What a great event the Norwegian Developers conference is. It is a nice size so there is a good selection of tracks, but no so big you feel lost, also the speakers and attendees were all mixing freely which I think always makes for a good atmosphere. This was all enhanced by the excellent organisation of the event, what can I say the wifi worked faultlessly, the food was good and the overflow screens (so from one place you could view the video and audio of any current sessions) was a brilliant idea, so much I know some people took to using this in preference to going to the actual session. You can see the overflow screens at the top of the photo below.
On the subject of food it was good to have a breakfast, a ‘lunch bite’ and then another small meal around 4pm just when you are flagging. It was noticeable that the sponsors on the expo had basically got rid of all the swag and replaced it with a selection of snacks and coffee machines. For me far more acceptable to get a nice ice cream or a hot dog rather than yet another USB pen drive or fluffy toy with a corporate logo on it. I even enjoyed the band at the ‘legendary NDC party’, the organisers seemed to get all points right.
Also what was nice was that this was not a single vendor conference e.g. a TechEd or PDC. Now these can (but not always) be great for new product knowledge, but they can constrain the subject matter. At NDC there has been a good wide range of subjects with a particular strong Agile process and Ruby tracks. I for one would want to go to conferences to be exposed to things I have not used before, both technologies and concepts. This I feel you can for better at a conference with a wider scope of subject matter than a vendor conference. Now the danger is that the range becomes too wide and dilutes the content, but at NDC again I think they got it about right
Remember all the sessions at NDC were videoed in HD, and they are being rapidly being uploaded to http://streaming.ndc2010.no/tcs/, so if you are interested in seeing my or any other sessions from this ‘amazing line-up!’ take a look.
I hope any sessions I submit for NDC2011 in May next year get accepted, I would love to go back.