Following in Oren's suit, I wanted to let everyone know that Øredev is one awesome conference, and I am having a real blast! If you know me, then you know I am usually really bad about blogging about conferences I attend. I already have a backlog that includes PDC, Kaizen and the p&p summit. Why this one? Well I am really feeling inspired, and thus it's became a moral imperative. :-)

A few things about this conference stand out for me.

  • The graciousness of the hosts. On the night before the conference I attended a private party at Magnus (my track owner's) house. Magnus welcomed a bunch of us into his home, which was wonderful. Magnus thank you and your wife for your amazing hospitality!  After that we headed over to a beautiful dinner at one of the local government buildings. There we were hosted by the deputy mayor of the city of Malmö! The architecture of the building was amazing, and it it was filled with some very old works of art. The mayor gave us a nice talk about the history of the building, and thanked us for coming from all-over to attend the conference. Last but not least, I'd like thank Michael Tilberg. He and his crew have really gone out of their way to make sure all our needs are provided. All I can say is Wow!
  • The level of seriousness of the attendees. I have attended a host of different conferences. In this one, the audience tends to be more reserved (I hear it's a Scandanavian thing), but the attention to the content and the speakers is amazing. All I can say is there guys are really serious, and their pride for what they do really shines through! At the few talks I gave, everyone listened very intently and no interruptions. That is, aside from my non-swedish Israeli friend, Oren Eini, who continually interrupted me with Resharper key-stroke suggestions! We're still buddies though :-)
  • Diversity of topics. In the same conference you find several different tracks from .NET and JAVA to ALT.NET, DDD, Program Management, and Agile techniques. For me I was really excited to get to see Jimmy Nilson speaking on Domain Driven Design.
  • Diversity of attendees. This for me is the real hidden gem. Attendees at this conference come from several different backgrounds, some come are .NET developers, some are Java Developers and others are using languages like Ruby and Groovy, and Scala. I have spent more time chatting with folks outside the Microsoft world than inside.  I've had some great chats with Bruce Snyder from Spring Source, Oracle (thanks Bengt, Mikael and Tom) and Sun. The environment is really welcoming. At no time did I get comments like "so you are a Microsoft guy". Instead we chatted about a lot of the common challenges we all face, our shared learnings, and also our thoughts on where languages are evolving to.  In general I heard a lot of very positive feedback and even amazement with all the progress Microsoft is making toward openness. Bruce literally did a double take when I told him we shipped JQuery, an open source library as part of the framework.

A few takeaways I took from all these conversations:

  • The gaps between the Java and .NET are really narrowing. Java is no longer a single language that runs on many machines, instead it's truly evolving (and has been for some time) to be a multi-language platform as is the case with .NET. I learned of at least two new languages that run on the JVM that join JRuby, JYthon and Scala.
  • We have so much in common, and should work together. Once I get back to Redmond, I want to follow up on seeing how we can start building some sort of platform agnostic community. When it comes down to it, we're just facing a lot of the same problems, and there's a pool of tremendous mind-share across all the communities.

Here are a summary of highlights of the conference for me so far (some of which I've already repeated).

  1. The party at Magnus'
  2. Oren Eini's 3-hour workshop on Rhino Mocks
  3. Jimmy Nilson's talk.
  4. Meeting Eric Evans.
  5. Excessive hang-out time with Carl Franklin, Richard Campbell, Oren Eini, Scott Bellware and Ted Neward. I have never laughed my ass-off so many times in a single week!
  6. the ALT.NET panel discussion with Oren Scott
  7. Recording the DNR talk on MEF
  8. Great chats with a range of folks including my colleagues Tim Heuer, Beatriz Costa, Eilon Lipton, Scott Hunter and Johan Lindfors, and a bunch of attendees. BTW, Johan thanks for all the advice!

These are just the things that stand-out off the top of my head, I am sure there are many more that I have missed.  I am really looking forward to the MEF talk today, and the open-discussion panel debate on software development that I'll be participating in this evening along with a host of folks including Robert Martin and Diana Larsen.

My only complaint would be that I REALLY over-committed this time, and now I am exhausted. Just yesterday I did a DNR-TV, a DNR, a session on Microsoft and ALT.NET  and an open-panel discussion on the state of ALT.NET. Anyway, I can't blame anyone but myself. I am just too excited about this stuff to say no. Even worse, I deliberately go and seek all this stuff out! It's like am a glutton for punishment or something.

Thank you Malmö and Øredev for a wonderful conference so far. I'll definitely be coming back if you'll have me :)