Over the last week I attended the Norwegian Developers Conference which was held from the 17th to the 19th of June in the Telenor Arena in Oslo. There was a total of 7 different tracks covering such topics as legacy code maintenance, test driven development, web development and architecture.
The speaker line-up was fantastic, with noted industry experts like Scott Bellware, Ted Neward, Bob C. Martin, Scott Hanselman and Michele Leroux Bustamante. As its one of those view vendor neutral conferences it allows you to try different aspects of software design and get new ideas into your field
Also it allows better access to the speakers. Even though there was around one thousand delegates at the conference, you could still catch the speakers chatting to everyone and anyone during the day. I managed to get talking to Scott Bellware, Phil Haack, Peter Provost and Scott Hanselman which lead to some interesting discussions and also some fantastic insights into software development.
Bob C Martin gave the keynote speech on software professionalism which being very honest about made me twice (if not many more times) about my own skill as a developer. His main focus to instil a sense that we all need to up our game and strive to be truly professional by increasing our understanding of software development and increasing our skill
Among some of the sessions I got to see were
- Phil’s sessions on MVC development which gave me many ideas on how to speed up my development
- Michele’s sessions on Azure which was a whole day track and cleared up some issues I was having with Azure
- Scott Bellware trying to scare me into using Ruby which was always going to be a tough sell to me but he did show me more in 60 minutes than many people who have tried before him
- Scott Hanselman’s session on Astoria. I also learnt a lot of presentation techniques from watching how he gives demos and shows off complex subjects using edu-tainment
- Udi Dahan’s talk on scalable web architecture
- Ted Neward’s talks on WCF and extending Visual Studio using scripting languages
- The very entertaining .NET Rocks! live which I really hope they don’t edit out.
- And finally the Hanselman and Haack show, a truly enjoyable session for me as it was on security similar to the one I presented the week before (and in which I won a signed copy of Professional MVC 1.0 signed by Scott Hanselman, Phil and Scott Guthrie) though not the extended forehead edition
Scene from .NET Rocks! Live
Added to all this, was the speaker interaction with the delegates.
Getting to discuss software approaches with Scott Bellware (including reminiscing about hand written coding exams in college) and heading to an impromptu dinner with Scott Hanselman and Phil Haack in Mama Africa’s in Oslo Sentrum. Guided by Scott’s seeming random memory and his nose (directions were quite funny) we found the restaurant where I was amazed he ordered in Ethiopian and then explained to a lot of us Ethiopian food virgins, which included two of my colleagues and some other folks we just picked up along the way, what we were about to eat and how to eat it. A very interesting experience I have to say and one I quite enjoyed
Myself and Phil Haack sizing up some Ethiopian food (the jersey that I am wearing now belongs to Phil after he won a game of last man standing with me!)
Overall it was an excellent conference. I can suggest a couple of things. One would be to have more power points as there was very few and they would have been good in the overflow areas.
The other one was in relation to the Azure track. It would have been nice if it had lab orientated allowing people to work with the material as its very hard to stay focussed when you are being given a lecture on code without being able to implement it.
Whether or not you are a Norwegian or Scandavian based developer, you should catch this next year. Its line-up rivals TechEd & PDC and in some respects surpasses it.
And finally some photos from the events
Data Rock get some love
NDC put your hands up!
Phil Haack and Scott Hanselman as the HaHaa brothers