NDC Oslo 2018: A Q&A with Ben and Mikko
In June, Ben and Mikko visited Oslo for the NDC 2018 conference.
Once they had returned and recovered, we surrounded them with
questions about their experience and the things they had
How did you plan/pick which sessions you went to?
M: I went through the agenda and wrote a blog post :) https://firstname.lastname@example.org/see-you-at-ndc-oslo-2018-3e10db968fe
B: I picked sessions based on a combination of personal
interests and things that had potential to improve what we do at
What was your favourite session?
M: Not starting with an easy one, eh? I'll pick one that was
enjoyable and fun to listen to with a well-thought storyline
(literally), and that I left with much better understanding of
evolutionary architecture. So that's "Betting on Evolutionary
Architecture" by James Lewis.
B: I really enjoyed "So you want to create your own .NET
runtime?" by Chris Bacon - it was interesting to see how a .NET
application is loaded and executed from first principles.
What's your favourite memory?
M: I would like to say, but they told us "what happens in
PubConf, stays in PubConf". So I'll say it was the moment Richard
Campbell brought up Climate Change as the topic of his talk in The
Hello World Show live.
B: PubConf, without a doubt.
What was the best thing you had to eat?
M: I'm going with the hummus and pita bread. Unless coffee
B: Pulled chicken and hummus brioche with chilli-cheese sauce (I
got a bit creative!)
Was there a mixture of content i.e. demos and presentations?
Were there any interactive sessions?
M: Most of the talks had a background/theory part, then a
personal experiences and/or practical examples part. There were
also few workshop-style sessions, but I didn't go to any of those
B: Definitely a mix. "So you want to create your own .NET
runtime?" was an hour-long live coding session. Most of the
sessions about security and language/IDE features included demos.
The architecture and design sessions were more theoretical.
Were there any big announcements?
M: Not really, the talks were from developers to developers.
Probably some of the future Visual Studio features were the closest
it got to an announcement.
B: Nothing concrete. A few hints about things that might be
coming up in the future, for example AI-assisted intellisense in
Is there anything new coming for C#?
M: From what I could tell from Mads Torgersen's keynote, C#
wants to take in the good parts of functional paradigm, while
keeping the benefits of Object-Oriented. We'll see what that leads
B: As Mikko said, Mads Torgersen hinted that they're exploring
adding more functional-programming-inspired features.
How well organised was the conference? Was it easy to get
M: Really well, at least I didn't run into any problems. The
stalls were in the middle of everything, so I could grab a coffee
or chat at the expo before moving to the next session.
B: Organisation was excellent, everything ran smoothly and on
time. The rooms were clearly signed and maps were provided. Food
was great and I never had to wait too long to get served.
Was there anything that you learned that you can use at
M: Some the talks were mostly about architecture and processes,
so they are definitely useful but need to be thought through and
refined before applying here at Codify. Others that were more
hands-on had some really good tips that we can start utilizing,
like the REST API best practices from Liam Westley's talk "Give it
a REST - Tips for designing and consuming public API's".
B: I've already started adding.editorconfigfiles to various
systems! There are also some changes I want to make to our code
analysers which should make them more maintainable. I am working on
applying some of the things I learned about architecture and design
to our application templates and will hopefully present some
recommendations soon. Lastly, I think there were some very good
points about user experience in business applications which we
should definitely bear in mind.
Was there anything that has inspired you to investigate further
or start a pet project?
M: Yes, too many to decide where to start with… I would love to
try building something based on Event Sourcing architecture, and to
try out graph databases or at least GraphQL as an API
B: I'd like to try building a workflow around microservices and
event queues. I don't have a use case in mind yet, it would just be
interesting to model. I've also spent quite a bit of time reading
up on hexagonal architecture.
Did it change your opinion of anything? i.e. technology you
maybe didn't think much of beforehand?
M: It certainly helped to decide where I should or shouldn't use
specific techniques, architectures or tools. Even the most
enthusiastic talks were quite realistic about the limitations of
the technology they were talking about. But it did change my view
on LinkedIn being just a sales platform.
B: There were definitely sessions that challenged my opinions
and things that I'd been taught - particularly about architecture
and design techniques.
Are there any anecdotes you can share from the people you
M: A lot, here's one from Ian Cooper: "Code duplication creates
And another from Eline Giskeødegård (along the lines of Lean
Service Creation): "Fall in love with your customers problem, not
B: These are quotes rather than anecdotes, but "Don't just look
at how to improve a feature. Think about other ways to achieve the
desired result." and "Business applications are helping a user to
do their job. Make their job as easy as possible!"
Would you recommend NDC?
M: Definitely, at least for developers. NDC Oslo is so big
there's definitely something for everyone, but it may not be the
one if you are after new announcements and Big Corp CEO
B: Absolutely. I'd definitely go back next year given the