NDC Sydney 2024 – so many Microsoft Heavyweights!

NDC Sydney 2024, had a lot of huge speakers. There were some Microsoft heavy hitters in attendance including Scott Hanselman, Damien Edwards, and David Fowler, as well as international rockstars like Keynote speaker David Whitney and .NET Rocks presenter Richard Campbell and more. There were a lot of really friendly, smart people everywhere! It’s not just the talks that you benefit from when you attend a conference like NDC, but the side chats and conversations that happen all around that make a huge impact.

Scott Guthrie was also in Australia the week before for an AI conference, and I had a great time catching up with him too! We had a fascinating chat about everything from Nuclear Power to AI.

Scott Hansleman’s Keynote

It was awesome to see Scott Hansleman again. Scott’s talk “Iron Man or Ultron: Is AI here to help us or hurt us?” was a fascinating insight into AI’s increasing influence and power, and whether or not it was going to be more harmful or good. He also drew from his extensive experience to look at proactive ways you could prevent AI from becoming a source of harm. Scott attended my session prior, so he was able to juxtapose my solutions vs how he would develop the same solution. I felt his talk was tailored to me. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Now I have alternate ways to try to implement.

Figure: Scott’s talk on AI was awesome when he demoed using an offline GPT
Figure: How it started…
Figure: How it’s going… ๐Ÿ˜‚

My AI Talk

My presentation was called “ChatGPT and OpenAI API solutions: ๐Ÿ‘‘ My Favourite Implementations”. For this talk, I was going to reuse what I did in Oslo, but in 6 months, I could only really use a few slides because AI is moving so fast. So, I decided to walk through a bunch of the AI solutions that we have developed for clients and ourselves. AI has touched every person’s job in SSW and putting together the slides gave me a number of ‘oh wow’ moments.

Adam Cogan presenting, slide with Viking costume
Figure: My introduction as a speaker featuring my awesome Viking costume from Uly’s 40thone of the few slides I got to re-use from Olso, Norway
Adam Cogan presenting in a large room
Figure: I had a great time presenting about ChatGPT and OpenAI Solutions

SSW Speakers

We had quite a few speakers representing SSW this year, as well as a few alumni I noticed! Keep an eye out for the following talks on the NDC Youtube Channel in the next few weeks:

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Matt Goldman – “Clean Architecture with .NET MAUI, Blazor, and ASP.NET Core

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ William Liebenberg – “Unleashing the Power of Microservices with Dapr and Azure Container Apps

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Luke Parker –Spawn an Online Game with Blazor & .NET 8 in under 60 minutes

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Jernej (JK) Kavka – “Unlocking the Full Potential: The Harmonious Dance of EF Core and SQL Server

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ And my talk – “ChatGPT and OpenAI API solutions: ๐Ÿ‘‘ My Favourite Implementations

The SSW Booth

We had a great time meeting a lot of people at the SSW Booth. We set up a fun game where you had to get a small white ball in the really tall skinny tube to go into the draw to win a bunch of prizes including an Xbox. Also, after the fun we had with it in Melbourne, the basketball slam dunk game made an appearance too. We became known as the ‘friendly jocks’ around the place due to all the ball games! ๐Ÿ˜‚

SSW Booth at NDC with a group of staff
Figure: Gert, Uly, Camilla and Jean had fun at the booth and met a lot of people playing the SSW tube game for prizes!
Figure: The Tube Shot was harder than it looked!

Interviews from SSW TV

The TV crew were on hand again this year capturing heaps of intertesting interviews with the NDC speakers. They will be on the SSW YouTube Channel in a few weeks!

๐Ÿ‘€ Keep an eye our for:

  • Isaac Levin & Matt Wicks (Matt W.) who will chat about Developer Productivity Services with a Microsoft Dev Box and Azure Deployment Environments
  • Sarah Young & Ulysess Maclaren (Uly) will cover Securing AI enabled applications
  • Chris Simon gives Gert Marx a demo of his open-source project https://github.com/dev-cycles/contextive – a suite of tools for helping developers immerse themselves in the language of their users domains
  • Lars Klint & Matt W chat about FeatureBoard feature management
  • Espen Sande-Larsen & Jean Thirion geek out over the joy of programming
  • Michelle Sanford & Uly cover the cool new Custom Neural Voice
  • Michelle “MishManners” Duke & Matt W. chat about GitHub Copilot (and even jailbreak it)
  • Dennis Doomen & Luke Parker cover everything from Fluent Assertions, tips for TDD, and lessons from being an OSS maintainer
  • Will Velida & William Liebenberg talk about how Dapr and Radius is used by developers and operators for building cloud-native applications across public clouds as well as private infrastructure.
  • Ben Dechrai & Matt W. ask the question “Do you really need clean code?”
  • Jonathan Tower talked to Matt W. about incremental migration of legacy .NET apps using YARP
  • Magnus Martenson & Matt W. talk about making it easy to do the right thing in the Cloud – how to make sure you land in the pit of success
  • Mike Benkovich & Matt W. look at what a well-governed cloud looks like
  • Old friends Richard Campbell & Uly chat about becoming a Space-Faring civilization
  • Arafat Tehsin talks to Uly about the the latest apps he’s built using Semantic Kernel and GPT4 Turbo with Vision for example, GuessWhat and ParkingGPT
Video: A behind the scenes with the SSW TV crew Landon, Marcus, and Alex
SSW Interview with Ben Dechrai
Figure: SSW TV filmed some great interviews with experts during the conference. Pictured here is SSW’s Matt Wicks with Developer Advocate, Ben Dechrai

Karaoke Time! ๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽถ

About 7 years ago, I was on a bushwalk with the SSW team in the Blue Mountains when the group broke out into song. It was echoing through the mountains and you could hear it for miles. The song was John Denvers’ Country Road, and it’s become the unofficial song of SSW. ๐Ÿคฃ When someone starts singing it, the SSW’ers flock to join in…

โš ๏ธIf you have sensitive ears, you might not want to listen the our rendition below. ๐Ÿ˜‚โš ๏ธ

Jokes aside, it was great fun hitting up the Karaoke stage with different NDC attendees.

Some photo highlights

The SSW Team in a group photo
Figure: The SSW Team has a great time at NDC! Thanks to everyone who said hello!
Luke Parker presenting to an audience
Figure: Luke Parker presenting his fun talk on spawning games with Blazor & .NET
Matt Goldman presenting on stage
Figure: Matt G presenting about Clean Architecture with .NET MAUI, Blazor & .NET Core
William Liebenberg presenting
Figure: William presenting his talk on Unleashing the power of Microservices
Jernej (JK) Kavka presenting
Figure: JK bringing together EF Core and SQL Server to make magic

It was a great conference, we had a lot of fun. I hope you consider going to one in the future. NDC organizes conferences all around the world, and you will learn a lot while having a great time!