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Are you ready to hack the future, Data Nerds?

The biggest New Relic event of the year, our can’t-miss tech conference for engineers, developers, and IT leaders, FutureStack 2021, is just one week away. The fully virtual 3-day event, sponsored by AWS, starts Tuesday, May 25, and goes until Thursday, May 27. Join us and connect with fellow Data Nerds from across the globe to learn, share, and get inspired as we reinvent the future of software—and have lots of fun doing it.

The truth is, there are hundreds of reasons why you shouldn’t miss this year’s event, but we worried that if we listed them all, this blog post would take too long to read. So we forced ourselves to whittle the list down to just the top 10 reasons why FutureStack 2021 cannot be missed!

futurestack 2021 level up

1. Compete in our exciting 24-hour hackathon

Jump into our 24-hour virtual FutureHack to compete with fellow engineers, developers, practitioners, and students to create your most kick-a** project and compete for amazing prizes. It’s your opportunity to shine, with Relics and sponsor engineers there to help via Slack and Zoom. There are four hackathon tracks to choose from: one for skilled Data Nerds, one for students, and even a “low-code/no-code” one for non-engineers, plus a “Hack for Good” competition to give back to the community through code. 

2. Swap your swag for charity cash

Everyone loves swag, and this year’s FutureStack swag won’t disappoint. But for those who want to skip the swag this year and give back to the community instead, we’ve set up a cool program to turn your swag points into dollars, which New Relic will donate on your behalf to one of two organizations in the coding community:, an organization working to ensure every student has the opportunity to learn computer science as part of their core K-12 education, and Code for America, whose mission is to build a government that effectively and equitably serves all Americans, using the best practices of the digital age. 

3. Hear inspiring keynotes from New Relic’s Lew Cirne and special guests

Joining our “coder CEO” Lew Cirne on stage for this year’s opening keynote will be many special guests, including Jaana Dogan, Principal Engineer, AWS; Avi Freedman, Co-founder and CEO, Kentik; Scot Gorman, Site Reliability Engineering Manager, Chegg; Mason Jones, Senior Staff Site Reliability Engineer, Credit Karma; and Rama Rachappa, Senior Director Application, World Fuel Services. (The opening keynote starts Wed., May 26, 9:00–10:15 a.m. PT.)

4. Take a trip to Nerd Island

Once you land on the shores of Nerd Island, you’ll never want to leave. Join your fellow coders, crafters, and curious adventurers in this track celebrating the bright and joyful moments in technology. We’ve got an eclectic mix of speakers and events you won’t want to miss, including Andy Baio speaking about his latest creation Skittish, a playful space for virtual events; a conversation with Kelsey Hightower, Principal Engineer at Google; and presentations on fun topics like “Why Docker Isn’t Magic,” “Rust for JavaScript Developers,” “Furby Hacking,” and “DevOps for High Schoolers.”

5. Play an angel investor in “Nerd Tank” 

Ever dream of launching your own tech startup? Are you a fan of Shark Tank? Instead of startup entrepreneurs pitching to sharks it will be pelicans (well, Relicans) pitching to sharks—and you’ll play the shark. We’re asking you to imagine you’re an angel investor looking for the next great tech company. Each of our developer advocate team members will have two minutes to pitch you their best-worst tech startup ideas. The catch? They’ve never seen the slides they will be presenting. (Join the fun on Wed., May 26, from 12:15–12:45 p.m. PT.)

6. Watch a special live music performance by Sonic Pi

This is something totally unique that you won’t want to miss. Sonic Pi is a code-based music creation and performance tool created by Sam Aaron, initially developed to help children learn to code in schools. Listen in as Sam and our own Nočnica Fee give a fascinating presentation on using music as a way to learn Ruby. After that, Sam will perform a live DJ set using just Sonic Pi to create a sonic soundscape. (The event starts on Wed., May 26, at 11:15–11:45 a.m. PT.)

7. Attend the inaugural Data Nerd Awards

Did you miss this year’s virtual Oscars? Don't worry, you can still attend our equally glamorous, first-ever Data Nerd Awards, celebrating New Relic customer innovation and excellence in observability. We’ll award winners in categories such as DevOps Heroes, New Tech Innovator, Open Source Community Leader, and more. It’s sure to be exciting and inspiring.

8. Get mindful with Maggie

There will be so much exciting stuff going on at this year’s FutureStack that you may find yourself glued to your screen. But be sure to make time to check out our daily yoga sessions with Maggie Calegari, founder and creator of Mindful Movement with Maggie. She’ll help get us out of our chairs, stretch our bodies, and keep us feeling refreshed and relaxed for all the sessions and presentations.

9. Watch a live Lego build by a real Lego Master

This year Tyler Clites, the season 1 winner of the hit show Lego Masters, will join us at FutureStack to create an original, jaw-dropping new Lego model—completely live! Tune in daily to watch Tyler’s progress and come back on the final day of the event to see his finished model. The best part? We’re going to give away Tyler’s Lego masterpiece to one lucky winner! 

10. Chill out (or get pumped up) in our special mood and music rooms

Our FutureStack agenda is jam-packed this year, and just like when attending an in-person conference, it’s important to pace yourself. If you need some downtime in between sessions, wander into our Sensory Room, an online space where you can unwind, recharge, and get in touch with your senses in a calming atmosphere. On the flip side, if your caffeine is taking time to kick in and you want to perk up before the next big session, check out our Energy Room, where you can let loose and have some fun.

To see the full event schedule, check out our FutureStack website.