Monday, 10 October 2011

DDD North Wrapup

logoOn the 8th of October 2011 the Developer Developer Developer (DDD) brand of conferences came to Sunderland in the form of DDD North. The University of Sunderland was invaded by attendees and speakers all ready for a solidly packed day of talks and discussions around all aspects of software development and management. The topics for the day included Behavior Driven Design, Android Development, Continuous Delivery in software and NodeJS.

The DDD brand is a growing brand of software conferences that strives to bring a top class conference event for a low low price (actually the cost of admission to the attendees is free!). Speakers are asked to submit their sessions online and then the community votes for what sessions they would like to see. This is a great concept as this means that it is down to the community to decide what sessions they would like to have at their conference.

The man behind DDD North is Andrew Westgarth one of only two IIS MVPs in Europe. Andrew did a fantastic job of organizing the event and had a great team of support and helpers to ensure a very smooth running event. Thanks to all involved for making from a speakers side of things, a conference that was very easy to speak at.

My session on Defensive Programming 101 was picked up for this event (thanks to those of you that voted for it) and I had the pre-lunch slot.Original credit Ian Battersby

Original photo credit Martin CunninghamThis can be a difficult one because its usually when the attendees are hungry and wanting to get out early. So I shortened my session by five minutes so that they could be first in line for their lunch and also I bribed them with sweets to ensure that they stayed awake.  It was a fairly full session with good audience participation so thanks to all who came to it. Original picture credit for the photo on the right to Ian Battersby and for the photo on the left to Martin Cunningham.

The lunch was surprisingly good. A good quality sandwich, a choice of drink, some fruit and a chocolate bar. I am always glad when event organizers put fruit in the lunch menus because its too easy to put just junk and nothing healthy in the packs. It aint just the mind that you are feeding on a day like this so kudos for that.

During lunch there were some Grok Talks, which to the uninitiated are short talks about a subject. They tend to be about 10 minutes long and don’t, contrary to popular opinion have to be on something technical. If you are trying to get into public speaking these types of talk are a great intro on that.

One of the things I love about conferences is the interaction, networking and discussions between sessions. During the lunch break I got to talk to a lot of people including Peter Shaw of LIDNUG and later there was a spirited discussion between some speakers and delegates about the way certain products were going.

After lunch, I caught Paul Stack’s talk on CI/CD. It was a highly enlightening talk delivered by a great speaker. Paul answered questions, opened it up to the floor and gave some very inspiring advice on how to enter into the world of Continuous Delivery and why it will save you time, money and heartache. He made some very compelling arguments on why you should be doing this.

The post DDD North dinner was generously sponsored by those nice folks at DevExpress. They very kindly treated a lot of hungry developers to a proper English dinner of roast beef and pork. The chefs at the Stadium of Light did this traditional fare justice and it was a great end to a solid day of learning and inspiration.

A word of thanks again to Andrew Westgarth for a fantastically organized and well run event. I hope that DDD North runs again. The general buzz from the community was that it was beyond expectations and will become a fixture on the northern developers event calendar.  There are plenty of pictures from the event from Craig Murphy, Martin Cunningham and Ian Battersby.

To follow up on my session here are the links for the different security tools, websites etc.

UPDATE: 11-October - Code samples from my presentation can be downloaded from here

And my presentation on SlideShare

2 comments:

Andy Neillans said...

Hi Niall, enjoyed reading the roundup of DDD North - and appreciate you taking the time for ytour talk there. It was certainly the most energetic of the day I bet! Was going to drop you an email with regards to the ASP.NET Membership control discussion we had, but can't find your email address ...

Niall Merrigan said...

Hi Andy

Its firstname.secondname[at]gmail

Just ping me the question again and I will do my best to get you some information on it