Did not have any plan 🙂
My father bought a computer (Commodore 64) and a series of books on computers and programming languages of the times (1980s). Then I subscribed to the Italian C64 magazine, programmed throughout my teen years, then left programming for a while until the final year of University (I was studying in other fields). When I picked up programming again, I was struck and made that my career, first in C++, then in Java.
The in-person experience.
While you can get all the technical information from the Internet, the in-person experience of a speaker at a conference, and the extra information he/she conveys is very valuable. Along with that, the in-person networking with other people, their stories, war stories, use cases, experiments with new technologies, opinions, etc.
It’s a great occasion to meet other speakers, listen to the attendees and have their feedback on what I presented.
I don’t recall anything “crazy”. Perhaps a number of really weird race conditions in multi-threaded code, but for the rest computers tend to do what I tell them 🙂