Sunday, January 31, 2010

DDD8 and thoughts about a DDD North East

I’ve attended the last two Developer Developer Developer events and yesterday was my third at DDD8. I’ve blogged in the past about DDD6 but didn’t blog about DDD7 (something to do with watching the Newcastle Falcons play Worcester Warriors in Worcester the night before).

From a choice of 19 sessions (split over four tracks) it was quite difficult to pick the sessions that I wanted to attend. There were some interesting sessions that I didn’t get to see but the ones I did were:

  • “Real World MVC Architectures” by Ian Cooper was an interesting session. It covered a lot of ground around some of the pitfalls that you may encounter when using MVC.
  • “Commercial Software Development” by Liam Westley was the only non-technical session that I attended on the day. A very good presentation with some quite well done interludes to illustrate Liam’s points. He’s up for NEBytes later in the year to deliver a developer session.
  • “C'# 4” by the Google-man who nearly wasn’t an MVP, Jon Skeet, covered all the new stuff coming along. Having tech reviewed Accelerated C#4.0 for Apress I’m quite happy with what is coming in C#4 but it was good to see a different take on them. And I think I now get the difference between covariance and contravariance (go and read the Wikipedia article and see if it makes sense!).
  • “Microsoft Surface” by Kris Athi was a nice introduction to Microsoft Surface and a look at some of the things that you can do on it. Having got one sat in the corner of the office in my day job at TH_NK it gave me a few ideas as to what we could do with it. It’ll be interesting to see how things move forward on this with the advances in multi-touch added in Windows 7 (the Surface platform is based upon Vista SP1 at the moment). Definitely something to watch when Surface 2 arrives.
  • “A Developers Guide to Encryption” by Barry Dorrans rounded out the day. It was Barry’s last session at DDD as he’s drank the Kool-Aid and is off to Redmond on Friday and, as per usual, was an excellent one. Whilst coping with the video interruptions poking fun at him, pimping his new book at every opportunity, and updating spelling mistakes on his slides on the fly, Barry covered all the basics of what you need to know. Hashing, symmetric encryption, asymmetric encryption, and X509 certificates where all covered in Barry’s inimitable style.

Granted there were problems with ticketing and the way the tickets are allocated – I only got a ticket after being on the waitlist – it was a really good event again. Hopefully these will be sorted in time for the next DDD event (which I did hear a rumour that it would be later in the year). There was also rumblings of a third WebDD event later in the year as well.

DDD8 was the first event that I’ve attended since starting NEBytes and, whilst still attending and enjoying all of the sessions, it was with a slightly different outlook on things.

One of the things that the North East developer community missing is the bigger events. There are several events ran (by NEBytes, SuperMondays, and SUGUK amongst others) and Black Marble run their events down in Leeds. But there isn’t an all day event along the same lines as DDD.

And that’s what we’re thinking for later in the year for the North – a DDD North East if you will. On a Saturday, several tracks (two developer, one IT Pro, one open source) with five sessions in each track, GrokTalks, and swag. It won’t happen if people don’t want to see it – drop us a note at NEBytes if you think you’d like to see an event like this using the contact form.

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