Sunday, June 12, 2011

NDC 2011

Last week some colleagues and I went to the NDC conference in Norway.

Apart from the weather, which was crappy, it was an awesome conference. I've seen some great talks and am looking forward to watching some of the talks I missed (because I was in another session) online. I also went home with some new great ideas for books I want to read:

  • Introducing HTML 5, by Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp. They gave the HTML 5 talks during the second day of the conference in a small and very crowded room. They convinced me even more of the amazing things you can do for web pages with the new upcoming standard. It was a relieve as well to hear someone from the Opera browser team talking about HTML 5 instead of the standard Microsoft talks I heard thus far. 
  • Test-Driven JavaScript Development, by Christian Johansen. Too bad his talk was given simultaneously with Rob Ashton's (Document databases with ASP.NET MVC), Kevlin Henney and Anders NorĂ¥s's (Introducing The FLUID Principles) and Hadi Hariri's (Dynamic in a Static World). I went to this last session, which was very good. It gave me some ideas and examples of more things I can start doing with dynamic. I would really like to try to get a DSL written with it (I would probably start off by copying a Ruby example, since it is not easy stuff). The talk about the FLUID principles was very good as well, my colleagues went to that one and it is one of the talks to catch on rerun, once they put the videos up. I did follow the talk about the SOLID principles, which was nice to refresh again. I went to the RavenDB by Example talk on day  3 of the conference. It was a good thing the speaker also mentioned some of the problems he had with a document database, having to rethink the design of your data as opposed to relational databases.
  • The Joy of Closure, by Michael Fogus and Chris Houser. I didn't get to catch any of the Closure and F# talks and it would be nice to get up to speed with this. Also something to watch on rerun and see what we can do with it
  • 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know, by Kevlin Henney and 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know, by Richard Monson-Haefel. I only went to Kevlin's talk about the 101 things he learned in architecture school, which was light, but enlighting. His other two talks apparently were very good as well, as my colleague went to those.
  • Specification By Example, by Gojko Adzic. His talk wasn't so good, but I think a lot can be learned from this book. One thing I will really remember from the conference is the multiple question marks that speakers had with BDD, DDD and agile. While they are all good techniques, they have their flaws and the software community really needs to figure out how we can do these things even better. Gojko's post on his blog about one of these talks really explains the problem a bit as well. He also mentioned our Cronos colleagues from iLean in his talk, which I think was pretty cool. And he is also one of the creators of cuke4ninja, a port of cucumber for .Net.

Apart from those books and talks I already mentioned, I also followed some of the talks on mobile development. The ones about multi platform development were really informative. The MonoTouch and MonoDroid projects have moved from Novell to Xamarin and are planning on a next release in the coming months. Biggest take-away there was: use the latest MonoTouch and MonoDroid builds for now and switch to the Xamarin builds once they are published. Jonas Follesoe's talk on this topic was great, if you're doing mobile, catch it on rerun! 

I also really liked the AOP talks given by the PostSharp people. They have a great framework for doing AOP, which is really powerfull and which gives you a lot of cool features for keeping your code nice and, well, sharp. They also mentioned some other AOP frameworks, which I think is a nice gesture, since they are not the only ones out there.

The CQRS talk by Fredrik Kalseth was inspiring as well, although he only mentioned one part of CQRS. It was explained really well and can be used as a basis on future projects. I also learned in his talk that JetBrains have a Ruby IDE which I didn't know about. As I look at their site now, I see they're also working on an Objective-C IDE. 

So, all in all, a very good conference, which I hope to catch again next year, and hopefully without the rain. I learned a lot and have now a whole lot of stuff to read and learn even more about. Too bad there's only 24 hours in a day (of which I really need 9 to sleep, since I'm a sleepy head).

Thanks as well to my colleague, Guy, for providing some very nice pictures. You can find the entire collection here.

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