Like last year, I was fortunate enough to attend the Norwegian Developers Conference or NDC 2010. It was held again in Oslo but this time in Oslo Spektrum in the centre of town . There was 7 different tracks which covered a lot of different development technologies including web development, test driven development, AGILE and SCRUM project methodologies and architectural patterns and practices.
The conference organizers managed to raise the bar once again in terms of speakers and content. The speaker line-up contained a whole cross section from the development community. Speakers like Rob Conery, Bob C Martin, Itzik Ben Gan, Michael Feathers and some of the brightest stars in the Norwegian community such as Jonas Follesø, Frederik Kalseth and Mark Nijhof.
I got to Itzik Ben-Gan’s talks on Advanced T-SQL Tips & Tricks and also Pivoting SQL data. Itzik managed to show some exceptional ways to simplify queries and also to think a slight bit differently on how you would perform some common queries.
The overflow solution this year was nick named the “ADD Room” or “Mission Control” by some. It consisted of 7 large screens suspended over section of the arena. You picked up a set of wireless headphones and you could watch the session from the seats below. It worked really well and even better when you discovered the VIP box seats which has some extra leg room and more comfortable seats. A lot of people managed to figure this out by the end.
The Thursday nights entertainment was provided by the Ralph Myerz & Jack Herron Band who rocked the place. Some great percussion and funky rhythms. Hugely enjoyable.
A couple of us also headed over the nearest Irish pub, and by tradition you must bring an Irishman as a form of identification. I got to chat again to Scott Bellware (who has an excellent post on NDC), Tibi Covaci, Rob and many others. It was great to get some interesting takes on speaker styles, presentation techniques and other such stuff.
I quite enjoyed Rob Conery’s talk on WebForms vs MVC on Friday morning which was an interesting talk and there has been much, in some parts very heated debate on twitter and on his blog post about it.
For me, it was more whatever you use there is no need to be militant (one of my personal stances), but to also leave your mind open to other options. Additionally some innovation has stagnated coming out of the main tool provider(s). Maybe I am looking too simply at this and not reading as much into it as much as everyone else but at least that it was I took from it.
Jon Skeet did a great session on what he thought should be in C# 5.0 (which Ben Hall commented “isn’t that just Ruby”) which was followed by a panel discussion by Mads Torgersen, Jon Skeet, Eric Lippert and Neal Gafter on where C# 5.0 is going.
.NET Rocks presenters Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell presented the 64 Bit question where people won some nice prizes. Also Carl did an impromptu session along with myself, Ingo Rammer, Tibi Covaci and Rune Grothaug (who took the video)
Which leaves me with this. The Norwegian Developer Conference should be a prescribed part of your developer education. The conference is progressively raising the bar on how developer conferences should be run. The level of the talks, the quality of the speakers added to the amount of post discussion means that if you miss it, you miss out on a very valuable resource.