Other than a way to get some free swag and maybe a free cup of coffee, I've found most business conferences to be pretty useless. I rarely attend them.
Case in point: This cringe worthy TechCrunch panel discussion on women in technology where the participants spend most of the session attacking each other rather than addressing the underlying trends and issues that keep women from pursuing software careers. It's painful to watch, so of course I have to share it.
I found it odd how moderator/TechCrunch reporter Sarah Lacy was so combative and confrontational with the other women on the panel, while also putting out feelers for a new job at the end of the presentation (see 29:12). Rachel Sklar should be prohibited from using the word "dude" in any way ever again. Panelist Leila Chirayath Janah, meanwhile, was easily the most eloquent and impressive member of the group. I particularly liked what she had to say between the 18:10-18:45 mark. She made some very important points. Kudos to Ms. Janah for highlighting the global issues women face.