Let's go though the sessions and feelings during the last day of NDC.
An architecture remake
It was the first time I was listening Jimmy Nilsson. I used to read his blog pretty often and my younger, impressionable ego liked his Applying DDD and Patterns. It is completely my own fault that I had high hopes for this session, for I did not read the abstract.
In any case I did not like the session at all. It was articulated as a real story of a project that was not going right and which fate was turned around. For what I could grasp between his apologies for not knowing enough about the project, the architecture of the project was not changed (only a richer domain was applied so a part of the system) and the project was very late (albeit with happy users and developers). So, not exactly a great case study.
I was left wandering: “what does a LinqPad screenshot do amongst a bunch of non-technical hand-written slides?”. And that was my take-away from this session.
Beyond the compiler - going up to 11 with conventions in a statically typed language
The point of the talk is really simple, yet important:
- conventions are not compile-time safe
- people have generally bad memory to rely on it for conventions to be applied
- therefore we need automatic testing of the enforcement of those conventions.
Add illustrative examples and the skills to make those points understandable and you have one of my only two favorite sessions of the day. Good job by the speaker.
Now I will lift my fat ass and test the conventions in my codebase as they deserve.
How GitHub Works
As it happened with the first session of the day, it was my own fault to be disappointed by misreading the abstract. I thought it was going to be about the inner working of GitHub, the social coding site; not, GitHub, the company. Once I realized my mistake I zapped (fortunately I was in the overflow) to be entertained by the “Cage Match between Node.js and ASP.Net” with the occasional glance to “Neo4j in the .NET world”.
I know it sounds too bitchy but I find it hard to swallow that a session that showcases how cool a company is and how hip their hacking employers are to have a place in a conference like the NDC.
Introduction to OWIN and Gate
Not that I was too crazy about the session or had an incredible appetite for knowing what OWIN is really about (I heard about it because Nancy supports it and I dug into that framework), but I was not ready to commit for two hours of async programming (big mistake).
To be completely honest, I still do not know the exact reasons for OWIN to exist or how can it be of any use to me (or anyone for that matter), but from what I could grasp it is a open specification for .NET web apps. What does that mean? I have no clue, but apparently it can be a good deal for people that change web servers when they do not fit their needs.
The only cool thing I learnt is how to transform a fine set of self-explaining interfaces into a set of anonymous delegates that do not tell what they mean but alleviates the need to provide a binary definition. Beyond that, I am as content as I was before when I knew marginally less about OWIN.
10 things you can do to better lead your agile team
I am part of an agile team, although I do not consider myself a leader. But still I thought I could use some of the information from the session. I had already missed the first part of async programming anyway.
I came to the session with little expectations and I was blown away by how cool the session was. Not that it matched the abstract a lot (I still have no framework for team productivity and engagement) but I got some tips (trade-off sliders, asking difficult questions as soon as possible and demoing as a tool for accountability) that can be useful some day or can be great pick up lines in an agilist party.
In any case, what made the difference was the speaker. He was superb, inspiring and totally filled the room with his positive energy. And before I get too hippy, I’ll close it with a “I liked it a lot”.
No more magical webservices feat. ServiceStack
I like ServiceStack a great deal. I have actively used and gave talks about it. And yet, since I promised the speaker to crash his presentation and the lack of alternatives made me spend my last minutes of NDC in a ServiceStack talk.
It pains me to tell, because I appreciate Stefan, but overall it was not a very good last session. Rule #1 is not getting stuck when something does not work. More so, when it is not important for the subject of the talk. Panic not, move on and roll with the punch.
I suppose it would have been a very disappointing session for someone that has not seen ServiceStack before, because there was not a lot of guidance of what was going on.
And so, the conference was over. Queue in the airport due to a strike, jump on the smallest aircraft ever and crash home to write about my awesome and not-so-awesome experiences.