SSW had fun at NDC – gotta catch ’em all!

The NDC conference gets better and better every year. I look forward to it, and the SSW devs say it’s awesome. It’s located at the Hilton in Sydney’s CBD, and runs over 5 days. I attend a lot of conferences around the world and NDC is my favourite developer conference. The first 2 days are workshops and the next 3 days are fun presentations. It’s led by some of the best developers in the business… Where else would you get the opportunity to attend a workshop with Scott Hunter (Scott Hanselman’s boss and the Director of .NET)?

Figure: Some of the SSW Speakers, Jason “Mr Clean Architecture” Taylor,  Thiago “SSW’s like the firm” Passos, William “SpendOps” Liebenberg & Jk “AI’s a walk in the park” Kavka

SSW had 5 guys presenting with some really cool topics:

I looked at the scores, and all of us ranked near the top. I was really proud, and I think that shows how much preparation they put into their talks. The recorded sessions will be out for you to watch soon on NDC’s YouTube channel.

Figure: A nice photo taken with Thiago’s weird 360º camera!

The Interviews on the SSW TV Track

The SSW TV team were at NDC again working really hard to make sure we got some awesome, shareable content for you. Instead of doing an “Ask Me Anything” format like we did last year, this year our interviews were fast tech-demos by the NDC speaker (interviewed by SSW). We had a lot of
fun doing this, and we hope you enjoy the sessions. They will be released on SSW TV soon.

Figure: David Berkes on the camera, I’ve never seen him smile like this…
Figure: SSW TV team brought the best out of the camera shy Troy Hunt

The App of the conference!

What’s the best bit about NDC? Well other than the awesome presentations and workshops, it’s the people you meet! This year, we wanted to meet as many developers as possible and really connect with the community, so we gamified our swag and launched our SSW Rewards App (on the iOS and Android app Store).

During my 3 months in China with Ruby last year, we got addicted to using QR codes. I wanted to build a mobile app that did something fun with QR codes for Aussies. The SSW devs worked hard and our Rewards app was built in a week and a bit!

Like the crazy people using their phone to catch a range of invisible Pokémon Go characters, the SSW app, allows crazy developers to collect SSW employees, while learning some stuff at the same time. They scan the employees QR code and then see their points increase and move up the leaderboard. When they have enough points, the app informs them of the prize that they just won.

I noticed a bunch of keen people who wanted even more points, and luckily there were other fun ways to earn points e.g. answering the SSW Tech Quiz, or attending an SSWer’s presentation etc.

Figure: It was a pretty fun NDC for us. Over 120 people installed the app and went into the draw for the Google Nest Hub

Building the Mobile App

The app was developed quickly in under 2 weeks, with a lot of the guys putting in some serious hours to get it over the line and have it working in time. We had a ticking clock and we started with 2 small teams working on the same specs. At the end of the first week with just a few days to go before NDC, it was clear the Xamarin team were getting a lot more productivity out of their toolset then the React Native team, so we focused on the Xamarin app for the remaining days.

I’m very thankful to the guys as they worked so hard to launch the new SSW Rewards App in time for NDC. It helped to create a great buzz for SSW. Matt Goldman, Matt Wicks, Andreas Lengkeek and Jack Kranz – I know how hard you guys worked to put it together in such a short period of time! Thanks again.

Figure: The winner of the SSW Major prize, a Google Nest Hub (centre). Congratulations Mehdi Khaleghian!

To download the app and start racking up those points, scan this QR code and get collecting!