Speaking at NDC Oslo

Earlier this month, I was given the opportunity to speak at NDC Oslo, which was a fantastic experience. On a personal level it was exciting and fun, and on a more professional level, it was incredibly beneficial to talk to other people from around the world about different technologies and how they can be effectively utilised.

I would like to praise NDC for hosting a conference with an incredibly diverse set of speakers, it was great to see a fair representation of women speakers, from all over the world. NDC has always been a warm, welcoming environment, and this year was no different.

My talk was about something called The Blub Paradox, and how we at VQ step outside of our comfort zone to try and find the best tool for the job at hand. The talk was well received, and the attendees appreciated how VQ have even contributed to OSS, both financially, and with our own packages / pull requests. Hopefully, this has inspired more people to take this approach back to their respective companies and will start doing the same. VQ Communications was also mentioned outside of my talk, by Kristian Hellang on Microsoft’s Channel 9. This says to me, we must be doing something right in the software industry.

All of the talks were recorded and will be uploaded to the NDC Vimeo within the next few months.

The conference lasts 3 days, which meant I was given plenty of free time to attend other sessions and see what other people are doing, which is always incredibly useful and has led to some inspirational ideas on how we at VQ can improve and be even better. All of the talks I attended were great, but the most useful “track” I visited, was undoubtedly the unofficial “hallway track”, or to put another way: Talking to attendees, listening and learning. Attendees and speakers travelled from all over the world, and they have some interesting stories to share. A particular highlight was talking to an industry leader about VQ’s approach to writing software, and having it described as “refreshing”.

Although I have spoken at numerous events in the UK, this was the first time I had done any abroad, and on such a big stage, so naturally, I was quite nervous. The organisers were fantastic every step of the way, and the nerves soon disappeared. They even took the speakers (and some attendees) on an Oslofjord Shrimp Cruise, which gave some incredible views of the city and surrounding area. Sitting outside on a boat discussing software, culture and everything else was incredibly relaxing and made for a great conference.

I cannot speak highly enough of NDC, and attending conferences in general. They truly are a great way to learn, and I would recommend attending a conference/local user group/anything similar, to any developer.