This is the second year that the Software Developer and Design conference has been held. Last year it was a great success, but this year looks to be even better! There are some old faces returning which is great news for us, along with some new conference speakers and sponsors to spice things up. Held at the Barbican it’s a fantastic location as it’s a good commuters area, making it easy to get to. Additionally the venue offers ample space to find somewhere quiet when you need it (to write posts like this one), as well as providing comfortable conference rooms. I hope the location stays the same for many years to come. You get some nice locations to sit and eat lunch at as well!
My first day at the conference was Tuesday 12th May. During the day I attended multiple sessions, which I will discuss below
I just want to say thank you for organising this event again. From the number of attendees it looks like it is a growing success. Please keep up all the hard work!
I have attended so many different conferences over the users, from VMware’s VMWorld in Europe and the USA, Microsoft events, user groups (the list goes on) I have learnt to realise that the simple things are really appreciated. He organisers have done a great job, providing a nice environment to learn in, good selection of sponsors to talk to, great food, free beer… at this time the only suggestion I have is please can we have our attendee badges in plastic wallets with a lanyard. The clip or safety pin is a PITA. It’s a lot harder to lose it when its attached a bright orange branded lanyard and its also a lot more comfortable to wear. I’d be happy to pay an extra pound on the ticket price to accommodate this!
As with every event these days you always need some sponsors! This year we have the following sponsors at the event
-Women Who Code
-Rock Solid Knowledge
As always they provide a selection of ‘freebee’ items to outstretched hands (yes, I’m guilty to). However, it is a great opportunity to have a chat and find out some more information about the sponsors tooling and offering. It is also a great opportunity to say thanks to some of them for making our lives easier. Being a user of DevExpress I was happy to be able to say thanks for all the help!
Title: The Programmer
Speaker: Kevlin Henney (@KevlinHenney)
The keynote was an interesting one. Kevlin had a tough act to follow from last years keynote. However, he did a great job. The talk was an interesting one, delving in to what a programmer is, is why people don’t like the title (how many ‘software developers’ do you work with as opposed to ‘programmers’?). Hopefully I will get a chance to have a chat with him over coffee during one of the breaks.
Title: Applied NoSQL in .Net
Speaker: Michael Kennedy (@mkennedy)
I actually sat through this session last year.. It’s a great session providing plenty of background information on where NoSQL has come from, the different offerings (such as MongoDB, Raven) and how you can consume them. Michael focussed on MongoDB, which is the sensible choice since it is the most popular and widely adopted NoSQL out there. He covered off how to get started with it, cut some code in visual studio so we could all see it in action. He also discussed some of the new features and fixes that will be coming out in the newer version shortly. All in all, it was another great session as I’ve come to expect from Michael!
Title: A Tour Through C#6.0 Changes
Speaker: Kathleen Dollard (@KathleenDollard)
This was my first time seeing Kathleen in action. I have watched some of her plural sight courses so I had high expectations. She met them! She certainly is very passionate and engaging when she presents! The session was really useful, covering off some of the history around Visual Studio functionality and .Net versions, then moving to cover off the changes that are coming in with v6.0 of the framework as well as new functionality in Visual Studio. Some of the useful things I wasn’t aware of were the improvements to conditional breakpoints (about time!) as well conditional catch statements. I’ll admit that hearing about these brought a smile to my face. Overall a really good session, so thanks Kathleen. I cant wait to start using the improvements in the new framework!
Title: C# Generics
Speaker: K Scott Allen (@OdeToCode)
To be honest I felt that I didn’t have much choice but to attend this session. Generics is something I want/need to understand better. He did a great job at taking us through an overview of where generics can be used, following up with a demonstration using generics to solve some problems, simplify some code and reduce code footprint. It was a rewarding session as I walked away with not only the understanding of generics that I wanted, but also with some ideas on where I can use them right now in my own coding projects! It was a good session to end the day on.
I have to say I am really looking forward to day two!