If you are a developer, specially a .NET developer, and you've never been to an NDC Conference, I highly recommend you to put it in your wishlist. It's the best tech conference I've been so far, yes, it's that good and no, I'm not gaining anything to advertise it. It's my second time at NDC Sydney and I'm looking forward to next year's.
This year I went for a full week including the 2-day workshop leading to the conference, which was pretty hard to choose from the 13 available options. At the end I chose Designing Microservices by Sam Newman, the guy who wrote the Building Microservices book. The workshop was great, but not very technical, even though he did mention several tools and patterns. We stuck with theory and the designing part of the microservices story and it did clarify a lot of the questions I had.
So the conference started with Jennifer Marsman very excited talking about her new toy, her Emotiv Headset, that monitors brain activities and translates into data to be able to do all sort of cool stuff, like moving a cube with the power of her mind, or detecting when people are lying. The future is full of possibilities for this new tech, a person with physical disability will be able fill the gap with the power of their mind in no time.
I went to a bunch of talks and it will be pretty hard to put everything into words here, but I'll try my best. Here they are roughly in the order they happened.
Simplified Unit Testing by Jason Taylor
Went to this one mainly to support my friend as I've watched his talk several times, but I gotta say he did a great job on delivering it and specially compressing his 45 minutes talk to 15 minutes and still keep the content and quality.
Web Apps Can't really do *that*, can they? by Steve Sanderson
He did a bunch of demos on stuff people are not used to and it was amazing. Service worker to run code in the client without needing the browser to be open. Web Assembly to run C# code in the browser Wow, he's got this experiment called Blazor. Credential Management to manage your account across devices. Payment request to simplify the monetization.
Docker, Docker, Docker
I went to a few Docker talks by Ben Hall and Michele Bustamante. The whole microservices and containers are kind of the buzz word now. Even though the learning curve to enter the containers world seems a bit steep, these guys made it look so simple. You can now containerise your application with a right-click in Visual Studio 2017, and the F5 experience is brilliant. Also Azure Container Service helps you to get your orchestration up to speed without needing to manage servers.
ASP.NET Core Razor Pages by Damian Edwards
Alright, in the beginning of the talk it really seemed like web forms were coming back, but it's a whole different level. It still runs under the MVC engine, but instead of having controllers, the routing is set based on the folder structure. I really think this is gonna take off, even for Single Page Applications where you need at least an entry point where in most cases you'd create a home controller to load it. Using Razor pages you can leave the controllers for the API end points only.
Ionic, ngrx and Angular by Adam Stephensen and Duncan Hunter
I've watched Adam and Duncan's talks several times, but that was my first time in the Ionic one. For someone with an Angular background, picking up Ionic seems piece of cake. Definitely in my to-do list.
Service Fabric by Louis DeJardin
Amazing talk and great alternative for containers, but I'm really not sure if it's gonna be half as popular as the container story for the microservice architecture.
How to Tame a Penguin by Brendan Richards
Again I've watched this talk a few times, but great talk all the same. For someone like me with no Linux background, it's amazing the bits and pieces you can pick up from this talk. Also great way to start using Linux to develop your .NET Core apps.
One of the great things about working for SSW is that you get to interview some very interesting people. This NDC I had the chance to interview Michele Bustamante and Laura Bell, two amazing ladies. I'll add the interviews here as soon as they are available on SSW TV.
One of the top reasons why you should go to an event like that is because of the social aspect of it. You get to meet all the super stars and even hang out with them. NDC definitely didn't lack in matter of parties: Boat cruise on Wednesday, NDC Social Mingle on Thursday and PubConf on Friday
First of all, my beautiful wife for being able look after our two lovely children on her own for a whole week without going too crazy. Secondly, SSW and Adam Cogan for having such a great culture and let us attend to these events. Last but not least, all the organisers and volunteers that made NDC happen, you guys rock!!!