Another day, another fantastic DDD (DDD South West 7)

Posted on Friday, 12th May 2017

Saturday 6th of May marked the day of another great DDD South West event. Having attended other DDD events around the UK I’ve always felt they had a special community feel to them, a feeling I’ve not felt at other conferences. This year’s DDD South West event was particularly special to me not only because I was selected to speak at the conference, but because this year I was part of the organisation team.

This post is just a short summary of the highs and lows of organising the conference and the day itself.

Organising the conference

This year I was honoured to be part of the organisation team for DDD South West, and I loved every minute of it. Myself and the other organisers (there were 5 of us in total, some of whom have been organising the conference for well over 5 or 6 years!) would hold regular meetings via Skype, breaking down responsibilities such as sponsorship, catering, speaker related tasks and finance. Initially these meetings were about a month apart, but as the conference drew closer and the pressure started to set in, we would meet weekly.

During the organising of DDD Southwest I’ve gained a true appreciation for the amount of effort conference organisers (especially those that run non-profit events in their spare time, such as those I’ve had the pleasure of working with) put in to organising an event for the community.

On the day everything went as expected with no hiccups, though as I was speaking on the day I was definitely a lot more stressed than I would have been otherwise. After the event we all headed over to the Just Eat offices for an after party, which I’ll cover shortly.

For more information on the day, there are two fantastic write ups by Craig Phillips and Dan Clarke that I’d highly recommend reading.

ASP.NET Core Razor Deep Dive talk

Whilst organising DDD South west 7, I figured why not pile the stress on and submit a few sessions. Last year I caught the speaking bug and this year I was keen to continue to pursue it, so I submitted 3 sessions each on very different subjects and was quite surprised to see the ASP.NET Core Razor Deep Dive was selected. It’s not the sexiest topic to talk about, but non-the-less it was a great opportunity to share some experience and give people information they can take away and directly apply in real life (something I always try to do when putting together a talk).

The talk itself was focused on the new Razor changes and features introduced in ASP.NET Core, why and where you’d use them. The topics included:

  • Razor as a view engine and it’s syntax
  • Tag helpers and how powerful they are
  • Create your own tag helpers for some really interesting use cases - this part was especially great as I could see a lot of people in the audience had the “light bulb” moment. This brings me great joy as I know there’s something they were able to take away from the talk.
  • Why Partial Views and Child Actions are limiting
  • View Components and how you can use them to create more modular, reusable views
  • And finished off with the changes people can expect to see in Razor when ASP.NET Core 2.0 is released (ITagHelperComponents and Razor Pages)

Overall I was really happy with the talk and the turnout. The feedback I received was great, with lots of mentions of the word “engaging” (which as a relatively new speaker still trying to find his own style, is always positive to hear).

DDD South West 7 after party

Once all was done and dusted and the conference drew to a close, a large majority of us took a 5 minute stroll over to the Just Eat offices for an after party where free pizza and beer was on offer for the attendees (Thanks Just Eat!).

After a long day of ensuring the event was staying on track coupled with the stresses of talking, it was great to be able to unwind and enjoy spending time mingling with the various attendees and sponsors, all of whom made the event possible.

Bring on DDD South West 8!