Jun 4, 2024

SoFlo DevCon 2024: Celebrating Tech Talent and Building the Developer Community

by

Nikki Cabus, CEO of South Florida Tech Hub with Daver Noderer, Founder of SoFlo DevCon.

The South Florida Developer Conference, or “SoFlo DevCon,” has celebrated its 20th year leaving attendees inspired and energized.

The conference which began two decades ago as “Code Camp” was founded by President & CEO of Computer Ways, Inc., local software developer and tech community advocate, Dave Noderer. In 2021, Dave approached South Florida Tech Hub about acquiring the conference and helping continue its impact in the community. Since its inception in 2005, SoFlo DevCon has morphed into a one-day geekfest for developers, designers, project managers, educators and even tech investors. We were honored to have Dave Noderer in the building with us celebrating this special milestone.

Held Saturday, May 4th, this year’s theme was fittingly “May The Source Be With You” bringing in the ever-so-popular Star Wars attire, decor, presentations and even Chewbacca himself to the day’s activities. The first 300 guests received an exclusive tshirt, sponsored by Streann Media and Sherlock Talent, comemorating the event. The conference was held in the Carl DeSantis building at Nova Southeastern University’s Davie campus in Broward and all guests were provided breakfast and lunch at no charge thanks to our wonderful sponsors,  Dexian Signature Consultants and SQA Advisory

Igor Cruz and Rebecca Bakels from CITY Furniture.

This year’s conference exceeded expectations, drawing over 1000 participants and featuring an impressive lineup of sessions, workshops, and keynote. Marking its 20th anniversary, this milestone event demonstrated why SoFlo DevCon remains a cornerstone in the tech community’s calendar, providing a dynamic environment for learning, networking, and innovation. In order to create a more inclusive and accessible  tech community, American Sign Language, or “ASL” was sponsored by CITY Furniture.

Meggie Soliman gives her opening keynote on “Unlocking Innovation” to kick off the conference.

The conference kicked off with a captivating keynote by Meggie Soliman, Director of Strategic Innovations, Applications at DSS, Inc, an experienced healthcare technologist with a passion for Innovation. Her talk, titled “Unlocking Innovation,” set an ambitious tone for the event, exploring how emerging technologies are revolutionizing industries and creating new opportunities for developers. Meggie’s insights resonated deeply with the audience, sparking conversations and ideas that permeated the entire conference.

SoFlo DevCon, sponsored by NSU’s College of Engineering, provides a specialized environment for attendees to learn, collaborate, and innovate. The conference featured a well-structured array of tracks, catering to various interests and expertise levels. Attendees had the opportunity to dive deep into Web Development, Mobile Applications, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Emerging Technologies and a mulitiude of other topics. Each track offered sessions that were both informative and cutting-edge, thanks to the expertise of the speakers and the relevance of the topics discussed.

The numerous workshops and hands-on sessions, offered a deep dive into various technical subjects such as “ABCs of GenAI, LLMs, and Why I Should Care?” by Todd Albert to “Integrating Automated & Performance Testing into the Software Development Lifecycle” by Delvis Echeverria to “Navigating a Multi-Cloud Organization” by Teddy Wagnac and so many more!

Teddy Wagnac, Founder & CEO of Nuboted with Marlon Atherton, Founder & CEO of ATEAM Solution Services.

“I’m thrilled to extend my gratitude to South Florida Tech Hub for hosting an incredible SoFlo DevCon 2024! Speaking at this event was not only a great honor but also an exceptional opportunity to engage with so many talented developers and industry leaders.,” shared Marlon Atherton, Founder & CEO of ATEAM Solution Services, SoFlo DevCon speaker and attendee.

“The energy and enthusiasm at the conference were truly inspiring. A huge thank you to the organizers and attendees alike for making it such a memorable experience. I’m already looking forward to the next one!” Marlon spoke on the topic of “Ai & Cybersecurity: Ethical Implications & Defense.”

Packed session on AI & ML held by Todd Albert.

These sessions were particularly valuable for those looking to enhance their practical skills. Workshops ranged from advanced coding techniques and user experience design to agile project management and educational technology. The hands-on nature of these workshops ensured that participants not only learned new concepts but also applied them in real-time, reinforcing their understanding and capability.

SoFlo DevCon 2024 emphasized the importance of community, connection and collaboration. Networking opportunities abounded, from meet-and-greet sessions to a Leadership Luncheon, sponsored by SIM South Florida, to a social after party and wine down. These interactions fostered connections among attendees, encouraging the exchange of ideas and the development of lasting professional relationships. Thafter party allowed attendees to unwind, enjoy music (and some karaoke), and engage in informal conversations with peers and speakers. The relaxed atmosphere fostered a sense of camaraderie and community that is often hard to achieve in more formal settings.

Left to Right: Russ Fustino, Alex Funkhouser, David Silverlight, Dave Noderer, and Glen Benjamin

A dedicated exhibit showcased the evolution of the conference, featuring memorabilia, photos, testimonials from past attendees and speakers, and awesome tshirts wall from over the years. This nostalgic look back was a reminder of how far the conference and the tech community have come, and it set a hopeful tone for the future. This display was thanks to Alex Funkhouser, Founder & CEO of Sherlock Talent and one of the original supporters and volunteers for Code Camp over the years.

The success of SoFlo DevCon 2024 would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Streann Media, Sherlock Talent, SIM South Florida, CITY Furniture, SQA Advisroy, Salgo Music, Microsoft TEALS, Talent MSH, TurboDocX, ShowUp Event App, and Synchronized Technologies. Their unwavering commitment and contributions were instrumental in making this event a resounding success, allowing us to provide a top-notch experience for all attendees.

As the curtains close on SoFlo DevCon 2024, the sentiment among attendees is overwhelmingly positive. The conference’s commitment to delivering high-quality content, fostering innovation and sense of continued learning, and building a strong community was evident throughout the event. Participants left with new knowledge, valuable connections, and a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the future of technology and software development.

Reflecting on the success of this year’s event, it’s clear that SoFlo DevCon continues to be a must-attend conference for anyone involved in the tech industry. Here’s to SoFlo DevCon 2025!

Want to see if you made this year’s photo album? Visit https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjBrje6