NDC London 2019

Overview

NDC London 2019 managed the impossible by being even better than last year.

A lemon meringue pie at NDC London 2019

How is that possible? Everything just seemed more ++. The facilities, the choice of food, snacks and beverages, the swag socks.
Sure sometimes the lines for food were long during the traditional lunch hours and the halls were very busy but you could always find a place to talk or pull out your laptop.

Talks

I attended 21 talks during the three days and I took away at least one thing from each one that is going to make me a better developer.

This year there were many talks that were focused on the life of the developer and the nonsense that he or she finds themselves in. From the shocking state state of agile, to dealing with incompetent managers and finding themselves thrust into leadership roles

The slides used during talks are worth mentioning. One of the things speakers at NDC don’t do is to use them as a crutch or read from them. They are used sparingly and only then to add something to the talk. They are usually innovative in their design or enjoyable to look at. Fortunately both bullet points and Death By PowerPoint presentations are not on the agenda.

My Top four

My favourite talks this year were

  1. Friday’s key note – Scott Hanselman
  2. Everything is Cyber-broken – Scott Helme & Troy Hunt
  3. Leadership Guide for the Reluctant Leader – David Neal
  4. Insecure Transit – Sam Newman

It is worth keeping an eye on the NDC site so when the videos of the presentations appear I recommend watching these. Scott and Troys talk was not recorded because it was part of the after show party.

Scott Hanselman during Fridays keynote

My Conference Agenda

Wednesday

Keynote: Welcome to the Machine – Hadi Hariri

Reading Other peoples Code – Patricia Aas

Teaching New Tricks – How to enhance the skills of experienced developers – Clare Sudbery

Insecure Transit – Microsoft Security – Sam Newman

Why Your ASP.NET Core application won’t scale – Damian Edwards, David Fowler

Avoiding the Agile Alignment Trap – Mike Long

Hack To The Future – Troy Hunt

Thursday

ComSci and My Day Job – Rob Conery

Leadership Guide for the Reluctant Leader – David Neal.

Beyond Developer – Dan North

Think like a Trainer: Improving Your Communication Skills – Olivia Liddell

ML.NET for Developers without any AI experience – Lee Mallon

A Practical Guide to Deep Learning – Tess Ferrandez-Norlander

Dot Net Rocks Live with Christine Yen

Everything is Cyber-broken – Scott Helme & Troy Hunt

Friday

Keynote: The Microsoft Open Source Cinematic Universe Phase 2 – Scott Hanselman

Ctrl-Alt-Del: Learning to Love Legacy Code – Dylan Beattie

Versioning 1.0.1 – Jon Skeet

Solving Diabetes with an Open Source Artificial Pancreas – Scott Hanselman

Crash, Burn, Report – Scott Helme

Deep Learning in the world of little ponies – Galiya Warrier

Photos

The perfect end to a perfect conference

I got to meet two of my programming heroes…

NDC 2018

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I try to attend a developers conference once a year and this year I attended NDC London 2018.  I was surprised that only two developers out of the many I had asked  before going knew of the NDC brand of conferences.  I discovered NDC thanks to Carl and Richard of .NET Rocks! Thanks gents, I owe you.

Just in cases you are not aware of what NDC is, here is a brief description courtesy of the NDC London site.

About NDC

Since its start-up in Oslo 2008, the Norwegian Developers Conference (NDC) quickly became one of Europe`s largest conferences for .NET & Agile development. Today NDC Conferences are 5-day events with 2 days of pre-conference workshops and 3 days of conference sessions.

NDC London

In December 2013 NDC did the first NDC London conference. The conference was a huge success and we are happy to announce that the 5th NDC London is set to happen the week of 15-19 January 2018.

I didn’t attend the pre-conference workshops so my NDC adventure started on Wednesday. First impressions of the conference and its venue, The Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Westminster were superb; upon arriving there were no queues to register another plus was that the cloak room was free which although a small touch was one I really appreciated.

Throughout the conference continuous high quality hot drinks and food was served. Starting with cakes and pastries and moving on to a variety of hot food.  I wouldn’t normally mention food at a conference but it was of a standard that I had not encountered at other conferences that I had to write a few lines about it.

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My reason for attending was to hear a number of people whose podcasts I listen to, books & blogs I have read or have helped me by providing answers on Stack Overflow speak. As a newbie to this conference I did not know what to expect from the talks but I was not disappointed and for me the conference experience went into the stratosphere from here on in.

The talks are scheduled to last one hour and as you will see from the agenda they are on a wide variety of subjects. The presenters did not disappoint. There was no death by PowerPoint, no about me slides, no err/errms or the dreaded “like”.  The presenters were passionate about their topics and were clearly enjoyed themselves engaging with their audiences. Some had a slight more conversational style whilst others used self deprecation and one in particular used the medium of song (thank you Jon Skeet that was unforgettable). One of the common traits that I noticed is that many of the presenters are building and experimenting with “stuff” all the time.

As is the norm after a talk\session the audience are invited to give feedback and NDC has probably the best I have so far encountered.  As you leave the room after a talk just throw a colour in the box. Brilliant.

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Here are the sessions I attended:

Wednesday

Keynote: What is programming anyway?
Felienne

Sondheim Seurat and Software: finding art in code
Jon Skeet

You build it, you run it (why developers should also be on call)
Chris O’Dell

I’m Pwned. You’re Pwned. We’re All Pwned.
Troy Hunt

Refactoring to Immutability
Kevlin Henney

Adventures in teaching the web
Jasmine Greenaway

C# 7.1, and 7.2: The releases you didn’t know you had
Bill Wagner

Thursday

Building a Raspberry Pi Kubernetes Cluster and running .NET Core
Alex Ellis & Scott Hanselman

An Opinionated Approach to ASP.NET Core
Scott Allen

Who Needs Dashboards?
Jessica White

Hack Your Career
Troy Hunt

HTTP: History & Performance
Ana Balica

Going Solo: A Blueprint for Working for Yourself
Rob Conery

NET Rocks Live with Jon Skeet and Bill Wagner – Two Nice C# People

Friday

The Modern Cloud
Scott Guthrie

Web Apps can’t really do *that*, can they?
Steve Sanderson

The Hello World Show Live with Scott Hanselman, Troy Hunt, Felienne, and Jon Skeet

Tips & Tricks with Azure
Scott Guthrie

Solving Diabetes with an Open Source Artificial Pancreas
Scott Hanselman

Why I’m Not Leaving .NET
Mark Rendle

Summary

NDC London 2018 was the best conference I have ever attended. I have returned from it motivated to do more; to experiment and try stuff that I hadn’t even thought about.

There were so many highlights for me but having my photo taken with Carl and Richard was the best. Seriously guys you rock!

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