I had the opportunity to attend some really exciting professional development sessions at the All Hands. Personally I found these very interesting, but I heard a lot of grumbling about how these are not adding a lot of value or of interest.
One reason I found these interesting is that in a previous life I had attended a few years of Improv acting classes and did a short stint of real onstage Improv acting. In looping back to these professional development sessions, they reminded me of the core concepts we learned in Improv 101. So if you felt that you missed out, sign up for an Improv class. Maybe if there are professional development sessions at a future event they could just have an Improv acting class.
Related to the professional development courses, I found that most of these were sparsely attended. Of those that did attend the courses received great reviews/ratings. To be fair, the technical tracks that I attended had about the same attendance records of the professional development tracks. Maybe we are not creating sessions that are of interest to our audience? I know for the technical tracks we just propose something and it magically becomes a session. I don’t recall getting any input in what sessions would be available to me. Maybe in the future we can do a better job of getting input from the community (a.k.a audience)!