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A Day at DDDNorth Developers Conference in Hull - November 2022

I do love a tech meetup or developer event, and the one I look forward to each year is the annual DDDNorth developer event, it has great speakers, you get to spend some time with fellow techies, great food and for the last couple of years it's being hosted in Hull... What's not to love!

The DDDNorth Developer conference is a yearly event allowing like-minded techies to spend a day meeting, eating and watching talks on various subjects.

A breakfast of croissant and a lovely cup of tea

The event is free if you can get a ticket (which can 'sell out' quite quickly)... I have been lucky enough to get to go to the last few

It's an early start when you're driving down from York to Hull as you want to be there in time for registration and breakfast, starting at 8:30. There were 5 sessions throughout the day with a choice of 5 talks in each session. This means that I have to pick which ones I wanted as I couldn't see them all. 

Session 1 - How to be Psychic

In the first session, I choose "How to be Psychic" by Derek Graham.

Derek Graham Giving a talk

The talk was about taking a look at your code and designing it using simple guidelines, taking some principles from extreme programming and making small changes and refactoring instead of having that impulsive urge to start from scratch all the time, especially when taking over someone else's code or coming back to your old code. Derek is very knowledgeable and a great speaker!

Session 2 - The Forgotten Users Of A Website

The second presentation was about a subject close to my heart, The forgotten users of a website by Rachel Breeze

Rachel Breeze giving her presentation

The talk was about users with some sort of disability and the importance of making your website and your systems accessible, not only to website users but others such as software developers and other team members who need accessibility.

A great moment was when she proved without a doubt that tabs are better than spaces when developing code... as if we needed any more reasons to use tabs hehe. A great talk from Rachel and my favourite of the day. 

Session 3 - Advent of Code 2022, Day 3 - Live On Stage!

The third session was something very interesting. Live coding on stage taking part in day three of this year's Advent of code, by Dylan Beattie

Dylan Beattie writing live code in a presentation

The presentation started off with a video of a coding session in which a fantastic music track was created with code, this was one of Dylan's earlier creations and it got us all ready for the live coding event. 

So now for the main part of the session, the advent of code is a coding challenge which happens through December each year giving a different coding challenge each day. A new challenge appears online at 5 am each day in the UK and Dylan hadn't seen it until the session started. 

The challenge was based around packing the rucksacks for the Elfs correctly and the puzzle was solved in no time by Dylan with help from the audience. A great fun presentation easing us nicely into lunch :) 

Lunch

Buffet food on a plateWe now have an hour and a half for lunch which was set out in the main hall with round tables perfectly able to accommodate 6 people. There was a large buffet selection of sandwiches, pork pies, quiches, crisps and sliced vegetables with dips. There were plenty of options for vegetarians. 

I got my plate and sat down, soon to be accompanied by a number of other attendees, notably Jamie Taylor from the .net core podcast, Chris Sainty and Simon Foster. For the next hour, we had a great discussion about Blazor and the future of WebAssembly, as well as the differences between Microsoft technologies and how they are perceived by users of other systems and languages. 

Chris is the author of Blazor in action so it was great to hear his views.

But lunch was almost over, and there were two more talks left of the day, so a quick cuppa before making our way to the next session.

Session 4 - Code First AR & VR for .NET Developers

The penultimate talk was by Lee Englestone

Lee's presentation centred around how relatively easy it was to create AR and VR  apps for Apple mobile phones using Microsoft Technologies. This was a great technical talk explaining the apple technologies that we can harness as well as showing examples and demos that Lee had written. 

I'm definitely going to look into playing with AR using Visual Studio and C# instead of building in swift and Xcode, of course, that's when I get any spare time hehe

Session 5 - Empathy, Sympathy, and Compassion

The last session was a presentation by Jamie Taylor who I had spent the lunch break with

Jamie is a great speaker, and his talk was about the attitudes and actions of the people in the software and development industry, and why we should have more empathy for our users and the people around us. It was certainly a thought-provoking session and Jamie presented it with a passion that grabbed you and drew you in. 

I know I left that presentation with a better understanding of how my systems can affect the user, and why I should have much more compassion for their issues and problems. 

All good things come to an end

There was one more session, which was a closing session where prizes were handed out for the various prize draws and competitions, but I needed to be back on the road so wasn't able to attend that.  But the whole event was enjoyable from start to finish. 

Thank you so much to the event organisers, presenters and sponsors who work tirelessly to offer this free day, I learnt new things, met some lovely people and had some great conversations and just had a bloody great Saturday! 

I'm looking forward to the next one now! 😄

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Date: 04 Dec 2022
Author: Craig Pickles (YorkshireTechy)