Coding Blocks

Jamie from and Allen, ya know, from Coding Blocks, sat down together at NDC London to talk about the hot topics from the conference as well as how to get the most out of any conference you attend.

If you're reading this episodes show notes via your podcast player, you can find this episode's full show notes at where you can join in on the conversation.


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How to get the most out of a Conference

  • If the conference has an app - I highly recommend downloading it - typically latest breaking changes to venue, rooms, talks, etc. will be in the app
  • Attend talks that are outside your immediate realm of knowledge - get exposed to new things, new ideas, new ways of thinking
  • Walk away with fewer "unknown unknowns" and gain some more "known unknowns"
    • Provides you with things to search when you get back from the conference
  • Picking the talks you want to attend
    • Sometimes you have to sacrifice bigger names just to attend talks that may pique your interest
  • Know that what you're seeing on stage for an hour was probably weeks worth of effort to make it go off without a hitch - so when you try to replicate these things at home, don't lose hope when your try isn't as smooth as what you saw on stage
  • This next bit goes for Meetups, Conferences, etc - Get involved in conversations - don't just sit on the sideline - many developers are introverts, but to truly get the most out of a conference you want to have some meaningful discussions
    • Pacman effect - leave a gap when you're standing in a group having a conversation
    • Take advantage of eating times - find a table with an open spot and don't pick up your phone!!! Say good morning or good afternoon! "What's been your favorite talk today?"
    • When it's "drinking time", talk to people. If you're not a drinker, grab a water or a soda and join in on the conversation
    • Try and reach out BEFORE the conference online - Twitter, Facebook, Slack, etc - try and find out who all is going to be attending and try to make a point to meet up at the event! Makes things much less awkward when you've planned a meeting rather than just shouldering your way in.
    • Be a wingman/wingwoman or bring one along - help introduce people to your ring of contacts'
    • Maybe sign up to be a speaker at one of these things! If you watch the other folks giving presentations, you'll see they're regular people just sharing the things they're passionate about
      • The big names in the industry became big names because they took that first step - you don't become a big name overnight

Must-see Presentations

Notes from some of the Talks

  • Machine Learning - we as developers need to take much more care in what we release to the world
    • A number of talks / discussion panels revolved around this topic
    • Even with good intentions, you can make something that has consequences that aren't easy to see
    • Knowing your data intimately is the key to everything - but, you need to have different perspectives on the data - it'd be really easy to get laser focused on what you think makes for a good set of data for a model, and miss the pieces that actually provide the best model
    • Microsoft's ethical approach to AI - AI Principles
    • Cities with most camera coverage? Looks like Allen got it wrong - London isn't in the first spot anymore, but they're still top 10!

Favorite part of the conference?

"Why go if you can just watch the videos?"

  • Interacting with people
  • Thanking the people who make an impact on your daily life


It's not "Steve Ardalis" as Allen said - it's Steve Smith, better known as @Ardalis online!
Twitter: @ardalis []

App Center - DevOps Pipeline for Mobile

Zac Braddy / Jamie Taylor plan to launch a new podcast!

Jamie doesn't care about tabs or spaces...what?!?!
He also has other podcasts in the work, but they're on hold at the moment...stay tuned!

Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-126.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 8:29pm EST