An employee and their boss sit at a table looking at a laptop and discuss attending a DevOps conference.
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4 min read

How to convince your boss to let you attend DevOps World 2022

Saskia Sawyerr
Director, Global Events Marketing at CloudBees

DevOps World 2022 is coming soon on September 27-29. And although it's true this is the best of the best when it comes to your yearly conference options, the growing impact of DevOps, DevSecOps, AIOps, and XOps on enterprise operations means there's now a calendar filled with great event options.

The challenge? Convincing your boss that it's a good idea for you to attend—and on the company dime. Not sure how to convince your boss to attend a conference? You're covered with this step-by-step guide.

How to convince your boss to attend a conference in 5 steps

It's not that bosses don't see the value in conferences; it's that without a solid case for attendance, it's hard for them to justify the expense, both to their bosses and to finance departments. In other words, if you're working for a good company that respects your expertise and recognizes the value of your role, your boss is looking for reasons to say yes—you just need to provide them.

So, what does this look like in practice? Although your mileage will vary based on your company's current business needs, five common steps can increase your chances of getting a "yes" the first time out.

Step 1: Do your research

First up? Make sure you're prepared before talking to your boss. This means doing your research on where the conference is being held, when it takes place, and how much time you'll need off.

It's also a good idea to research hotels in the area or check with the conference-recommended hotel for availability and do a quick estimate of costs, including the cost of the conference itself, transportation, lodging, and any additional costs.

This not only saves time up front when you sit down with your boss, but it also shows you've taken the time to explore your options.

Step 2: Create a plan

Next, create a plan that includes some of the key sessions or events you want to attend. You don't need to create a minute-by-minute schedule of what you'll do and who you'll see at the conference, but it's worth having a general plan in place to help your boss understand why you want to go and what you're hoping to learn.

Set the stage by taking a look at the available conference options and determining which tracks and sessions make the most sense given your present role, current company needs, and future plans for DevOps within your organization.

Step 3: Get specific

Get specific about why you want to attend. What makes this conference worth spending money on?

Here, you can talk about how what you'll learn can help address existing business issues or how sessions will prepare you to take on new challenges at work. For example, if your company is struggling with secure progressive delivery, you could attend sessions offering tools or techniques that could remediate this issue at scale.

Step 4: Send a formal letter to your boss

Some companies require staff to send a formal request letter to their supervisor; others are not so strict.

Even if you don't needto send a letter, it's good practice and good etiquette to provide a written summary of what you're asking for, why, and how it will benefit the company. Not only does this make it easier for finance to approve your request, but it helps ensure continuity along the approval process.

Need a little help getting started? Click here for a sample letter you can use to build out your DevOps World 2022 request.

Step 5: Know your audience

And lastly, know your audience. Every boss is different: Some want to know all the nitty-gritty details of your request both for their own records and for budgeting purposes, whereas others prefer staff to keep letters and meetings brief. Still others simply take note of what interests their employees and want to learn more.

By understanding your supervisor's communication style and preferences, approval for DevOps World 2022 can take less time and effort.

The conference is ready when you are. Once you've got that approval in hand, register for DevOps World 2022.

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