Attending Esri Developer Summit 2017

Author: Garima Vyas

I recently attended Esri Dev Summit 2017

and I must admit, I found the conference to be an amazing experience. Palm Springs is the best place to hold a conference in March. Such beautiful weather and views, I was sad to leave.

This was my first time attending the Dev Summit as a software user and the agenda did not disappoint. Even though I went to the conference with a predetermined set of favorited sessions in the Esri Events app, I did quite a bit of rearranging after watching the plenary on Tuesday, March 7 and then the keynote on Wednesday, March 8.

Here is Andrew Turner showcasing GeoBots - Ask Alexa:


Here are my top 7 conference highlights:

1. Internet of Things Sessions

There were several Internet of Things (IoT) based technical sessions. These sessions presented everything IoT, from the smallest known computer: Raspberry Pi to Arduino like microcontrollers. 

I was amazed by the amount of work the Esri Prototype lab has accomplished and the wide range of implementations using various gadgets. Nice job team!

To learn more, look for videos from the following sessions:

a) GeoEvent Server: IoT by Morakot Pilouk

b) IoT and Indoor Tracking with Raspberry Pi, by Mark Baird

c) Latest Innovations from Esri’s Prototype Lab


2. Virtual Reality Live Demos

Exploring Virtual Reality (VR) with ArcGIS: Rex Hansen, Pascal Mueller and Adrien Meriaux presented this Esri Technical Session where there were several demos and walkthroughs of how to create 3D content and experiences for GIS data. I was completely blown away by the live demos, one of my favorites was the Esri HoloMaps.

Here is one shot using snapchat spectacles:


3. Charging Stations

Although the bean bag chairs were deeply missed this year, the loungers with power plugs were very popular. I never once found an empty chair.


4. Thursday Night Party

Throw carnival in the mix of a dodgeball game, you only get some fun times. So many games and a couple of fun rides before the dodgeball tournament made for an exhausting conference, but I’m ready to go back next year!

2017 Esri Developer Summit

5. Esri Events app

I must give kudos to the Esri Events app. The app let me filter and categorize sessions based on technology, expertise levels, room or location of the sessions among other things. It also let me take notes which I later emailed and shared with colleagues. I could type and sync notes from my laptop, iPad or iPhone and not miss out on anything.

6. Food and Outdoor Lunch Areas

I was disappointed in the food at the conference. Very limited meatless options (cold wraps, salads or fruits). Next time, I plan to stock myself up with bars and other snacks. Walking an average of 6-7 miles from 8 am-8 pm everyday requires major fuel. Also, I was surprised that the lunch area didn’t feature more umbrellas since the Palm Springs’ sun was shining bright. The events team did try to help by walking around handing out sunscreen packets and reminding you to put the sunscreen on. However, a little more shade would have made lunching outside more enjoyable.

7. Plenty of Session Options

There was a lot going on at the conference simultaneously. I ran around attending as many sessions as possible and could only catch about 20% of the conference due to overlapping sessions. This is not necessarily a bad thing but I did have a tough time getting over my fear of missing out, #FOMO. I am working on my list of 20 remaining sessions by going over the videos and slides as they are added to the Esri Event's You Tube channel

Below is my personal gallery of photos captured. Enjoy!

Garima @ 2017 Esri Dev Summit

If you are considering going next year and have any questions, feel free to reach out to me garima.vyas[at]