ABB DevDay 2013 (http://devday.pl/) is over. If you don’t want to read the full review and you just expect a bold statement - here it is: it was awesome. The best .NET (majorly, but not only) dev conference in Poland. By freaking far. Why:

  1. Top-notch presenters (engineers, not salesmen!)

  2. Vivid (and trendy) topics

  3. No fluff, no bullshit, just real-deal talks

  4. Every presenter present all the time, fully approachable and ready to respond out-of-band questions

  5. No issues with location, logistics, timing, etc.

Sure, there were only two sessions in parallel, so you didn’t have a very wide variety to chose from, but it’s all about quality, not quantity. MTS has 7 parallel session and you can’t pick one, because all look dull, DevDay has 2 and you can’t pick one, because you’d prefer to see both.

About the sessions I’ve seen:

  1. Jon Skeet for a warm-up. I can’t help it, I like this guy. He made a great entertaining session that helped a lot with invigorating people in the morning. It wasn’t aimed to flood the audience with C# internals, but still he brought up few interesting details I wasn’t aware of. Summary: truly entertaining.

  2. Pat Kua (ThoughtWorks) about Continuous Delivery. One of my favorite topics, really. Pat did a very good job and I agree with every damn sentence. If I had to emphasize just one statement out of this presentation, it’d be (I can’t remember literally, but the message is kept intact): “If something’s painful, do it more often”. It’s not new (Jez Humble has written about that in his book) as was the majority of the content in the presentation, but it was very well stated.

  3. Andreas Hakansson (aka TheCodeJunkie) - hey, TheCodeJunkie on stage, how could I miss it? One of key contributors of Nancy was presenting some nice tricks Nancy team has used while designing and developing their framework. IMHO presentation lacked some dynamism, but the content was interesting, so I can’t complain really.

  4. Hadi Hariri (JetBrains) about modern web development (using AngularJS and Kotlin) - funny, interesting, light - I liked it even if I find myself really proficient in the topic (so I wasn’t there for tech learning this time).

  5. Paul Stack about automating the infrastructure management on Windows (with Puppet and PowerShell) - again, one of my recently favorite topics. I really enjoyed that session (even if personally I favor Chef over Puppet), because Paul was using his real-project scripts and modules: and that was I was really interested in - how does it work in more complex scenarios of large enterprise.

  6. Marco Cecconi (StackOverflow) about the architecture of StackOverflow. Do I really have to explain this? Really?! This session just had to rock. And Marco had no issues with responding any questions and sharing their experience with scalability, monitoring, deployment, etc. Very. Valuable. Lesson.

  7. Rob Ashton (The.Rob.Ashton. :D) Creme de la Creme. Best session this day and best conclusion of DevDay one could imagine. Not strictly a technical session, but it made me think about some stuff (that I’d like to save for myself for now). The most disturbing thing was that the first part of the presentation was really deja-vu-ish.

And, that’s about it. Unfortunately I had to run for the train, so I’ve skipped the afterparty ;/ but some things you can’t help.

Any cons I can think of? Yea, just once - catering during lunch was a bit sloppy - it took too much time to grab the meal. Fortunately it worked much better during the breaks between sessions.

DevDay 2013 was a tremendous success and I have even higher hopes about DevDay 2014. See you - same time, next year!