Danish Developer Conference 2014 - Aftermath

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the annual Danish Developer Conference. And it was actually a pleasure, I’m no just being polite here.

When you attend a conference like this, you put down an agenda of expected sessions. You set certain expectations to these sessions. Some times these sessions fulfill, even exceeds, your expectations and other times they barely hit an acceptable level. Generally  I think that Microsoft should be more ambitious and make it an international conference, where well-known international speakers could suggest sessions and make it last a couple of days. The Microsoft event organizers know how to put together a well-organized conference, the drinks and food was great. The venue this year was in Aarhus, the past two years have been in Horsens. I think the venue in Aarhus is way better than in Horsens. I do also think that Microsoft had hired a company to help-out with the wiring and microphones, it work well and had a professional touch. Although the screen went out during the keynote. So, all in all an overall nice conference, although I would recommend opening for abstracts and make it international.

It was a very inspirational keynote by Preben Mejer. He gave praise(!) to Microsoft for choosing a new CEO with the right attitude, and backed by Bill Gates. He told about the great potential on which Microsoft sits, and continued his keynote into an outlining of future trends in computing. This keynote made my expectations to a speaker like Preben Mejer.

The session speakers was a mix of Microsoft interns, and external developers and consultants. My first session was with Thomas Jespersen about Spiir's experiences with the Azure cloud platform. There were several take-aways from this session, that could be useful in future projects deployed on Azure. Later I saw Christian Holm Nielsen, make a session about how AngularJS and ASP.NET can fit nicely together. Unfortunately it was a very PowerPoint heavy presentation, I could have wished for some more demos using AngularJS together with Web API. It seemed like Christian, was trying to cover far more topics, than time allowed, so each topic was briefly touched. When this is said, I got some nice hints and leads on AngularJS.

During lunch, Telerik gave a short presentation of their Telerik Platform, and specifically AppBuilder. AppBuilder is using KendoUI Mobile for developing cross-platform applications. This is not the native way as Xamarin does, but the HTML5 approach. I have some experience using KendoUI for web development, and AppBuilder really just wraps these into deployable apps for either Android or iOS. AppBuilder has a number of nice testing and emulator features. I had a short chat with Sebastian Witalec from Telerik about KendoUI and AppBuilder. He gave me a 6 month license for AppBuilder, so I might end up using it. I didn't plan on going to any lunch sessions, but it sounded like a relevant topic, and it turned out to be really fruitful.  After lunch, I went to hear about the latest news from the Azure team. Henrik Westergaard Hansen gave a short and brief overview of the latest features. He showed of some great demos. For me the two biggest news was remote debugging of a website and live streaming of logging information from a production site.

I had some high expectations to Christian Helle’s session cross-platform development using Xamarin. And Christian did not let me down. He gave a nice and clean session, where all the business and sales stuff was cut out. It was a  cool presentation, developer to developer, honest about pros and cons using Xamarin for cross-platform development. This session was the highlight of the day. He inspired me to once again start using Xamarin. In the last session of the day I had planned on seeing Mads Kristensen, doing a presentation on building Visual Studio extensions. After some consideration, I changed plans and went to see Erik Ejlskov Jensen’s session on Entity Framework 6.x (EF). I’ve used EF some years back, and I recently read a great blog post by Jimmy Bogard, on why considers EF6 a better option than NHibernate, so I thought I might get a brush-up on the latest EF news. It was a nice session, with almost too many slides, but Erik managed to lift the session with concise and simple demos.

All in all, it was a pleasure to attend DDC this year, although I think they should be more ambitious.

Did you attend DDC14? Throw me a comment and let me know what you think.

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