NDC Sydney 2017 – SSW’s adventures

Some of the SSW team with Sophie

Figure: Some of the SSW team with Sophie (our AI receptionist) at the booth

Last week NDC Sydney (the best .NET conference!) was back for a second year, and, just as last year, SSW was very involved in many aspects of the conference. The highlight was running an entire track of the conference, as well as live streaming and recording it. SSW was also part of the code club, conducted interviews, ran a booth, and contributed 5 speakers to the event. It was awesome.

All up, the conference had more than 100 speakers and more than 150 talks covering 37 technologies, as well as 13 workshops. In between my duties as speaker, interviewer and conference partner, I crammed in as many sessions as I could, caught up with old friends and met loads of new ones.

Now that it’s over but still fresh in my memory, it’s perfect time for a retro:

👍 Retrospective – what went well for us:

  • SSW TV ran a track of the conference. With a 3 camera set up, it was definitely the most technically challenging track and it went flawlessly. We had live audience questions and online questions. All 3 days were live-streamed and recorded – the videos are coming soon.
  • The actual interviews were great. The interview style was following the well-known “AMA” (“Ask Me Anything”) format. After a speaker presented, they sat down in the hot seat to be interviewed on camera in the “AMA” style pioneered on Reddit.
    Keep an eye on SSW TV – these videos will be posted very soon!

    AMAs are basically what it says on the box: the interviewee agrees to answer any questions that are thrown at them. They could be about anything – it could be relevant to their job, but it could also be something personal or even something totally random.

    Some of Reddit’s most famous AMA interviewees include Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and the anonymous man who claims to have 2 penises (NSFW).

  • The SSW booth looked spectacular and was perfect for showing off SSW Sophie

  • My highlight was my interview with Richard Campbell from .NET Rocks.
  • These guys did some awesome sessions and interviews:
    • Thiago Passos
      • AMA: Ask Me Anything! with Michele Bustamante by Thiago Passos
    • Jason Taylor
      • AMAs: Ask Me Anything! with Laura Bell by Jason Taylor; Ask Me Anything! with Damian Edwards and Joe Albahari by Jason Taylor and Brendan Richards;  Ask Me Anything! with Steve Sanderson and Dominick Baier by Jason Taylor and Brendan Richards
      • Lightning talk
    • Stephen Carter
      • Presentation: Developing Object Recognition for HoloLens
      • AMA: Ask Me Anything! with Lars Klint by Stephen Carter
    • Duncan Hunter
      • Presentations: Techniques and practices for testing Angular; Ionic, ngrx and Angular: building web and mobile apps with one code base
      • Workshop: Workshop: Building Applications with Angular
    • Adam Stephensen
      • Presentations: Techniques and practices for testing Angular; Ionic, ngrx and Angular: building web and mobile apps with one code base
      • AMAs: Ask Me Anything! with Scott Allen by Adam Stephensen; Ask Me Anything! with Scott Wlaschin and Mathias Brandewinder by Adam Stephensen
      • Workshop: Workshop: Building Applications with Angular
    • Jernej Kavka
      • AMA: Ask Me Anything! with Daniel Chambers by Jernej Kavka
    • Andrew Lean
      • AMA: Ask Me Anything! with Filip W and Kylie Hunt by Andrew Lean and Adam Cogan
    • Liam Elliott
      • AMAs: Ask Me Anything! with Jennifer Marsman and Tim Huckaby by Liam Elliot; Ask Me Anything! with Wei-Meng Lee by Liam Elliot
    • Brendan Richards
      • Presentation: How to Tame a Penguin – Master Linux with ASP.NET Core
      • AMAs: Ask Me Anything! with Troy Hunt by Brendan Richards; Ask Me Anything! with Damian Edwards and Joe Albahari by Jason Taylor and Brendan Richards; Ask Me Anything! with Steve Sanderson and Dominick Baier by Jason Taylor and Brendan Richards
      • Brendan in particular gave an amazing presentation, “How to Tame a Penguin – Master Linux with ASP.NET Core”, to a packed out room – including more gurus than on an Indian mountain!
        “Mr. Knockout” Steve Sandersen and “Mr. Identity Server 4” Dominick Bauer both came to his talk, and as did Mohammed Meligy, whose tweet put a big smile on my face.

💪  Retrospective – to do better for next time

  • There is only 1 thing I can think of to improve – that’s how well this event went – I felt the AMA interviews could have had a dedicated coordinator to ensure consistency across the interviews.

😘  Some more “thank you” call outs:

I’m so proud of everyone who was involved in the conference. Every contribution was outstanding and invaluable:

    • The SSW TV team built a beautiful set in record time and all the interviews went flawlessly – big thanks to:
      • Raj Dhatt
      • David Berkes
      • Yu Chen
      • Dong Kyun “DK” Nam

        Figure: Like a boss – me with the SSW TV video team

    • These guys did a great job running the SSW booth and demoing our fabulous SSW Sophie:
      • Brittany Lawrence
      • Penny Walker
      • Ulysses Maclaren
        Figure: The SSW booth at NDC Sydney

        Figure: The SSW booth at NDC Sydney – where are Uly, Penny, and Liam? 

  • The new SSW t-shirts were a real hit and really popped against the crowd:
    • Thanks David Berkes
Figure: Uly rocking in the new t-shirts - much better than the stoic old collared shirts

Figure: Uly rocking in the new t-shirts – much better than the stoic old collared shirts

  • Finally, thanks to the organisers of NDC:
    • Jakob Bradford
    • Kjersti Sandberg
    • Charlotte Lyng
    • Henrietti Motzfeldt
    • Steinar Braaten

The conference may be over but our excitement and passion for the best and new technologies is not. Join me at the Sydney and Canberra .NET User Groups in October when I’ll be talking about why every business should be using ZenDesk – including yours.