NDC 2010 was a huge success, if you ask me. This was largely down to the NDC team, who deserve all the praise they’re getting (and much more). Unlike conferences I’ve been to in the past, NDC was truely by the people, for the people. Scott Bellware put it much better than I could, with his praise for Norwegian Developers (and Kjersti Sandberg). Herself and the rest of the team were there because they wanted to be, not because they had to. The whole attitude surrounding this conference was one of learning, not plugging products or motives.
I could go into great detail about the individual aspects of the conference, but it’s much easier to say that there’s nothing I’d change.
If there’s one conference you should go to next year, make it NDC 2011.
My part in all this…
I presented on two topics at NDC; the first was an introduction to Fluent NHibernate, and the second an introduction and demo of Git. Fluent NHibernate was on the Thursday, and Git the Friday. It was a great experience speaking at an event of this size, and the number of people who seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say (by either turning up to my talks, or approaching me afterwards) was quite humbling. If you’re interested in seeing what I presented, the talks will be on the NDC website before too long.
The videos are becoming available at streaming.ndc2010.no, but they’re suffering from bandwidth issues. If you do want to watch the videos, please stream them until the issues are resolved.
Due to me speaking, and also being woefully unprepared, I didn’t get to see as many talks as I would’ve liked — regardless of how well rehearsed and prepared my talks are, it seems I always end up rewriting them an hour before I go on — I did end up catching Lisa Crispin, Steve Strong, Eric Evans, Greg Young, Jon Skeet, Roy Osherove, Michael Feathers, Sebastian Lambla, and Mark Nijhof. I recommend you catch their talks online when they’re published. The quality of the talks at NDC have been significantly higher than I’ve seen elsewhere, and (more importantly) the technical level seems to be higher too; there was very few basic talks (a few introductions, mine included, but no pandering), but the majority were pretty in-depth. This is quite a contrast to the all-too-often “Microsoft technology of the week” presentations you can get at conferences.
Of course, a big part of any conference is what happens between (and after) the talks. Meeting other developers is a big part of why I go to these things, after all I don’t get out much normally. The socialising aspect of NDC was excellent, good drinks and food was had by all (I have a good idea they did anyway, at least one place we ate refused to serve us as a group anything other than the same meal for everyone!). I can’t possibly list everyone who I met while I was out there, but it was really good to meet up with some people who I’ve known on Twitter for a long time; specifically Hadi Hariri, Steve Strong, Greg Young, Ben Hall, Seb Lambla, Mark Nijhof, and Rob Conery are ones that stand out to me right now.
NDC 2011 will be next year, and it’s looking like it’ll be in May this time. If there’s anyone that’s on the fence about going, I would whole heartedly recommend you do. Even more so, I’d recommend you submit a talk of your own. It’s a great way to test yourself, if nothing else. I’ll definitely be going next year; hopefully I’ll speak again, but if not I’ll still be there. Hope to see you there!