical mass from the security research community, with offensive, defensive and vendor communities well-represented," he continued.

"The exposure to bleeding edge research presented by subject matter security experts, and the opportunity to forge new relationships with the security research community sets CanSecWest apart from the security conferences Adobe attends throughout the year," he said.

 Organizers describe CanSecWest as "the world's most advanced conference focusing on applied digital security," and they take pride in attracting “industry luminaries” as speakers and in fostering a relaxed environment for collaboration and networking.

Now in its 17th year, the three-day, single-track conference features one-hour presentations delivered by experts in a lecture theater setting, focused on sharing best practices and real-world experiences and detailing new vulnerabilities, attacks, and defenses. This year's presentations include Sandbox Escape with Generous Help from Security Software, Don't Trust Your Eye: Apple Graphics Is Compromised!, Bypassing Different Defense Schemes via Crash Resistant Probing of Address Space, and APT Reports and OPSEC Evolution: These Are Not the APT Reports You Are Looking For.

In addition to the presentations, CanSecWest features hands-on "Dojo" training courses from security instructors.

Who should attend: CISOs, CSOs, enterprise IT security pros and executives.

AppSecUSA

Twitter:  @appsecusa / #appsecusa
Web: 2016.appsecusa.org (2017 website coming soon)
Date: September 19-22
Location: Orlando, Florida
Cost: For the 2015 conference, regular admission is $995, with a variety of discounts available, including $80 tickets for full-time university students.

Focused on application security, this conference goes deep into topics such as DevOps, privacy, mobile security, secure development, app assessments, and cloud security. Highly technical, it is organized by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), a nonprofit organization with 200 chapters in 100 countries that's devoted to improving app security from a vendor-neutral perspective.

AppSecUSA claims to be the largest conference solely dedicated to application security. Unlike similar conferences, which only offer speaker sessions, AppSecUSA also offers training by leaders in the field, opportunities for women and those transitioning from military service to network and develop their careers, and significant discounts for students to learn about security careers.

Headline speakers at the 2016 conference included novelist, activist and journalist Corry Doctorow, who discussed the intersection of DRM and security research; Samy Kamkar, a researcher, hacktivist and entrepreneur who discussed how he uses side channels, physics, and low-cost tools to employ powerful attacks against modern technology; and Casey Ellis, co-founder of Bugcrowd, who spoke about best practices for implementing an effective bug bounty program.

Who should attend: Developers, auditors, risk managers, technologists, and entrepreneurs.

Annual Computer Security Applications Conference

Twitter: @ACSAC_Conf / #ACSAC
Web: acsac.org 
Date: December 4-8
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Cost: Not available (More details will be available in March.)

First held in 1984, ACSAC focuses on applied security, and draws security professionals from academia, government, and industry. Its target audience is people developing practical solutions for network, system, and IT security problems. Proceedings include in-depth tutorials, workshops, case studies, panel discussions, and a technical track about peer-reviewed papers.

Who should attend: Researchers and a broad cross-section of security professionals drawn from industry, government, and academia.

38th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy

Twitter: @IEEESSP / #IEEESSP
Web: ieee-security.org/TC/SP2017
Date: May 22-24 - symposium; May 25 - privacy workshops
Location: San Jose, California
Cost: Not available

The IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, first held in 1980, attracts both researchers and practitioners, and describes itself as the “premier forum” to present developments in computer security and electronic privacy.

Workshops this year will focus on privacy engineering; bio-inspired security, trust, assurance and resilience; language-theoretic security; mobile security technologies; technology and consumer protection; and traffic measurements for cybersecurity.

Who should attend: Researchers, security practitioners.

Fluent

Twitter: @fluentconf / @OReillyMedia / #FluentConf
Web: conferences.oreilly.com/fluent/fl-ca
Date: June 19-20, training; June 20-22, tutorials and conferences
Location: San Jose, California
Cost: Not Available.

First held in 2012, Fluent covers the “full scope of the Web platform,” according to organizers. It focuses on practical training in JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, and associated technologies and frameworks, including WebGL, CSS3, mobile APIs, Node.js, AngularJS, and ECMAScript 6. Keynote speeches at the conference last year addressed subjects such as making mobile apps as powerful as desktop apps, an introduction to the Seif project to transition the Web into an application delivery system, the two most important principles to being a better designer,  and using advanced browser features to build robust apps.

Who should attend: Web designers and developers, including mobile and web infrastructure teams, JavaScript developers, architects, UI/UX designers, and system developers.

