Your Coding Crash Course: Esri to Host First Developer Summit at Federal GIS Conference

For the first time ever, Esri is bringing their popular Developer Summit to Washington, DC. To date, Esri has held Developer Summits in many locations, including their annual event in Palm Springs, and also Developer Summits in Europe and the Middle East. Now, it’s Washington, DC’s turn. The Developer Summit will occur concurrent with Esri’s annual Federal GIS Conference. On February 12th, developers across the country will gather to discuss the latest trends and best practices for GIS developers.

To register for the Developer Summit, please visit the registration page (Note: this is a different registration than the Esri Federal GIS Conference, details on the Esri Federal GIS Conference and registration links can be found at the end of this post). Below you will find insights from Jim Barry, Program Manager, Esri Developer Network. Barry provided a sneak-peak about what developers can expect at the first ever Developer Summit in DC.

What to Expect at the Developer Summit

The developer summit will allow developers to get a look at the next 6, 12, or 18 months of planned development at Esri. This will allow developers to plan their development. As Jim Barry said, “The developer summit is a subset of the overall Federal GIS Conference. We’re going to have a plenary, a set of 24 technical sessions that provide a lot of deep dives, workshops and training. We hope that this is something that our users in the DC area and working in the federal sector will find useful.”

The summit also provides the opportunity for developers to meet with the engineers who create ArcGIS. This gives developers the chance to directly hear how the technology is built, and provide a great feedback for Esri engineers, ultimately improving the product for all users. Esri’s website provides some additional clarity on what to expect at the event:

  • Plenary: This isn’t your manager’s plenary. Roll up your sleeves, because we are going to dive right into what makes the Esri Location Platform tick, and how you can harness the power of geo-awesomeness.
  • Put the Where in Your Widget: Join select Esri development staff, other software gurus, content providers and generally cool people and plan on spending the day taking a deep dive into location-based technology.
  • A Crash Course: Consider this your Geogeek Cliff Notes for the Esri DevSummit in Palm Springs– a weeklong event attended by 1500+ developers.
  • Radical Round Robin: We’ve got amazing tech workshops that will give you an even earlier peek into the latest in Esri technology and get you coding quicker than ever.

Barry was clear to mention that this event is designed for developers, by developers. Just like past Esri events and meetups, Esri is dedicated to making the event the best it can be for ArcGIS developers. This means a commitment to receiving and implementing feedback from users. “Just like other developer events, the way we grow depends a great deal on the feedback we get. We’ve used a lot of the feedback from users over the years to make the Palm Springs event better and better. We’d like to do the same thing to the event in DC,” said Barry.

If you are a seasoned veteran of ArcGIS development, or if you are a new startup looking to leverage Esri solutions, this event will be applicable to you. “There are some sessions that are more intro level, and some sessions that are expecting that you should be using ArcGIS for awhile. There are also some deep dives into the code to learn things that you may not have known existed, and to learn best practices to get the most out of the technology,” said Barry.

Jim Barry provided additional context as to why now is the time to add a developer summit to the Federal GIS Conference, “Adding this element goes back to our international user conference in San Diego. About 10 years ago we had special interest meeting groups for developers so that developers that came to our GIS user conference could meet others, network, show others what they are doing.”

After the success of the meetings with developers at Esri’s International Users Conference, they also started to do a developers conference in Palm Springs. “So that’s how the developer summit in Palm Springs came about. We are in our 9th year, and we will be holding it again in March. The conference has quickly became the premiere conference for geospatial developers.”

As Jim Barry and his team started to get additional feedback from the community, they realized that it would be great to take the developer summit on the road. In the last two years, Esri hosted Developer Summits in Europe and the Middle East. Ultimately, with such a strong developer community on the East Coast, Esri decided now was the time to pair a Developer Summit with the Esri Federal GIS Conference.

“There are a lot of developers that are using the ArcGIS platform that do government work, or are in the federal sector. These folks may have wanted to come to Palm Springs, but haven’t been able to,” said Barry.

Do Your Prep Work – Key Esri Developer Resources

If you are looking for more insights prior to attending the event, Jim Barry shared two great resources for you to check out. The ArcGIS website provides many tools and resources for developers. As Barry notes, “The ArcGIS website gives you all the tools, concepts, technologies, samples and tutorials, it puts into the developers hands everything you need to get started and be successful. This includes not just the software, but also the API’s and access to Esri geo-services. This can enable developers to host services in the Esri cloud, or tie into existing services that you create using ArcGIS for Server.”

A second resource to view is the Esri videos website. “What we do on that website is that we record a lot of the technical workshops and training activities that we do throughout the year,” said Barry. One example is that the developer summit in Palm Springs is recorded. Esri posted over 200 videos alone from last year’s event. “What we end up a lot of times is that people go to a session and they want to go to another session at the same time, or perhaps, they weren’t using the technology yet, but 5 months down the road they are, and that gives them the kind of quick start they need, and within 60 minutes you have got enough to get moving.”

The developer community is essential to advancing GIS applications in the federal government. Events like Developer Summits are great ways to connect industry with government, and create services that meet mission need and provide deeper value. As Jim Barry said, “Not only is it important that we provide powerful tools, but we also provide them to be fairly easy to use so you can make prototypes, deploy and then go to market quickly,” said Barry.

To learn more about GIS for developers, be sure to register for Esri Developer Summit

Details on the Esri Federal GIS Conference

In addition to the Developer Summit, Esri is hosting a concurrent event, the Esri Federal GIS Conference (follow this link to register for the Esri Federal GIS Conference). This event will feature five immersion summits. The event is a two-day event. The conference will feature immersion summits focused on national security, natural resource management, health and human services, and transportation, development and conservation. Below you can check out some blogs, which give you a preview of what to expect at the event. (Again, registration for the developer summit and Federal GIS Conference are different, so be sure you have followed the correct links to register for these two great events).

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