back to article DevTernity conference collapses amid claims women speakers were faked

Presenters at the DevTernity software developer conference have been told the gig, scheduled to begin December 7, has been canceled after allegations emerged that one or more fake profiles had been added to the speaker list. The cancellation of the coding conference – designated "sold out" despite being online and not having …

  1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    More than One Way to Burn Conferees

    There's also incompetent live event administration, or even active intent to defraud. Every non-manager on our software team had signed up to hear Laura Chappell (a network analysis expert) speak at the Windows 2000 release event/conference in San Francisco. When we showed up at the doors for her talk, we were told there was no more room. W.T.F.?!! The conference organizers knew, in advance, how many seats were available for that talk. The conference organizers took our company's money, in advance, for our seats at that talk. At the appointed day and time, they failed to deliver. Our managers ineffectively tried to get us in. I don't know if our company ever got their money back. It may not have been intentional fraud, but it was at least gross incompetence.

    (Icon, 'cause yeah, I'm still pissed about it.)

  2. Bebu Silver badge

    "If you're going to build a diverse conference you're going to have a tough time."

    I am pretty sure that amongst "developers" lack of diversity is in no way a problem rather the lack of the "right" diversity is probably an insurmountable problem.

    Finding a reasonable, rational or mostly sane developer capable of delivering a cogent, coherent presentation is a major challenge without further restricting the choice to female, male or any of the other letters.

    AI + online conferences might see the likes of Maxine Headrooma delivering papers on the AI-Cybernetics interface. :)

    What a bloody silly world in which we seem to live?

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Magnificent corporate doublespeak

    "Asked to confirm that no such person is employed at Coinbase, a spokesperson for the cryptocurrency exchange told The Register: "We’re not aware of any Coinbase employees speaking at the conference. "

    I love the redirection. Do you have an Anna Boyko working for you ? I am not aware that any of our employees is going to speak at that conference.

    Might as well have answered by saying that it sure looks like it'll be snowing at XMas. What was the point ? Does Coinbase consider its employee list as a secret ? In that case, are there any Coinbase employees that use social media and identify as Coinbase employees ? Because there's some cleaning to do there, if that is the case.

    1. Anonymous Cowpilot

      Re: Magnificent corporate doublespeak

      My guess is that Coinbase, being all Web3 etc etc, probably has a large number of "contributors" (of content, code, legal advice, etc etc) that they treat as "self employed", have never met, and pay in crypto tokens - leading to a situation where they don't actually know who all the people "working for them" are. This isn't a very sensible situation, but its the kind of thing that the web3 crowd think is cool.

    2. MatthewSt

      Re: Magnificent corporate doublespeak

      To be honest I think that's a good response for a company. Otherwise what's to stop any "journalist" calling up companies and asking to see if anyone works there. They've avoided a data disclosure issue there.

    3. SCP

      Re: Magnificent corporate doublespeak

      Does Coinbase consider its employee list as a secret ?

      They might consider it private personal data that they should not give out/confirm. Their response seems appropriate while trying to politely address an aspect of the enquiry.

      If individuals decide to post information about themselves on social media (including who their employer is) that is their concern. Most companies don't usually have an issue with this unless the employee is being publically obnoxious and so the company is bought into disrepute by association. Companies involved in sensitive industries may well advise staff not to publish their employment details for personal security reasons - but it is still up to the individual. If a company has a policy that employees must not publish details of their employment - then that would be an issue they could take up with the employee through their disciplinary process.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: They might consider it private personal data that they should not give out/confirm

        The they should have the balls to say so.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wasn't the "everywhere girl" available?

  5. keithpeter Silver badge

    What for?

    What are these conferences for exactly?

    How does listening to some talks from people working for large IT companies actually benefit you when the content of the talk will presumably have been carefully checked for any significant disclosures of working methods or IP?

    I may have completely misunderstood all this but can anyone explain?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: What for?

      Feel good factor…

      You attend a conference listen to success stories and walk away fired up thinking you too could do something exciting…

    2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: What for?

      Conferences definitely have their uses

      While presentation content does have to be approved beforehand to make sure you’re not revealing any trade-secret information, most of the content of a presentation like “our experiences with {Technology A} at {Company B}” will not involve trade secrets at all, and will instead provide you with a very good summary of the pitfalls of adopting the tech, plus, if you’re lucky, details of a workaround that actually worked. Most importantly, at a good conference presentation, the Q&A part at the end goes on for a while afterward, and you can get a more direct answer to your question than may have been in the presentation.

      Beyond that, conferences allow the people attending to meet each other. On FOSS projects that often have zero budget, let alone a budget for travel, it’s not unusual for various contributors to get their respective employers to send them to a relevant conference, so that they can meet with other team members there in person.

      That last point is where online conferences are much less useful.

      1. hittitezombie

        Re: What for?

        ~$600 per seat, discounted to ~$300 isn't very cheap. If you have zero budget for your FOSS event, you're not going to shell that out either.

        I have a friend who spent a good amount of her time in academy organising conferences where the school would pay for the seat & the travel costs, and you'd just have to turn up and present a paper. It serves just as you mentioned, 100 people sleep, 10 people pay attention, 1 person hi-jacks the question to talk about their own work, and 111 people spend the time in the bar talking to each other.

      2. JacobZ

        Re: What for?

        Not just hard-up FOSS projects. When I worked for IBM, we reckoned that the biggest reason to attend a conference was to meet face-to-face with our IBM colleagues.

  6. Mr Dogshit


    Epic catfishing

  7. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

    Fake it til you make it

    Pathetic, simply pathetic.

  8. Jedit Silver badge

    "Anna Boyko, purportedly a staff engineer at Coinbase"

    Incredible. Not even the staff at crypto mills are real?

  9. probgoblin

    My girlfriend, who is speaking at another conference (in Canada) said this is pretty common and normal, actually.

  10. IGotOut Silver badge

    What a pathetic excuse of a "man"

    "The amount of hate and lynching I keep receiving is as if I would have scammed or killed someone"

    That is EXACTLY what you have done. If you are taking a fair chunk if money for a "conference", where you are advertising the event using speakers that don't exist, that is a SCAM.

    As for some pathetic excuse that you can't find women speakers, maybe, you know, try actually looking for some?

  11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Regina Eggbert

    You want diversity? Check

    You want AI? Check

    hmm, the videos have been made private - this cancel culture is spreading!

  12. Doctor Evil


    If Anna Boyko isn't going to be there, then that's it; I'm not fucking going either!

  13. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Give me a break, Uncle Bob

    "Martin, who argued it's difficult to come up with a diverse set of presenters"

    What a load of crap. Hanselman had it right: while the industry demographics are dire, there are still a vast number of qualified speakers of any group available. If you can't find good female presenters for your conference, either your conference is crap or you're an asshole.

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