Video of 2016 keynotes is available available online

OSCON (O'Reilly Open Source Convention)

Twitter: @oscon / @OReillyMedia / #Oscon
Web: conferences.oreilly.com/oscon/open-source-us
Date: May 8-9, training and tutorials; May 10-11, conference
Location: Austin, Texas
Cost: From $1,545 to $2,695 (through March 16).

In its explainer about the conference, O'Reilly notes that open source has moved from disruption to default. Its methods and culture made into commodities the technologies that drove the Internet revolution, and transformed the practice of software development. Collaborative and transparent, open source has become modus operandi, powering the next wave of innovation in cloud, data, and mobile technologies.

In its early days, OSCON was focused on changing mainstream business thinking and practices; today the event is about real-world practices and how to successfully implement open source in your workflow or projects.

A schedule of conference tutorials, keynotes, sessions and events is available available online.

Who should attend: Developers, programmers, software architects, designers, system administrators, entrepreneurs, CxOs.

QCon

QCon London
Twitter: @QCon / @qconlondon / #qconlondon
Web: qconlondon.com
Date: Conference, March 6-8; workshops, March 9-10
Location: Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Cost: Pricing ranges from £475 for a one-day workshop to £1,650 for three-day conference pass.

QCon New York
Twitter: @QCon / @QConNewYork / #qconnewyork
Web: qconnewyork.com
Date: Conference, June 26-28; workshops, 29-30
Location: Marriott Marquis, New York City
Cost: Pricing ranges from $795 for one-day workshop to $2,650 for three-day conference pass.

QCon San Francisco
Twitter: @QCon / @QConSF / #qconsf
Web: qconsf.com
Date: Conference, November 13-15; workshops, November 16-17
Location: Hyatt Regency, San Francisco
Cost: Not available.

QCon's organizers say what distinguishes these events from others is the marriage of innovation with practical advice. QCon's workshops and conference sessions are conducted by engineers, practitioners and team leads and not evangelists, trainers/coaches and consultants. Topics focus on innovators and early adopters in software companies.

Who should attend: Technical team leads, architects, engineering directors, project managers.

GoTo Conference

Twitter: @GOTOcon / @GOTOchgo / #GOTOChgo E
Web: gotochgo.com
Date:  Conference, May 1-2; workshops, May 3-4
Location: Swissotel, Chicago, Illinois. (Also held in Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Berlin.)
Cost: pricing ranges from $750 for a one-day workshop and $1,195 for a two-day conference pass, to $2,695 for all conference and workshop days.

This is the fifth year for Chicago's GoTo Conference,  which organizers say was “created by developers, for developers," with an emphasis on what has recently become relevant and interesting for the software development community. This highly technical conference offers informal and easy contact with experts, as well as with fellow software and technology professionals.

Several tracks will be offered this year on topics such as microservices, security, deep learning analytics and DevOps. This year's lineup of speakers include Adrian Mouat, author of Using Docker; Brian Grant, technology lead at Morningstar; Brian Ray, cognitive computing team lead at Deloitte; Bridget Kromhout, co-host of the Arrested DevOps podcast; Chris Heilmann, senior program manager for developer experience and evangelism at Microsoft; and John Steven, CTO at Cigital.

Who should attend: Developers, , team leads, architects, and project managers.

DockerCon

Twitter: @DockerCon / #dockercon
Web: 2017.dockercon.com
Date: April 17-20
Location: Austin Convention Center, Austin, Texas
Cost: Full conference pass, $1150

The interest in containers—and in Docker especially—has gone from 0 to 80 mph in less than two years, which is why this conference has become one of the hottest gatherings in the IT industry.

For 2017, conference organizers promise ao offer a bigger and better program—one that reflects the diversity of the Docker ecosystem and community. This year's event, they say, will have sessions on use cases at large and innovative corporations, advanced technical talks, and hands-on lab tutorials. Each day starts with a general session, followed by breakout sessions. Among the speakers at this year's event will be Solomon Hykes, founder and CTO of Docker.

Last year, more than 4,000 people registered for the conference, with 500 on the waiting list. The gathering also attracted some 100 company sponsors, compared to 30 in 2014, when Docker debuted.

Who should attend: Developers, DevOps enthusiasts, IT executives.

