When you approach your manager to ask for a CascadiaJS ticket, it's important that they understand that CascadiaJS isn't an expense: it's an investment. CascadiaJS is an opportunity for their employees to grow their knowledge, stay motivated and network with fellow developers.
First, what does it cost to attend? Here's a breakdown:
Example: A developer who works at a small company in Vancouver, BC and plans on staying for 2 nights could attend CascadiaJS 2019 for roughly $800.
If costs roughly $800 to attend the conference, what are the benefits? Let's break them down.
Think about what you plan to learn at the conference. Mention any specific pain points your team might have: slow processes, knowledge gaps, lack of code quality; and point out how attending CascadiaJS would boost you and your team in tackling these issues.
Offer to give a lunch talk about the conference and your most important take-aways, to share your learnings with the team. At the very minimum, plan to send a quick email to your team with a summary and some links to interesting tools or techniques you learned about.
Volunteer to write a blog post about your experience on the company blog. This is not only a good way to report back to your team, but it also publicly shows your company’s involvement and participation in community events.
CascadiaJS brings together experts on front-end, Node.js and fullstack development, both on stage and within its audience. You get to learn from them not only during talks, but also during breaks and associated events (evening gatherings, workshops). Connecting, chatting and learning from top-notch talent in the industry can be incredibly inspiring.
You'll find yourself surrounded by a diverse group of people who work on the exact same problems you do and you’ll return motivated and eager to apply your new learnings in your team.
Networking is your special skill? Offer to recruit at the event. Your company is desperately looking for new talent? Great – there’s no better place to meet skilled designers and front-end developers than CascadiaJS. Offer to actively connect with people and let them know how great working at your company is.
Your company sells a service or a product that is relevant to web and fullstack developers? Show some presence at CascadiaJS! You can raise awareness for your brand, get direct feedback from your users, gain some new ones, and show that your company cares about its community.
Each of the benefits above have concrete value to your company. Helping improve your engineering processes can reduce defects and improve time to market. Hiring a single new engineer can be worth up to $25,000.
Comparing these benefits to the costs (~$800) and you have what business people call "positive return on investment". Hope this helps you make the business case to your company!