I had a great time at NDC Oslo last week and I’ve got to send a pretty big thank you to the folks behind the NDC conferences for what an outstanding job they did bringing it all together.
I got to see several old friends, meet some new folks, and generally have a blast interacting with other developers doing interesting work. I got to give a talk on using React and Redux to build a large application that I thought went pretty well (my audience was great and that always makes talks go much better for me). I’ll post the link to the video when that’s up.
As always, I was reminded that I like many folks far better in real life than I do their online personas — and I’ve received the same feedback about myself over the past decade too. Betting there’s some kind of deeper meaning to that and how we need to be more careful communicating on Twitter and trying to stop being so easily offended, but that’s too deep for a Monday morning for me;)
And as an “achievement unlocked,” I gave my entire conference talk without ever once opening Visual Studio.Net. I think being part of the de facto React.js track has to give me a touch of hipster cred.
So here’s what I saw and what stood out for me in terms of development trends:
There was a lot of Elixir content and buzz. I’m not doing any code in it, but most of what I saw looks very positive. Erlang’s syntax has always thrown me off, but I could happily live with Ruby inspired syntax. I think that community is going to struggle just a bit by having to build everything (web frameworks, service bus, etc.) from scratch, and they maybe aren’t learning lessons from other communities as well as they could in their efforts.
I’ve got to say that Bryan Hunter‘s “Elixir for Node.js Developers” was one of my favorite sessions of the week.
I’m excited to try out Electron on a couple projects this year. I took in David Neal‘s talk on Electron and got to speak with some other folks that are using it. I’d love to turn the Storyteller 3 client and maybe a forthcoming admin tool for Marten into Electron apps. We have one big WPF application that is justifiably a desktop application, but we prefer to write user interfaces as web apps, and Electron could be a good long term solution for us.
On the state of .Net OSS, yet again
I’ve written too many belly gazing types of posts about the state of OSS in .Net lately (and a follow up), but that topic came up a couple times in Oslo. On the positive side, I had several folks come up and ask about Marten, a couple nice comments on StructureMap, and even a positive remark on FubuMVC.
On the negative side, I had to field the inevitable question about Marten in regards to its potential adoption in the greater .Net community: “is it really worth the effort?” It is from the perspective that my employer will benefit and I’m generally enjoying the work. I’m not suffering from any delusions about Marten taking off into the .Net mainstream — at least until it’s technically feasible to build Marten’s functionality on top of Sql Server.
One of the things I’ve said about the CoreCLR and ASP.Net Core efforts from Microsoft is that I think they’ll suck all the Oxygen out of the room for .Net OSS offerings for quite awhile, and NDC was a perfect example of that. The talks on anything related to CoreCLR were jam packed, and I really don’t remember there being much else .Net content to be honest. If you’re a .Net OSS enthusiast, I think I’d either restrict my efforts to add ons to MS’s work or just sit it out until the CoreCLR hype settles down.