I had the pleasure to attend the very first ever Developer Developer Developer North community event to held in the North East of England last Saturday (8th October 2011) and I have to say what an Incredible day it was.
The overall congratulations and major Geek Credits have to without a doubt go to Andrew Westgarth (@apwestgarth), Ben Lee (@Bibbleq) (The NEBytes team) and the many extra people and presenters that made it all happen.
I started off the day jumping into the car with James Murphy (@Recumbent) who was heading down early as he was part of the event staff for the day. While the guys got things set up, I headed round to McDonalds with some devs that had travelled up from Leeds, and had a fairly modest Breakfast Wrap and a Large Coffee.
After we’d gotten in, and all the house keeping etc. had been done, I started off by Watching Mike Taulty’s (Microsoft DPE, @mtaulty) presentation on Reactive Extensions (Now available to view online here) for .NET, this was a pure Code only session, and was a great way to start the day, I’m going to see if I can get Mike to present this session on Lidnug. Seeing what these extensions can do and imagining the uses I could put them too got me all fired up and hungry for more geek tech to munch on.
The Black Marble Guys (Robert Hogg & Steve Spencer – Sorry I don’t have your twitter addresses to hand guys) didn’t disappoint with a 1 hour developers overview of what’s coming in Windows 8. The session wasn’t as code focused as Mike’s but was still very Technically focused and really did give us devs a good Idea of what’s to come, for one I didn’t realise that Native app development would still play a big a chunk as it always has, all this talk about everything being browser only is just in the imagination of those who want to see a web only world order!
Once I got to the third break, I faced a tough Decision, do I got to “Coffee Script” by Mark Rendle, or “The Happy Developer” by Andy Gibson, or how about Niall Merrigan’s presentation on “Defensive Programming”??? Choices choices… oh what’s a geek to do.
I eventually decided on attending Niall Merrigan’s (@nmerrigan) presentation, and am very glad I did, apart from being whirlwind and very very funny, it was very informative and really did push home many common sense things that a huge amount of developers never think about when developing software. If you ever get chance to watch Niall in action I highly recommend that you do so, just watch out for “Exocet Lollypops”
Niall’s review of the day can be found on his blog here.
After lunch, and a quick catch up with a few people “Rachel Hawley (@RachelHawley)” & “Gary Short (@GaryShort)” from Dev express, Paul Stack (@stack72) and Niall I headed back inside for the one session that I’d come through especially to see, Paul Stack presenting on “Continuous Delivery”
As I’d hopped Paul delivered some absolutely rock solid advice on the subject, and really made it clear (A bit too painfully at times) about what can happen if you don’t look seriously at adopting the principles he demoed within your own organisations and projects.
If you want the painful truth on Continuous integration, and delivery and the reasons why your in a world of hurt if you don’t adopt, then take a look at Paul’s blog for some inspiration.
After a final break, I decided to wrap the day up with a little bit of fun and sat in on John Price’s presentation “Kinect The Dots” where he demoed to us the basics of programming the Kinect from a standard PC using normal .NET code. He showed us a few short videos of some of the uses this funky little device has been put too other than just Gaming, and I really must admit I’m very excited at the possibilities it holds.
Once the prize ceremony and the wrap up session was over, we all headed round to the Stadium of Light for a few beers and for those that had booked to attend a Geek Dinner.
Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos, or should I say I did, but the camera on my Phone is a bit crap (The only decent one is at the top of the page), however Craig Murphy took a whole load of them and put them up on his Flickr account, so the best thing for me to do is to just give you the link to them:
Once again, NONE of this would have been possible without Andrew and the team, and the sponsors who helped to fund it all. A big well done to everybody, and I hope we will be doing it all again next year.
Events like this are so important to the developer community, if you get chance to come next year then I’d love to see you there.