Øredev and NDC

Three weeks ago I was at Øredev conference in Sweden and had a great time there. I just wanted to share few thoughts about it. I won’t dive into specific talks, as there were simply too many. Just my general impression – what I liked, and what in my opinion didn’t work.

Øredev is well established, big, Scandinavian software conference. It’s held in Malmö, Sweden and this year the venue was Slagthuset – old butcher house. Really liked that place. Nice looking, spacy, wheelchair friendly.

Speaker list was long, but it kinda lacked big names. There were some rock stars, but not as many, as compared to similar in size NDC. Also level of
talks varied – some of them were awesome, but also there were some that just sucked. I liked (and wrote about already) that my new toy – F# (and
functional programming in general) were so well represented.

Usually during conferences you meet lot of great people, and Øredev was no different. I was told by people, who attended previous edition, that creating great environment for sharing knowledge has always been very important for organizers. And also – we had quite large Polish Crew, which made whole event even funnier.

Øredev usually has some theme, and this year this was “arts”. It had potential, but I think it was pulled too far. Some talks felt forcefully “artified” to match it. Also keynotes were more focused on arts, than software, which made them also “weird” and in my opinion mostly unsuccessful. I don’t think software conference realy need theme, especially if it come out so unnaturally.

I also had a chance to attend NDC earlier this year, and it’s hard not to compare those conferences. They’are similar in size, both held in Scandinavian cities with big software communities. Speaker list looked more impressive and talks were on higher level in general. NDC also had area, where you could watch talks when you were undecided. 8 screens (one for each track), you just grabbed headset, and you could switch between sessions. Now, this is slightly controversial – because you don’t get direct contact with speakers. But when you were tired and really undecided, this was good place to just take nap or switch between session to pick one. What I also liked about NDC is that there where no designated lunch times. Food was there all the time – continous delivery ;).

NDC forked this year, and there will be another instance in London. I won’t be there, but maybe you should try?

On the final note, I have subjective feeling, that I had much more fun during Oredev. In this place, I would really like to thank Emily Holweck, who made this trip possible. She convinced me to come, and helped me overcome all medical obstacles I had. She’s very committed to making Øredev great, and I believe this also impacted why I had so much fun there. Because at the end of the day it’s all about people.

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