We’re thrilled to announce Workday DevCon 2023, taking place from May 16–19 right in the heart of Silicon Valley at the San Jose Convention Center. We’re looking forward to welcoming back developers, IT leaders, and architects at this year’s event to test-drive new technologies, discover best practices, and network with peers and Workday experts.

DevCon 2023 continues to further our mission to build possibilities through the power of the Workday developer ecosystem. Attendees will get the chance to hear from industry experts and thought leaders, share knowledge, and learn about the latest Workday technologies and best practices in application development. 

However, I’d be remiss to talk about all that DevCon has to offer without including the person who is at the center of it: Workday’s Head of Developer Relations Chris Bledsoe. I recently sat down with Chris to find out what he’s most excited about at this year’s event and what he hopes attendees will leave with. Highlights from our conversation are below.

What inspired you to start a Workday developer event?

First and foremost, we wanted the broader developer community to build on the Workday platform by not only extending the functionality, but by driving value for their unique business needs. As it turns out, the Workday platform is a developer-centric solution, and we wanted to have a central place where developers—the people who build, model, and analyze using low to high code—could come to meet with other like-minded individuals and learn all about developing on Workday. At the conference, the goal is for customers to help each other maximize their investments and overcome industry barriers.  

When you’re building technical solutions, it helps to understand what other customers and partners are building themselves. Usually, this type of knowledge sharing allows many to find answers for common business problems they’ve been trying to solve. However, it also uncovers innovative ways of using technology to solve challenges they may not have even thought about. We knew that having an event like DevCon would allow our customers to have in-depth discussions on how they’re building applications and find inspiration for what they can do differently.

DevCon has grown so much over the past few years. What makes this year’s event different from the previous ones?

When we first started DevCon, we were mainly focused on building apps with Workday Extend

This year, we’ve significantly expanded the event’s scope to include a number of different platform technologies that Workday provides—including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). We’ll have dedicated sessions where developers will learn how to use AI and ML as a part of their development activity, and we’ll be announcing some exciting new partnerships in this space as well. In addition, we’ll have sessions on how developers can leverage Workday Extend, Workday Prism Analytics, Workday Adaptive Planning, and Workday Journeys, as well as other tools and integrations that we have available. 

Another cool aspect of DevCon is that developers can get their hands dirty. Whether or not you’re a customer, you’re going to be able to play with our technology. We have hands-on labs, which is a brand-new program where developers can come in and learn how to build applications, model planning solutions, define analytics, and craft user journeys. The Hackathon also provides an opportunity to try out new technology that is on our product roadmap but hasn’t yet been released publicly.

Why should developers attend?

Developers have the opportunity to directly engage with not only our product management team but with our technical experts and engineers as well. Our Birds of a Feather sessions allow developers to provide feedback on platform technologies and how they’d like to see the product evolve or grow. 

We also have the Developer Hub program, where developers can come with technical-related issues and work with our experts and engineers. Instead of taking weeks to get something figured out, they can find an answer right then and there. So, not only can attendees build relationships, but they can actually get work done—especially anything technically difficult to solve.

“Developers have the opportunity to directly interact with not only our product management team but with our technical experts and engineers as well.”

Chris Bledsoe Head of Developer Relations Workday

The Hackathon is a key component of DevCon. Can you talk a bit about what developers can expect? 

We host a 24-hour Hackathon, and it never ceases to amaze me what they can build in that time. We create teams of Workday partners, customers, and prospects to work together to build custom  applications that address real business needs. By partnering our customers with someone with deep technical expertise, it provides them the opportunity to learn something new during the process. The Hackathon has really become a badge of pride for the winners, and we love to showcase them all throughout the year. 

Last but certainly not least, we have to mention our developer stars. Can you talk a bit about the program and what it means for DevCon?

Last year we introduced the Developer Star program at DevCon. The program identifies developers who regularly contribute to the developer community, have strong technical ability, and show great internal and external representation of Workday technology. We wanted to celebrate and highlight “our cream of the crop” developers on stage at DevCon, and show attendees someone who they model themselves after. 

The developer stars are the people you want to network and be friends with because they’re the ones who can help you and inspire you to grow as a developer. We want to make sure that those who are building on Workday platform technologies have a long career that’s full of great opportunities, as well as the ability to highlight their skills. 

Registration for DevCon 2023 is now open! You can sign up to attend the event virtually or in person. We hope to see you in May. 

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