This year I've been lucky enough to visit NDC (Norwegian Developer Conference) as a crew member. Fortunately we didn't have to work much, and even when we did, we were in the lecture rooms listening to smart people. So here are my thoughts on what I heard during that 3 days in Oslo, and a few videos from the talks I found most useful.
The most important mantras I heard being repeated many-many times were related to tiny code, avoiding waste, simple solutions, listening to feedback. Tiny code as in don't write large functions and classes. Avoiding waste as in not doing things that are not yet necessary, and making sure that you don't make decisions that you can postpone. Simple solutions as in don't import large "know it all" libraries to replace something simple you could have implemented in a few minutes, and don't implement things you don't need yet. Listening to feedback, as in not getting angry when the user realizes that she needs something else then she first thought.
Of course that is only the surface. But the really cool thing about NDC is that every single talk can be downloaded with torrent or watched on vimeo a few weeks after the conference. You can learn much more from watching them, than you could from reading this blog entry even if I went on writing an epic one. Below is a list of talks I think you should start with.
The conference started with an amazing keynote by Aral Balkan. It's about user experience design, but I think every one should see this video developer or not:
Robert C. Martin had several talks on the conference. The best I heard was "What is OO? Where did it come from? Where is it going?". Unfortunately that one is missing from both the torrent and the vimeo account. (Let's hope it will be available later.) Another good talk by Uncle Bob was this one on how to act professionally as a developer:
If your company is about to introduce Agile methodologies - especially if it's scrum - you should definitely see this talk by Barry Hawkins:
Dan North talked about embracing uncertainty.
I also enjoyed Billy Hollis talking about story boarding:
Finally there was an interesting talk by Venkat Subramaniam about keeping your code quality high, and why you should care about that: