NDC Oslo 2016

Posted by Gjermund Bjaanes on June 29, 2016

I was recently at a fantastic conference here in Norway: NDC Oslo 2016. Also known as Norwegian Developers Conference.

It was a three day event, jam-packed with great talks and amazing people.

In this post, I will tell you a little about it, and give you a couple of talk recommendations from the conference.

Photo from NDC Oslo 2016 1

I had a great time during NDC. I have been to a couple of conferences before, but this was my first time at NDC.

It was also the best conference I have been to so far. The quality of the entire event was top notch. Everything from the speakers and the venue, to the food and the people there, was impeccable.

After the event I really had a bad case of NDC withdrawal. I never wanted to leave (even though I was pretty tired).


The Social Aspect

The social part of this event was great for me. I had decided to get out of my “shell” a bit, and meet some new people.

And I did! I met people I had talked with on twitter, and I met a lot of people I have never spoken to before.

I met people in between talks, over beers after a long day of talks and at a shrimp cruise which were held by the NDC folks.

The shrimp cruise was on the beautiful Oslo Fjords after the first day. There was shrimp (duh), beer, sunset and lots of great people.

The event was a great opportunity to meet fellow technology enthusiasts, because we all were on that boat to have fun and enjoy each others company. A really captive audience, if I might say so.

Photo from NDC Oslo 2016 3


All The Rage

On to more technical stuff!

There were a few themes / hot topics / buzz words that I felt were a big part of the conference.

Probably the most dominant one were Functional Programming. Everyone seemed to talk about that. F#, Elixir, Erlang, you name it. As long as it was not on the JVM, people seemed to talk it.

A list of things I felt like were all the rage this year:

  • Functional Programming
  • Modern Web Development
    • Offline
    • Performance
    • New CSS layout
    • Caching
  • Modern engineering culture
    • Fail Fast
    • Remote work
    • Happy people make good stuff
  • HoloLens
  • .NET Core
    • I’m not that into .NET right now, but I couldn’t miss .NET Core this year!



Like I mentioned, the talks were very good. A lot of really good speakers with many interesting topics.

Photo from NDC Oslo 2016 2

And if you were not able to attend, all the 161 talks are available online: https://vimeo.com/channels/ndcoslo2016

I also want to share a few specific talks as well, and I want to start with the one about how to meet new people at these kinds of events:


Becoming a social developer

by Jermey Clark

Becoming a Social Developer - Jeremy Clark from NDC Conferences on Vimeo.

Make the most of your time here: talk to other developers. This is easy -- and incredibly terrifying. Building your developer network will boost your knowledge, your skills, and your career. See how an introvert can become a social developer while still being true to oneself.


Performance is not an Option - Building services with GRPC and Cassandra

by Dave Bechberger

Performance is not an Option- Building services with GRPC and Cassandra - Dave Bechberger from NDC Conferences on Vimeo.

In today's development ecosystem building a service oriented architecture based on a micro services is common practice. With the rise of Big Data and Internet of Things applications making these services highly performant services is no longer an option. In order to accomplish the scalability and performance requirements that customers expect we are required to start thinking differently about how we architect and build these applications in order to meet those demands.
This session will demonstrate a method for creating a highly performant service based application using Google’s GRPC and Apache Cassandra in .NET. We will show how you can combine gRPC to minimize communication overhead while leveraging Cassandra to optimize storage of time series data. We will explore these concepts by creating an Internet of Things (IoT) application to demonstrate how you can effectively meet the performance and scalability challenges posed by these new breeds of applications.


Avoiding the big ball of mud

by Mathew McLoughlin

Escaping the Big Ball of Mud - Mathew McLoughlin from NDC Conferences on Vimeo.

Over the years I’ve seen many implementations of an n-tiered application with an anaemic domain model. You know the kind, presentation, service, data access layer. This architecture whilst quick to start building has its problems. Over time, as the application becomes more complex the codebase will become more and more difficult to maintain, often resulting in a ”Big Ball of Mud”.
In this talk I will present some ideas that address these maintainability problems using a solution with a domain model and command patterns to give you a clean extensible architecture. Further to this we will explore event sourcing and cqrs and the benefits they can bring.

At the end the you will have seen an alternative way of building business applications, especially those with complex business logic.


Making Komplett big by going small

by Pavneet Singh Saund & Tomas Ekeli

Making Komplett big by going small - Pavneet Singh Saund &Tomas Ekeli from NDC Conferences on Vimeo.

How we're scaling the architecture, ecommerce platform and our business in one of Europe’s largest e-commerce providers & changing with the business as we go.
Growth problems are good, it means your business is doing well. How can we build an organisation and architecture that gives us room to grow and change, while still keeping our customers happy? At Komplett Group we are going through growth as an organisation in size and scope.

In this talk we will dive into how the development team at Komplett are breaking up a 10 year old platform. By making every mistake in the book we’re building a platform for our future!

We’d like to share our experiences in scaling the architecture and development team. We are breaking a monolith into micro-services to match change within our organization. At the same time we have scaled our web development team from 5 to 50 , and we're not stopping here!


Habits of highly effective JavaScript developers

by Jonathan Mills

Habits of highly effective JavaScript developers - Jonathan Mills from NDC Conferences on Vimeo.

Javascript is easy to do very badly, but also fantastic when done well. In this session, Jon will walk through some JavaScript best practices to make you a more productive developer.
From linting your code, to adhering to common patterns, Jon will give you practical tips to help prevent some common JavaScript troubles.


Will I go again?

Yes. Most certainly. Next year, I hope to be able to go back to NDC Oslo.

If you are keen on NDC, they are hosted in Sydney (in August!) and London too:

NDC Sydney

NDC London

I am going to JavaZone 2016 this fall and I can only hope it will be close to as good as NDC Oslo 2016 was.

Follow me on Twitter: @gjermundbjaanes