Welcome! And thanks for checking out jeffandjon.com. This blog came about very suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly. In fact, in a lot of respects, it feels like it came totally out of left field. But that’s not really how it is. As with all things, there is a story behind who we are and why we are here. As a quick introduction, we are Jeff Strauss and Jon Mills, a couple of software developers, consultants, and passionate participants in the global technology community.

Our story begins nearly ten years ago, in the summer of 2008. Jeff was fairly new to the software industry and was helping to organize a fledgling conference called the St. Louis Day of .NET. It was the second year for the event, and its first at a commercial venue. Jon drove in from Kansas City to attend and came with Lee Brandt and Boon Lee. It turns out the three of them were starting a conference of their own, the Kansas City Developer Conference. Jeff met Jon and the KC crew the first evening at an attendee party.

Hijinks ensued.

We are a bit fuzzy on the details, although we are fairly certain that Jeff stole Boon’s cigar and nearly smashed Jeff Fattic‘s beer. For better and for worse, this was the first—but not the last—time that the festivities and camaraderie extended well into the wee hours of the morning. That night began a long partnership between the KCDC and STLDODN leadership teams, as both conferences went on to grow dramatically, side-by-side, in the years that followed.

Friendship ensued.

Over the years, our careers and our involvement in the tech community have evolved. Jon slowly shifted from enterprise management into a successful career as an architectural consultant and a highly acclaimed Pluralsight author. Jeff also followed the consulting bug, ultimately forming a partnership called Arana Software with another close friend, Jay Harris. All the while, Jon and Jeff kept a focus on building strong developer communities. They both continued to foster the growth of their respective events while working to expand their profiles as industry speakers.

Collaboration ensued.

In the summer of 2016, Jeff was invited by Jon, Lee, and Boon to join the board of KCDC. Around the same time we established two new Slack teams for technology speakers and conference organizers to collaborate and share ideas. (If you are interested in joining one or both of these, email us for an invite!)

Finally, in November 2107, we took a two-week-long trip overseas to speak at Devoxx Belgium and Devoxx Morocco. In the early morning hours, just before starting out on the trip and under a sleep-deprived delirium, Jeff fired off a tweet:

And just like that, #JeffAndJonsExcellentAdventure was born.

Honestly, at first it was a joke. But it gained traction. People back home enjoyed following our travels on Twitter and Facebook. More importantly, word of our adventures and hijinks (you’ll notice that hijinks are a recurring theme) preceded us on our journey, leading to many amazing new connections and friendships as we traveled.

Eventually, sometime near the end of the trip, one of us—probably Jon—realized that this needed to be a thing. So here we are…

Adventure ensued.

Looking ahead, we hope to use this blog to showcase many of the things that make our technology industry and conference community great. As we travel, we will highlight the events and cities that we visit. We will interview and evangelize for many of the contributors and leaders who make great things possible. We will, no doubt, share stories of additional hijinks.

We hope that our stories will be interesting and thought-provoking. We hope that a discussion of diverse locales and events will help to bring people together and create even more connections and lasting friendships in the vast web that is our community. And we hope that, over time, as we cross paths with different people, many of you will become a part of our Excellent Adventure.

Cheers,
Jeff and Jon