Last week I went to NDC Oslo. For those of you not familiar with the world of software developer conferences, NDC is the abbreviation of Norwegian Developers Conference. It started in 2008 and it quickly grew to one of the biggest independent software conferences of Europe. Besides Oslo, NDC organizes conferences in London, Minnesota and Sydney as well.
What makes NDC Oslo a great conference?
Even though it’s basically about Microsoft technology, it’s not owned by Microsoft. This attracts speakers from all companies and fields of work.
- It has great speakers, like the people who are responsible for the software and programming language I use every day to create software. They hang around all week, so you get the chance to meet them in person and ask them questions or pitch ideas.
- It has a lot of sessions that go beyond software development. For instance on how to personally handle this endless new stream of technologies or how to help other software developers.
- It has 2-day workshops before the conference, where you can be taught by ‘famous’ software developers and/or architects. NDC’s pre-conference workshop track enabled me to learn a different technology stack and architecture style under the supervision of 2 teachers that are well known in this field of work.
Why is it important for software developers to attend conferences?
The IT industry evolves fast and is a big booster for the evolution of other industries. For me as a software developer there is not enough time to keep track of all these new technologies and frameworks that can make your life (or that of the users) easier. During a conference you can see a lot of demos, ask questions afterwards and discuss what you’ve heard or seen with fellow software developers. Meeting other developers is important. We all have the same challenges in our offices around the world. It’s good to talk about this and laugh about the mistakes we’ve all made or experiences we’ve been through. Everyone working in IT is never done learning.
Sounds pretty serious, was it any fun?
It sure was. I like running, and running through Oslo in the early morning and evening is a great way to see the city’s highlights. Oslo’s bike sharing system even enabled me to run out of the city and bicycle back to my hotel. In my free time I attended a music festival and went to a community meetup held by Norwegian developers. I also attended PubConf which is variety show with music and caberet for and by software developers. It hosted talks about how to run your team (into the ground), how to write really bad code (ducktape architecture) and why notepad is the only software you’ll ever need.
Besides all that I met a lot of fun and/or really smart people and collected a whole lot of new stickers for my laptop . For me it was truly an amazing experience.