Skip to content Todd Libby

Devnexus 2024

Why a Java Conference?

I have been asked about why I take to conferences that are not accessibility-centered and the answer is simple. I would be preaching to the choir.

Having me at an accessibility conference speaking in front of a crowd of people that either already know and are well-versed in accessibility, is not productive in my opinion. Accessibility people, for the lack of a better term, are judgy. We have to be. Not that I am afraid of criticism and critique, I just feel that if I am talking to folks who are doing the work, than it is counter-productive.

Now they may not be up to speed in what I might be talking about by some slim chance, I am aware of that, I may be missing out on maybe a piece of something that may educate them.

Then there are the folks who are new and just learning. Yes, this is something I am missing and probably should, but that was what articles and writing about accessibility was all about. I recognize that fact.


Take the accessibility advocacy to the places you're not going to hear much, if anything at all at. Java conferences, .net conferences, DevOps, DevRel, etc. Open the curtains and let the light in. It is something to get a few people educated. There is a lot of education online now thankfully from great people like Marcy Sutton and Sara Soueidan, and many more.

Lots of resources I always link to in my slides and in my articles in the past.

However, seeing those faces when I present something to developers in much different spaces is the types of reactions I loved (and still love) to see. Raising awareness, bring light into a rather dark corner of development where accessibility may not be practiced much, if at all.

That is why.

The Conference

It has been a privilege and I am grateful to have had the chance to speak at Devnexus for the past few years. The event is one of the best that Pratik and Vince put on each year and one I highly recommend to people. Even if it is not a talk that is Java-centric, speak here, or at least attend and learn from the many talks by lots of great speakers who are the greatest of people.

Lots of sponsors and lots of learning. Iw as able to duck into some talks for a bit and see some great talks. Plan your days around what talks you want to see. Visit sponsors to learn what they are offering. Pick up some cool swag!

Networking at Devnexus is probably one of the best things you can do while here. I have met a ton of great people from all over the world. Some of the smartest, brightest, and hardest working people who do good things.

The talks I was able to see from folks were great learning experiences. Well worth the price of admission. You are getting your money's worth and more.

The Week in Review. The TL;DR

With the passing of my aunt on Monday, My heart was heavy and my mind was full. Which I feel stuck with me through the week. As I write this, I can feel that weight. I felt this weight during my talk too. I think that affected the talk.

I had to refer to notes, I had messed up an answer which was on a slide which I have never done. But I gave myself the grace that maybe it wasn't a great talk but I had a pretty full room. Little things that are broken shoelaces that I tend to still blow way out of proportion.

I got through, it felt like it was a good talk and it was well received. I may be wrong. I may be right. I don't know. My heart still feels heavy though.


It is always good to see the friends that I have made over the years and that is what makes the conference circuit (for me) worth the flying, the travel, the hotels, the time away from home. Seeing those faces a guy like me loves to see.

Details, Please?

I know this is a high-level overview, with not much context. I kept my talk at a high-level, this time has been different as I draw my speaking engagements to a close. Emotionally, mentally, I am exhausted. Physically the walking, while great exercise, takes its toll on my body.

Let me just say this and trust me when I say this.

Devnexus is a conference you want to speak at, a conference you want to attend. A conference that you want to get an experience at for the hallway tracks, the talks, the education, the networking.

Get yourself to a Devnexus soon and tell me you did not have a good time. I would be shocked if you didn't.