I've already promised myself some time ago:
"No more conference reviews, chap."
But I'll start 2016 with breaking this rule once again, just so I can tell you that ... DDD Europe 2016 was way better than I expected.
No worries though, I'll try to be as brief as possible:
Guys (& gals?) of DDD Belgium have proven that they are no pushover, but the strongest DDD community in the Old World (at least) - they've not only organized a good conf, brought good speakers (i.e.: Evans, Vernon, Brandolini, Young, etc.) aboard, but they have also delivered a lot of strong content on their own (i.e.: Claes, Reynhout). And they were freaking passionate about this - one bold example: Mathias Verraes. I think that everyone who has heard his summary speech or has participated in his hands-on workshop in the corridor can confirm my words.
It's not easy to speak about domain modeling & DDD in particular in an amusing, engaging way. Even for the greatest authorities in the subject (there were examples of that during DDD Europe as well) can fail, but it's possible to deliver a very solid talk on DDD & guys like Cyrille Martraire are the best living proofs.
Nice variety of activity types within conf slots (sessions, hands-ons, modelling with strangers, modelathon, unconference) was both a great strength & a significant weakness of the conference - in theory, you had plenty of options to pick from, but one workshop tokens were gone, you were quite frequently limited (practically) to the one & only session that was taking place.
During the conference, few next books have been announced (& promoted):
- obviously Vince Vaughn (& his newly announced book - "Domain Driven Design Distilled") has got the biggest interest; as you've already figured out probably, it's supposed to be the essence of DDD (~200 pages) for people who can't be fussed to go through the Blue Book; if you ask me about opinion on that ... I think we already have too many people who have read both blue & red book & they still claim that DDD is about notation & nomenclature
- Alberto Brandolini has leaked (;>) some info about his forthcoming book - "Introducing Event Storming". It's supposed to appear soon on LeanPub
- Cyrille Martraire is about to conclude his (currently developed on LeanPub) book - "Living Documentation"
Few minor thoughts & observations:
- DDD Europe has solved lunch queues problem by ... replacing traditional lunch with "grab&go" sandwiches & soup (distributed around whole area) - I can imagine people being unhappy with that, but for me it worked all right
- where were all the ladies? I can (very reluctantly) believe that 'girls just don't want to code', but I won't believe they don't do domain modeling / design either! there were very, very few females in the audience
DDD Europe 2016 were both time & money reasonable spent. It doesn't mean that I've already made a decision about participating in next year edition, but keeping in mind that for the first time in quite a long time (at least half a year) I was taking notes with remarks & ideas during the talks, I find it quite possible.