What I enjoyed at StackOverflow DevDays Toronto.

Published on Oct 25, 2009

I got my tickets the first week the conference was announced, not really knowing what to expect but exited on the opportunity to learn new things and talk to people that work in other languages/technologies beside the .net world.

Once the sessions were announced my excitement decreased a little bit.

Friday morning was miserable in the weather department, so going to the conference was a nice proposition. I print my ticket, pack my laptop into the bag and took the TTC. I arrive a little after 8:00, the registration process was fast and everything was really well organized. There was coffee, water and muffins in the breakfast area. Good vibes in the air and a general feeling of excitement in the public. I crossed path with some faces I know from other similar gatherings while getting my second cup of java of the day.

After entering the auditorium Joel Spolsky addressed the audience with a key note about designing software products. He talk about how to make good products, the constant struggle between simplicity and features and how to achieve a balance. It was a vey interesting keynote.

The first session was on Asp.Net MVC, Joe DeVilla and Barry Gervin give us a good overview. Nothing knew to learn for me, but the presentation was good, and a lot of the developers in the audience weren’t .net developers.

After each brake, the conference resumed with some video from FogCreek, short but good, presenting some aspects of FogCreek or software development in general.

The other session I enjoyed and the one that justified the ticket price was the one by Greg Wilson. He is not just an excellent presenter but he also has something to say. He talked about doing scientific analysis of development methodologies and use real data to make decisions on what practices are really beneficial to our profession.

As a summary: one of five sessions + the keynote were relevant for me. For $99 it’s not bad value and I probably will go again next year if they decide to come back to T.O. Just hoping they rise the level of the sessions, maybe 2 at the 100 level, 2 at the 200 level and 1 at the 300 level.