How to convince your boss to let you attend the #PTW18 Dev Conference - Philly


Mar. 22, 2018 1:00 pm

How to convince your boss to let you attend the #PTW18 Dev Conference

A little advice on scoring professional development opportunities like this one.

Your boss saying "Yes, absolutely you can go."

(Photo via

Negotiating can be a challenge (especially if that someone you’re trying to convince is your boss). So, that is why we wrote this post, so when you have that next one-on-one you are feeling extra confident to make the ask to join us during Philly Tech Week 2018 presented by Comcast.

Deadlines are creeping up and clients are calling for immediate assistance, but the Dev Conference only comes around one time a year — just like your birthday, the Super Bowl (Go Birds) and tax day.

Prior to planning this year’s conference we met with a group of stakeholders in the programming community to ask what would make them send their dev teams. We created the four rooms of topics within Dev Talks around their opinions, so here is what you need to know.

Know what is happening at the conference

Knowing the agenda for the day will be a great place to start when asking to attend. The more you know about the conference, the more ammo you have to get there.

From 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. we will have our Dev Workshops:

  • Introduction to MVC with Laravel PHP
  • Introduction to Go
  • React on a Dare: Rapid Prototyping and Development with React and Friends

If you know everything there is to learn about these workshops, then focus your ask on our Dev Talks from 2:00–6:00 p.m. This is where you can choose your own agenda for the day. That’s right, I’m talking:

  • AI and Machine Learning
  • Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
  • The Big Ideas Room
  • Leadership and Soft Skills

In every room on the half hour, we will have a new speaker and new topic. Learning new stuff every half hour = very valuable for you and your boss.

We will be announcing speakers and topics leading up to the conference, so you can mentally prepare that agenda in your head prior to the event. We already have Brenna Quinn from Cerner, Scott Landau from Slack, and Kevin Rocque from TD Bank slated to speak at the event.


Put yourself in your boss’s shoes

You are an investment for your organization.

Think about the things you buy and spend a bit more money on in your daily life for the long run. Maybe it’s a nice suit, reliable car, handbag/briefcase or even a mattress. Just like those items, your boss wants you to last, and make an impact. So think about why your boss should pay for you to join the conference. Humans are a lot cooler than inanimate objects so someone like you will be able to learn new things, meet new people and bring your knowledge and connections back to your organization to help your company have the best results. So I think, we can say, your ROI is a lot higher than a handbag.

Think about your other responsibilities

We know, asking to take almost a full day of work to go do a conference can seem like a lot to ask. However, if you plan ahead, ask early and offer to work on some of your projects prior to the event you might get that yes you were hoping for. You definitely want to make this the smallest inconvenience for your workload and show that it is most beneficial option for you and your organization.

Lay out all the final details in a request letter

State why you should attend and be sure to include how the conference will impact both your personal and company’s growth. You can also specifically list some of the speakers and talks you want to attend. This should also be where you list out an estimated cost breakdown for travel, lodging, meals and event pricing (we can give you a head start on this: All access costs $65, Dev Workshops cost $50 and the Dev Talks are $20, not to mention we have bulk pricing if your whole team joins). Then to close the loop on it all, you can even state how you will share what you learned after the conference with your team.

We’re hoping this gave you the confidence to get in there and join us. We definitely want to see your face there. If the worst possible thing happens and you cannot make it during the work day, we will have a Dev Happy Hour following the event to continue the conversations.

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