NDC Sydney 2016 Reflections

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Now that I’m home again, it’s a good opportunity to think back over the last week. What were the highlights, lowlights of attending the first NDC conference held in the southern hemisphere?

Overall

WOW!. I had a great time, learned a lot, really enjoyed the sessions as well as meeting and chatting to lots of other developers. I’ll say it again.. WOW Smile

Depth of speakers

Scott Hanselman's opening keynoteThere were a lot of “big name” international speakers. I was going to name some, but that’s not really fair. Go have a look at the list.

That is definitely a plus. You don’t get many opportunities to see these people in Australia, let alone all in the one place. And not to mention the quality local talent.

A nice variety of presentations, and a chance to talk to all these people (and in my case asking “would you be interested in doing a Skype talk to our user group in Adelaide?”, to which the answer was almost always “yeah, sure I’d love to do that”.

The other nice thing is that even though you might regard some of them as having “celebrity” status in the software development (or even just the Microsoft software development) realm, the reality is that I didn’t find anyone who was so caught up in their own ‘fame’. They’re just regular people – they only have walk outside the conference to get a reality check if there was any doubt. No one walking past would have any clue who they were Smile

Venue

Sydney Hilton was excellent. Great rooms, helpful staff, yummy food. Full marks.

Weather

Rain on the windowIt was wet. I guess that’s the risk of holding a conference in early August – you’re going to catch a bit of Wintery weather sometimes. Not an issue for the conference itself, but maybe a little disappointing for foreign speakers who were hoping to do a bit of sight seeing during their visit.


Common trends and themes

There wasn’t a specific theme for the conference, but I did notice some topics that came up a few times in the presentations. In particular some that stood out to me were:

Volunteer crew

Volunteers at the registration deskIt is quite an easy job –

For doing this you get to attend the conference and participate in all the activities for free (and get a couple of bright green ‘CREW’ t-shirts).

Voting slipsThere weren’t enough volunteers (a few apparently failed to turn up), which meant extra shifts for the rest of us. Hopefully next time there are enough so that everyone gets a fair share of shifts and free sessions.


Session recordings

In the next few weeks, expect to see all of the sessions uploaded to Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/ndcconferences

Next year

The dates have already been announced - 14-18th August, 2017. Mark your diary, talk to your boss, manager, colleagues, social secretary and/or spouse. This is THE developer event in Australia.

I hope to be there again next year, and I hope you will be too!

NDC Sydney–Day 3

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Friday, the final day of NDC Sydney. I was rostered in Room 2 all day, so got to see these speakers/presentations:

And then a late flight home to Adelaide Friday night.

NDC Sydney–Day 2

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Thursday sees me spending rostered the entire day in room 1. This was actually my preference, as the majority of the talks were already on my wish list. One slightly ‘down’ side of doing room 1 is that the bigger crowds mean counting much larger numbers of eval votes after each session.

The evening finished off with a hilarious talk from Assoc. Prof. James Mickens, followed by a social evening of food and drinks in the hotel bar – a good chance to meet and chat with other attendees.

One more day to go!

NDC Sydney–Day 1

Thursday, 4 August 2016

The first full day started with Scott Hanselman’s keynote, then straight into sessions. I was rostered to look after room in the morning, with the afternoon free to attend other sessions.

Here’s my photo tweet stream from the day:

I had a quiet night back in the hotel room, though many attendees went on a harbour cruise. It had been quite wet and rainy, so I didn’t mind missing out on that.

NDC Sydney–Day 0

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Cloud view of Sydney HarbourIt’s Tuesday, so off to NDC Sydney conference. I must say 11am is a very sensible time to fly from Adelaide to Sydney. Makes a nice change from 6am flights!


George St looking towards Hilton HotelI’m attending NDC as a volunteer crew member, but it turns out the organisers were extra-pleased to see me, as they’d forgotten that I was coming, and were actually short of helpers. Phew, glad that worked out well.

NDC is being held at the Sydney Hilton. I’ve actually been here many years ago attending a SharePoint conference. I wasn’t originally going to stay here on-site, but my employer (RL Solutions) encouraged me to do so and I’m really glad I did. It is super convenient to just be able to “pop upstairs” to my room.
Code Club registration badgeI started right away, helping out with the registration desk for the NDC Sydney Code Club, an evening of workshops for kids aged 7-16. It was great to see some of the conference speakers had brought their families over to Australia and so their kids got a chance to participate, as well as a bunch of Sydney school kids.
As a bonus, they had Scott Hanselman as their keynote speaker. I’m pleased to report the kids enjoyed Scott just as much as the adults will at the rest of the conference. Scott was entertaining and informative. I could hear lots of laughter coming from the room. After Scott’s welcome keynote, there were a number of workshops the kids participated in, including IoT, Minecraft and other fun stuff.

Here’s photo of Scott enjoying the perks of working for Microsoft (well I think that’s what he said!) from his welcome talk to the kids:

 Not really Scott Hanselman