I had a blast at WWDC15, although its the first conference I've been to so I don't have much to compare to. The talks were very informative and I'm an iOS nerd so I was in heaven :)
How is F8? Google I/O? Any other lesser known ones?
There are also really wonderful tech talks, and this has pretty much become the focus of the event. In addition to dev talks - which range in topic from crypto to mesh networking to solar power monitoring - there's also material on 3D printing, drones, beer brewing automation, high-tech gunsmithing, and radio communication.
There's also a beer exchange cum key-signing party which has become a hillariously awesome tradition.
It's great fun and a great place to learn things you didn't know you wanted to learn.
Other than Porcupine Festival, I'll also echo other people's suggestion to attend PyCon. It's more of a cultural event than a dev conference per se, but it's a really great gathering. And being in Portland, it's surely going to be quite a party.
e.g., DEFCON, Chaos Communication Congress, HOPE or Demoparties from the DemoScene or BioHacking conferences?
If you're an iOS nerd, you might like these conferences:
Yosemite (March, USA): http://cocoaconf.com/yosemite/
NSNorth (April, Canada): http://nsnorth.ca
UIKonf (May, Germany): http://www.uikonf.com
360iDev (August, USA): http://360idev.com
iOS Dev UK (September, Wales): http://www.iosdevuk.com
Release Notes (September, USA): http://releasenotes.tv/conference/
Cocoa Love (October, USA): http://cocoalove.org
Also, Ottawa is a great place to visit in June. I wouldn't want to visit in the winter, but the May/June weather is very pleasant.
The 2016 conference details will be announced shortly in the new year.
Austin, TX, July 6-11, 2015
The site is down at the moment though:
Speaking for my own field, Real-World Cryptography should be mostly understandable (and entertaining) to a programmer and enthousiast cryptographer. (CHES and EUROCRYPT are also very interesting, but require a lot more background.)
(Also consider e.g. ACM, Usenix, and any local interest/user groups.)
It's in Rome in July
June 22-24, 2016 - Denver, CO
If you live near by and want to do deliver a short talk or lead a workshop, have a look at the Call For Sessions.
Video from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI2yOM4tODw
Disclaimer: I'm co-organizing this event.
GOTO conferences (Copenhagen, but also London, Berlin, Chicago and Amsterdam nowadays) - http://gotocon.com/
Recorded talks: https://www.youtube.com/user/GotoConferences
NDC (Originally Oslo, now also in London and "somewhere in Australia") - http://ndcoslo.com/, http://ndc-london.com/
Recorded talks: https://vimeo.com/ndcconferences
OreDev (Malmo, Sweden) - http://oredev.org/
Also has links to recorded talks
Develop Denver - https://developdenver.org/
Rocky Mountain Ruby - http://rockymtnruby.com/
The sheer size of vendors and attendees is staggering. They keynotes are polished and generally reveal exciting things. The tech talks are numerous and sorted into 100, 200, 300 and 400 tracks based on how technical they are.
If you're building stuff on or for AWS you won't go home without learning something new.
The only reason to attend would be to speak with vendors. And if you want to do that, you can arrange that without spending a dime on re:Invent. Considering the cost of attending, and the fact that you can see all the talks afterwards for free anyways, it's not worth the price.
Even speaking with AWS experts was less than useful, as the individuals knew only the basics. Asking anything specific didn't get you any useful information.
Couple this was what amounts to an awful schedule on a website...
AWS re:Invent should be something everyone attends once, just so they know how not to organize or run a conference.
One thing I've learned from my first 2 re:Invents...skip the provided breakfasts and lunches. They're terrible and I've gotten sick from them in both of the years that I've attended. The other options at the Venetian/Palazzo are well worth the extra cost.
For front-end stuff: http://2016.render-conf.com/
For people who lead tech teams: http://2016.theleaddeveloper.com/
Disclosure: I help run them ;)
It is mostly Linux but a lot of other related stuff gets in.
0 - http://www.thestrangeloop.com/
I've heard very good reviews about previous editions.
Christmas dinner at the Programmer family's house has been tough this year. Logan was able to make the trip back home from San Fransisco, but is insistent on picking political fights with Grandpa. Mom and Dad keep asking everyone not to focus on politics for the day but Logan yells and calls them just as bad for trying to creating an environment where people with options Logan doesn't like can just sit there and eat ham.
Jake and I started day drinking before presents and are itching to slip away. Wanna go sledding down behind The Academy?
Hopefully somebody will one day spin off a new weird/academic conference for those that can't stand to be in the same room as no-platformers.
I didn't consider it when I posted the link, but Strange Loop provides an unusual platform for technologists who actually do "think different". Many use their tech platform to reinforce racism in notoriously racist tech spaces. But some take scifi seriously and try to improve the world. That matters.
Here's the tech good ol' boy world, where you're supposed to passively accept casual racism in ranch houses: "It was really quite lovely. Later that day, in the jeep to the ranch house where everyone was staying, he started up with the casual racism, and everyone ignored him." (https://twitter.com/maradydd/status/606799534983770112)
I implied that not all people would care to waste their time in the company of no-platformers. Disinterest is a perfectly reasonable position to take when faced with the proposition of hanging out with people with wildly different political beliefs than yourself.
The idea that some people might dislike no platforming almost as much as they dislike racism shouldn't surprise you.
It's not safe to support organisations that choose whether to platform based on the whims of a mob or their leaders.
In fact I'm against the thing and not merely its signal but I can see that some censors are 'fitter'.
I disagree with Alex Miller's decision about Curtis Yarvin, but as far as I can tell, this is the only controversial speaker related issue that he's made.
Have you actually been to Strangeloop? I have, and I'll go again because the quality of the speakers and attendees is top notch. They're aren't afraid to host some really esoteric stuff. Thus, it's a place to really learn some cool stuff.
I've met Alex at Strangeloop and he seems like a pretty humble and reasonable guy.
His role isn't an easy one, and I see no reason not to attend what has been a pretty excellent run of conferences because of one lapse of judgement by the founder.