Why I'm a fan of Southwest Fox, and you can too

Southwest Fox / Southwest Xbase++ is the premier annual North American conference for Visual FoxPro and Xbase++ developers. I've attended every one of them except the first, so that makes nine years running. Obviously I'm a fan, and - if you're not already - I hope you'll become one too.

What makes this conference worth well more than the cost of attending? Outstanding speakers, great topics, white papers for every session, a great venue (sunny Gilbert, AZ), good food, terrific camaraderie among the attendees and presenters... the list goes on and on. Did I mention white papers for every session? This means you get to take home the full content of *every session* even if you can't sit in on all the presentations. The accumulated knowledge and advice in these white papers is awesome. Together, they comprise an invaluable reference library I frequently turn to for solutions. A lot of the material is leading edge, so something presented even years earlier can suddenly become relevant later when I find myself venturing into unknown territory. Other material I'm chomping at the bit to use as soon as I get back. White papers rock!

The social and networking aspects of this conference can't be overstated either. How valuable is it to "put a face with a name" and finally meet in person someone whose opinions you respect but whom you’ve only met online? They say 90% of communication is non-verbal - getting to know someone personally benefits you by adding a whole new dimension and a deeper level of understanding when you're reading what that person says in print and online. It's not unheard of that a frosty beverage or two helps cement these friendships, either, for those who are so inclined. After hours activities, both organized and impromptu, help round out three and a half days full of conference goodness.

I'm not alone is saying I've formed and maintained many valuable friendships through Southwest Fox, and I'm looking forward to making many more at this year's conference in October. Will you be one of them? Head over to www.swfox.net and register. I hope to see you there.