Finding Funding for Events on GitHub

Some of these events and conferences can get expensive. Microsoft BUILD can cost upwards of $2,500, and Google I/O is close to $1,200 — not to mention the trans­portation and parking to get to the conference and the hotel and flight costs if you don’t live near the venue.

Many software companies will pay to have employees attend a conference if the conference is a valuable learning opportunity. If you work for a software company, it doesn’t hurt to ask. To make your case stronger, explain how the things you learn at the conference will improve your performance at work.

Larger software companies may also be sponsoring events and need volunteers to attend and help run the booth. Some companies even offer a stipend for attending conferences as a perk and part of your compensation package.

Another way to fund your trip is to apply for a scholarship. The Grace Hopper Celebration is a large conference with more than 18,000 attendees and celebrates women in computing. With technical tracks as well as tracks focused on diversity and inclusion, this conference is typically held over three days and moves around the United States for the venue. The Anita Borg institute that puts on the confer­ence also offers scholarships that you can find at These scholarships typically include airfare, hotel, transportation costs, meals, and a ticket to attend. They focus on students and faculty for this particular scholarship.

Most conferences will waive the price of the conference ticket for speakers. Many conferences will also cover hotel and travel to the conference. And some confer­ences will even offer an honorarium on top of expenses. These benefits completely depend on the conference. Furthermore, some conferences ask for volunteers to help run the conference, which also tends to come with some perks like a free ticket so that you can enjoy the rest of the conference when you’re not working one of your shifts. The Grace Hopper Celebration calls it the Hopper Program, which you can find at

If you’ve found an event you’re particularly excited to attend, before you shell out the thousands of dollars from your own pocket, ask around! Ask your network if anyone knows of any scholarships, apply to be a speaker or volunteer, and ask your company or school what resources are available to you!

Source: Guthals Sarah, Haack Phil (2019), GitHub for Dummies, Wiley.

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