This year I was fortunate to have been invited to speak at NDC London, hosted January 28-31st. I’ve had speaking at a NDC conference on my bucket list for quite some time, and let me tell you what an amazing experience it was. NDC Conferences has over the last couple of years quickly grown from its original location of Oslo, Norway, to also have a presence in London, Porto, Sydney, Copenhagen and as of most recently Minnesota and Melbourne. Speakers fly in from all over the world, and among them you’ll find community leaders as well as representatives from the larger tech firms such as Microsoft and Amazon. It’s a perfect mix.
Over 800 people attended NDC London this year, and the topics presented ranged from cyber security with Troy Hunt to the latest and greatest of Blazor with Carl Franklin.
So what were some key takeaways? Let me summarize a couple:
Blazor is no longer just a trend. The framework has really matured in the last year, and it is evident that both Microsoft and the community is quickly adopting it. We have yet to see if this will be the new Silverlight or not, but I’ve personally decided to learn more about both server and client-side Blazor this year. I can already see a couple of nice use cases where it would work for existing and new clients.
.NET Core - wow, there were so many good talks on .NET Core this year. Yes it’s been out for a couple of years now, but with v3.x, a lot of companies are seriously looking to migrate their old legacy .NET Framework monoliths. To be frank, the client I’m currently helping has just started to take this leap.
Machine Learning is becoming more and more mainstream, and I can see that a lot of talks are moving away from the general introduction to actually looking at applied ML. I may be a bit biased here as I personally gave a workshop on the open-source, cross-platform library ML.NET, but I would say that the interest is there. Developers want to know more about ML and how it fits into their application, but it may sometimes be difficult to know where to start. I’m hoping to change that in 2020.
gRPC - as Microsoft has decided to kill of WCF by not supporting it in .NET Core, gRPC has quickly gained interest, and rightfully so. I had the chance to join Ryan Novak in his Microservices in .NET talk, and was really impressed with what I saw in terms of gRPC. It’s fast, it’s cool, it’s fun, and most importantly I can see how useful this new communication standard can become. If you haven’t checked out gRPC yet, now is the time.
Despite all the fantastic sessions, NDC is more than just learning, it’s networking. The conference does an excellent job hosting evening events where speakers and attendees get to mingle and connect. At NDC London we took a boat cruise one evening, and spent another one listening to tech related stand-up. So much fun!
This year I gave a 2h workshop named A Deep Dive into Machine Learning in .NET. I really enjoyed the format of a mini-workshop, both as a speaker but also as an attendee of one. It’s nice to build some muscle memory of the things you learn, and I hope this will be a reoccuring theme.
So would I recommend people to attend a NDC conference? Absolutely, it’s a blast!