Open Source Summits

Twitter: @linuxfoundation / #OSSummit
Web:
events.linuxfoundation.org/events/open-source-summit-japan events.linuxfoundation.org/events/open-source-summit-north-america
events.linuxfoundation.org/events/open-source-summit-europe

Date/Location:
May 31-June 2: Tokyo Conference Center Ariake, Tokyo, Japan
September 11-13: JW Marriott LA Live, Los Angeles, California
October 23-25: Hilton Prague, Czech Republic

Cost:
Japan, $350 (through April 16) to $500
North America, $800 (through June 18) to $1,100
Europe, $800 (through August 20) to $1,100

For2017, the Linux Foundation is combining three events—LinuxCon, ContainerCon and CloudOpen—into the Open Source Summits.  The North American and European conferences will include the Community Leadership Conference, which, according to the conference organizers, brings together leading practitioners who are building empowered and productive open source communities to share their experiences with others.

“In recent years, open source has expanded to be the default software in virtually every area of technology, so it is important that the broad community have a place to gather and exchange ideas,” Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin said in a statement. “The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit will gather the best and brightest from every corner of open source technology together for an event where they can collaborate and share best practices.”

Who should attend: Software developers, programmers, core maintainers, Linux IT professionals, IT operations experts, system administrators, chief architects, corporate end users, senior business executives, legal counsel, students.

Other conferences to consider

This final category consists of conferences that are just too cool not to mention. If you’re planning your conference travel and budget around mobile and IoT shows, you might want to save a little room on your plate for one or more of the following events.

CES (Consumer Electronics Show)

Twitter: @CES / #CES2018
Web: cesweb.org
Date: January 9-12, 2018
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Cost: Not available.

The legendary and massive consumer electronics conference and expo covers a wide range of topics, some of which might be of direct or tangential interest to those involved with mobile and IoT, such as security, digital entertainment, e-commerce, gaming, robotics, storage, education technology, mobile apps, and networking.

Who should attend: Anyone interested in the latest and greatest consumer electronics.

SXSW (South By Southwest)

Twitter: @sxsw / #SXSW2017
Web: sxsw.com/schedule
Date: March 10-19
Location: Austin, Texas
Cost: Prices range from $495 to $1,550.

While music and film are key elements of SXSW, the event also has a strong technology component. Topics this year include startups, wearables, healthcare IT, virtual reality, IoT, smart cities, digital media, online marketing, software design and development, open source, mobile design, and user experience.

TechCrunch Disrupt

Twitter: @TechCrunch / #tcdisrupt
Web: techcrunch.com/event-info/disrupt-ny-2017/ and techcrunch.com/event-info/disrupt-sf-2017/
Date: May 15-17
Location: New York, New York
Date: September 18-20,
Location: San Francisco, California
Cost: Extra early-bird ticket for full, three-day access: $1,995. Other packages for exhibitors and individuals available.

Disrupt is the conference for anyone involved with or interested in startups, entrepreneurs, venture capital, and emerging technologies. It features hackathons, provocative panel discussions, and A-list speakers. Many established high-tech companies have used Disrupt as a springboard.

Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo

Twitter: @Gartner_SYM / #ITxpo #GartnerSYM
Web: gartner.com/events/na/orlando-symposium
Date: October 30-November 2
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Cost: Standard conference price is A$4,350. Public-sector price is A$3,575. Group discounts available.

The mother of all Gartner conferences, Symposium/ITxpo is aimed specifically at CIOs and technology executives. It addresses from an enterprise IT perspective topics such as mobility, cybersecurity, cloud computing, application architecture, application development, IoT, and digital business.

E3 Expo

Twitter: @E3 / #E32017
Web: https://www.e3expo.com/
Date: June 13-15
Location: Los Angeles, California
Cost: Not available

A massive gaming show that covers mobile, video and computer games, and related products, it covers topics of interest to software developers, buyers and retailers, distributors, entertainment industry executives, venture capitalists, manufacturers, and resellers.

Highlights of 2016 conference are available online.

Interop Las Vegas

Twitter: @interop #Interop
Web: interop.com/lasvegas/
Date: May 15-19
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Cost: Ranges from $249 (before April 1) to $3,299.

A venerable tech conference, Interop delves into topics such as applications, cloud computing, collaboration, networking, IT leadership, security, software-defined networking, storage, virtualization and data center architecture, and mobility.

Did we miss any conferences or events? We've done our best to compile a comprehensive list of the best software testing and performance conferences to attend in 2017, but nobody's perfect. This is a list in progress, so please let us know in the comments below if there are any other events or conferences you think we should add.

Image credit: Flickr

Topics: Dev & Test