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.

Lots of love for F# during Øredev

Last week I had tons of fun (and learning!) at Øredev conference in Malmö, Sweden. My full writeup is still yet to come, but as videos are popping up, I’d like to show you how well F# and functional programming in general were represented during conference. On second day, you could do a streak of 3 F# talks one after another!

This are links to talk pages, where you can find video (or in some cases not – hope it will pop up soon), grouped by presenters, sorted randomly. Let’s start with F# focused links:

And off to less F#, but still interesting functional talks:

Bodil also gave talk on implementing your own lisp (in Clojure, of course) at nearby Foo Cafe. This was pretty hardcore, and I didn’t get much from it. But it was recorded, so smarter people will probably make use of that.

As you can see, lots of functional love. As always you could always hang out with speakers between/after sessions and ask them (in my case) some lame questions or see them hacking around. Great fun, and good opportunity to learn new stuff.

Polish dev community is in great shape.

I mentioned some time ago, that fall will be eventful. But I didn’t know about all the events. Everyday I learn about something new, and most of it looks really impressive.

During last two weeks I attended two really well organized events. First one on 12th October. This day I planned to be at leetspeak (BTW – videos are already uploaded) in Sweden, but due some health issues I had to stay home. But there were more than one backup options. There was Warsjawa (name is nice play on polish name of Warsaw – Warszawa and Java) – full day of workshop on various JVM related topics. Not for everyone, but agenda looked solid – lot’s of interesting topics. Oskar was there on some Scala workshop. I hope, he’ll do some writeup ;)

After all I chose dotNetConfPL, which was virtual conference – as name suggests – focused on .net stack. Virtual means, that session were presented on Google Hangouts (live!), and you could comment/ask questions/interact with speakers on Twitter and JabbR channel. It didn’t have this nice part of interacting with live people between and after the sessions, but there were some upsides. You could do your dishes and cook dinner while learning some unit testing stuff (ncrunch is awesome) or JavaScript magic.  All speakers were Polish (or at least they spoke Polish), but they did their talks from various parts of the world. Level of presentation was very high. Generally I was impressed, how professionally it all looked and how smoothly all worked out. Huge respect to Michał, Paweł and Jakub who organized whole event. To see how it all worked behind the scenes and see recorded sessions look at Jakub’s blog.

On next Saturday I went to Meet.js summit which took place in Gdansk – my home area. I follow Meet.js meetings for some time, but they did never fit my schedule until now. Usually meet.js consist of 2-3 talks somehow connected with JavaScript. But summit was full day conference, with food, coffee and afterparty. I won’t talk about presentations, because JS is not really my thing. I enjoyed some of them, I didn’t understand other. But whole conference was again super professional from the organisation point of view. My teammate who writes lots of  JS said, that talks were solid and well prepared.  Venue (Amber Expo – conference center next to Gdansk Football Arena) is awesome. Really nice, spacey rooms for conference and great area to mingle between sessions. I also met few friends from University and spent Saturday surrounded by passionate devs. Love it!

If you count in DevDay which took place about month ago, this shows that Polish developer’s community is in great shape. This makes me very happy.

Especially, that’s not the end. This weekend Łódż will be packed with great events. Starting on Friday with .NET user group meeting and then Mobilization conf on Saturday (free as free beer, and there are still tickets available). Then on 16th November Makerland is organizing meetup for hardware geeks. If you like to play around with Raspberry Pi, Arduino or Mindstorm, this will be interesting for you. And of course there’s Øredev in Malmo and Build Stuff in Vilnius, which both will be invaded by quite big polish crews.

So, don’t stay at home – find an event that fits you and get some knowledge!

Fall will be eventfull

Fall is usually period packed with great conferences. Summer is slowly coming to an end and it’s time to plan, which of them are you going to attend. I put my small list of events worth considering, which are “in the area” during next few months.

When: 20th September
Where: Krakow, Poland
Sessions: http://devday.pl/Agenda
Registration: http://devday.pl/Register

Devday is one day event, 2 tracks, 12 speakers. It’s free, courtesy of ABB. Registration is open till 8pm today, so that’s last chance to fill registration form. Get creative, because attendees will be selected based on those answers. Lineup is already very impressive, although not everything has been reveled yet. Last year was a blast, and I can’t wait to go there this year too.

When: 12th October
Where: Stockholm, Sweden
Agenda: http://leetspeak.se/2013/#schedule
Registration: http://leetspeak.se/2013/#registration

Leetspeak is also one day event, single track, 6 speakers. Thanks to tretton37 and other sponsors, it’s very cheap (200SEK). Tickets are on sale for two days, and most of them are already gone. Be quick, if you want to get there! I really enjoyed my weekend in Malmo last year, and I am anticipating similar this year in Stockholm.

When: 4-8 November
Where: Malmo, Sweden
Agenda: http://oredev.org/2013/wed-fri-conference
Registration: http://oredev.org/2013/registration

Oredev is Scandinavian classic, one of the biggest and most popular conferences in Europe. It takes place in Malmo in early November. It’s quite pricey, but for the money you get three days packed with multiple tracks with awesome speakers. I’ve never been there and unfortunately won’t be there this year, but I heard mostly good stuff about this conference. If you have opportunity, it’s definitely good event to attend. Tickets are still available.

Build Stuff
When: 9-11 December
Where: Vilnius, Lithuania
Speaker list and registration: http://buildstuff.lt/

Build Stuff is Greg Young’s conference in Vilnius. It started last year as small, single track one day event. This year, it exploded into full blown 3-day Oredev-league conference, still staying within reasonable price range. It looks promising, is not very expensive, and only few hours drive from Poland. You really need a good reason not to go there.

When you choose event, and attend it remember to act accordingly. They’re great social events, from which you can get much more than just knowledge. My friends wrote a spot-on post about it. Just read second part of it.