Picks for NDC London 2014

Last December I went to the first ever NDC London, then again in June to NDC Oslo. I’m fortunate that for my job I get to go to a lot of conferences, and without doubt the NDC events have been amongst the best: everything from the quality of speakers and content, to the conversations with other attendees, right down to the food (it’s the only event I know of that’s had an all-day Sushi bar :-)).

This year I’m particularly excited that I’ve been selected to speak, my first time at an NDC event. My session is “Everything You Need to Know about .NET Memory”, and several of other Red Gate folks will also be there (a couple to present, and some as attendees). Since I was looking through the rest of the agenda anyway, I thought I’d share the sessions I’m going to try to get to.

You can take a look at the agenda yourself at http://www.ndc-london.com/Agenda, but I really can’t recommend it strongly enough for anyone looking to improve their knowledge. There are 3 days of sessions from Wed 3rd – Fri 5th December, with optional workshops on Mon 1st and Tue 2nd.

Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!



9:00 – 10:00: The keynote title hasn’t been announced yet, but Denise Jacobs is a great speaker.

10:20 – 11:20: I’ve never had the chance to see Jon Skeet speak before, so this one will have to be his “Abusing C#” talk.

11:40 – 12:40: “Chrome Developer Tools Deep Dive” looks good. I think I’m probably like most people in having used just enough of the Chrome dev tools to get by on any given occasion, but I know at the back of my mind that there’s a ton of stuff there that would probably be useful if only I knew what it was – hopefully this will help!

1:40 – 2:40: Sam Newman’s “Practical Considerations for Microservices” looks pretty relevant to a current project so probably makes most sense.

3:00 – 4:00: This is an easy one for me – “Writing Software is Easy, Not Going Bust is the Hard Bit”. I’ve enjoyed Liam Westley’s talks in the past, and I’ve been interested in the less-technical side of software development for a long time (in fact it’s arguably my job). It’s always nice to learn tips from other people’s hard-won experience rather than having to discover them yourself!

4:20 – 5:20: Tricky – I’m probably going to go to “My job is a Joke – Tales of a Developer Advocate” from Burke Holland (it’s probably the time of day for something lighter), but I’ve wanted to learn more about testing recently, so I might end up at Gil Zilberfeld’s “Testing Economics 101” session.

5:40 – 6:40: Philip Trelford’s “Write Your Own Compiler in 24 Hours” talk got great feedback at DDD North recently, but I was doing last-minute prep for my own session so missed it. Here’s my second chance!


9:00 – 10:00: “Databases: the Elephant in the Continuous Delivery Room” from Enrico Campidoglio looks massively relevant to much of my company’s focus, so I’m probably contractually obliged to go to this one! A little plug for my colleague David Simner’s talk though – “OWIN, Katana and ASP.NET vNext: eliminating the pain of IIS”, which I’d be going to otherwise.

10:20 – 11:20: There aren’t many people better than Scott Allen to tell you “What’s New in C#6?” and I can never resist a “what’s new?” talk…

11:40 – 12:40: Hopefully Dominick Baier’s talk will be as good as the title is long: “Unifying Authentication & Delegated API Access for Mobile, Web and the Desktop with OpenID Connect and OAuth2”. This is something I know nearly nothing about but which will probably be important someday.

1:40 – 2:40: There’s no way you can not go to a session called “Biological Computing in F#”. I haven’t even read the abstract for Colin Gravill’s session; I’ll be there!

3:00 – 4:00: This is right before my session so I’ll probably be taking a break; if not then it’ll be Jeff French’s “Continuous Delivery Done Right”.

4:20 – 5:20: It’d be rude not to turn up to my own session, “Everything you need to know about .NET Memory Management”. That said, I’ve seen David Fowler and Damian Edwards do an awesome session together in the past, so I’d bet their “Five things to know about ASP.NET vNext” will be popular.

5:40 – 6:40: Who doesn’t like hearing about other people’s fails?! Niall Merrigan’s “Security WTF” abstract begins “They say the complexity of code can be measured by the number of WTFs per minute.”. Yep.


9:00 – 10:00: Sarah Mei’s “Unpacking Technical Decisions” looks interesting – I can imagine learning some techniques that’ll be very useful in the future.

1:20 – 11:20: I’ll be at Karoline Klever’s “How to Create a Web API no one Wants to Use”. At NDC Oslo in June I saw James Newton-King talk about good API design based on his experiences building JSON.NET, focused on building libraries for others to use. I’m hoping this session will be just as useful for Web API design.

11:40 – 12:40: A couple of people told me they’ve enjoyed Seth Juarez’s “Principles of Modern Data Visualisation” talk, which I missed last time I had the chance to see it, so I’ll do my best to make it to that one this time around.

1:40 – 2:40: It’s always good to see Nik Molnar speak, so I’ll be at his “Tracking Real World Web Performance” session. I know a decent amount about application performance already, but I’m sure there’ll be some new stuff in here.

3:00 – 4:00: “Gesture Recognition with Kinect for Windows” by Carl Franklin has to be the winner here. I’ve still never played with the Kinect sdk, so I’m hoping for some inspiration.

4:20 – 5:20: I think “Performance is a Feature” will be my last session. It looks like a combo of interesting and light enough to be digestible at 5 on a Friday!