One week after DDD Belfast, I was up in Sunderland for the first ever DDD North. The session line-up looked fantastic and it geared up to be a fantastic day.

My Session

Clean Up Your JavaScript Act

I wasn’t expecting too much of a turnout for the session as Mark Rendle’s CoffeeScript was on at the same time. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with that perception as Andrew mentioned scrambling in more and more chairs Winking smile I was surprised to see the room filled. Thanks to Plip overrunning his hyper-optimisation talk, I had to get started in a hurry. I may have forgot to actually say who I was.

I was looking to cover three things in the talk. First, I would show unit testing with QUnit driven by Chutzpah – both in Visual Studio and as part of a build in TeamCity. I would then cover functional objects in JavaScripts ala Douglas Crockford. Lastly (given the time), I would show a very brief demo of Knockout – a JavaScript MVVM framework. Due to the time limit, I had to go very very fast. I would have liked to get into more details but I figured it would be more useful to give the audience a starting point to start investigating on their own. Judging by the reactions, I was introducing them to some new things – so that worked out quite well.

The official feedback seemed very positive overall. The one I appreciated most mentioned that they found the content of more immediate use than other ones. One was happy with it but raised a minor issue that it hurt his brain (“but worth it”!). My absolute favourite has to be the really really negative one I got:

“I don't think I am really working with this set of technologies but it is very interesting”

The interesting part is that the abstract clearly mentioned unit testing JavaScript, QUnit, JavaScript objects and Knockout. I really appreciate somebody coming to a session that is irrelevant to them and then giving shite scores. Thank you.

It was very much code focused with live demonstrations. As such, there were very few slides. You can find them below:

Other People’s Sessions I Attended

Behaviour Driven Development

I went into this session with high expectations. This was my first time in an Ian Cooper session and I have been looking into Specification by Example ever since the book came out experimenting with various approaches. Ian covered the history of BDD quite nicely but I found it difficult to understand who the target audience was. He covered topics for pretty much all experience levels but thought there was too little for any particular one. He explained how BDD isn’t about any particular tool yet showed a lot of SpecFlow code. I do believe it would be an awesome day long talk but maybe targeting a particular level of maturity in the audience would have made it more interesting. Ian’s recent blog post on testing behaviour, not implementation explains the concept better.

Tips and Tricks : Lightning Fast Pages

Phil showed various subtle issues that can slow pages and various points to be aware of. The talk was very good, content rich (even though slide heavy) and went on and on and on and on…oi Plip – you almost made me miss my own session.

Kanban : What is it and how can it help

Nathan clearly explained how the Kanban process works (including various edge cases). There were some interesting questions and answers. I greatly enjoyed the talk. My only (very minor) criticism would be if he put forward the benefits a bit more – the talk lacked a bit of “why”. Very very good session to attend and would recommend to anybody who hasn’t done it yet.

After Hours

There was a brilliant English dinner arranged by Dev Express for 150 geeks. Scrumptious and awesome. Thanks guys.

Right, that’s the two DDDs wrapped up. I can now move on to blogging about tech stuff Smile