This year in January, my colleague Adam Melkus and I had the opportunity to attend NDC London. I attended NDC London back in 2018, so I already had my expectations set very high. As expected, the conference did not let us down. I dare say it was even better than the one in 2018. This post is our collective review of all the different parts of the conference, including venue, organization, and talks.
As every year, the conference took place at the QEII Centre London, an event centre located in the heart of London. If you look out the windows of the event centre, you will see that the Westminster Abbey, the Westminster Hall and the Big Ben lie right in front of you. The Buckingham palace is just a couple of minutes on foot from the centre.
The conference featured 5 parallel tracks in 5 different rooms. There were always enough seats available for all attendees. Companies’ booths were located in the hallways on the main floor, and so was the catering. The venue itself was beautiful, clean, and modern.
The organizers did an incredible job with the on-site operations and management of the conference. Everyone received their badges on the ground floor. After receiving our badge, we picked a hoodie based on our size preferences. The venue has a cloakroom so that people don’t have to carry their jackets with them the whole day.
Each day the conference would start with a breakfast that took place before the first talk of the day Buffets offering a wide variety of dishes, including vegetarian meals, burgers, Asian cuisine, sweets, and such were available all day long. I think there was something for everyone to enjoy. Non-alcoholic beverages like water, coke, and juices were available all day as well. With the end of the day approaching, alcoholic beverages begun to be served (beer and wine; cocktails were available only during the party).
The organization team was very friendly and helpful. General information about the conference, upcoming special events (like the party or the stand-up comedy), and information about changes in the schedule were readily available; everything was clearly presented and well prepared.
The conference featured a total of 116 talks and opened with a keynote called We are the Guardians of our Future by Tess Ferrandez-Norlander. In her talk, Norlander focused on AI and the impact of the software that engineers develop. It was a very inspiring talk and I recommend watching the recording. We did not get into a situation where we would not be able to select a talk from the schedule, quite the opposite. On occasions, there were multiple very interesting talks happening at the same time and we had to select just one to attend.
There were quite a few talks related to .NET Core, some of them about the new things in new releases, some of them about tips and tricks. I would add talks by David Fowler and Damien Edwards to the list of top talks related to .NET Core. Their talks were both very funny and enlightening. Other talks focused on topics like microservices, cloud, CI/CD, GraphQL, gRPC, architecture, etc. Everyone was able to find a topic they found interesting.
All NDC London talks are available as recordings on YouTube; if you wish to watch any of the talks, here’s the playlist.
I would encourage everyone to go to one of the NDC Conferences at least once in their lifetime. NDC conferences are organized around the world, so if a trip to London is not viable for you, have a look at other locations at NDC Conferences. I have been to an NDC Conference twice and would go there again without hesitation. You get to learn a lot of things, meet new people, and you leave the conference full of enthusiasm! Also, if you like stand-up comedy, you must attend the PubConf which takes place in the evening of the last day of the conference. I will not say more about PubConf because I don’t want to spoil it for you, you’ll have to see it yourself!