Well, for me anyway, because the conferences I tend to go to happen around this time of year.

I’m off to two opportunities for self-improvement this year, DDD Brisbane and Yow!. Unfortunately (fortunately?) they are scheduled extremely close together (Saturday, Monday, Tuesday), so I’ve got a busy few days full of learning coming up. Still, a little busyness is a small price to pay for knowledge. “Scientia potentia est” after all.

I don’t know any Latin beyond what the internet tells me.

DDD Brisbane I had to pay for out of my own pocket (a mere AUD $30, incredibly affordable for anyone looking to take advantage of the experience of others), but my employer (Onthehouse Group) was nice enough to cover the costs of Yow!, so I didn’t have to take that one on the chin.

Last year I only managed to attend DDD, so it will be nice to head off to Yow! this year to absorb all that delicious knowledge. I’ll probably do a follow up post after the conferences are over (assuming I yet live),  but for now this post will be a quick one highlighting some of the things that I’m looking forward to.

Developers, Developers, Developers

There is some good stuff happening at DDD this year. Personally, I’m looking forward to the following sessions.

Panel: What is Quality Code

This is one of those all-star panels that will probably dump massive amounts of experience in a very short amount of time. Featuring some of the more well known players in the Software Development space (in Brisbane at least), I’m sure it will be both engaging and educational.

Designing an API

Indu Alagarsamy & John Simons talk is topical for me, because we are currently investing in the design and implementation of an API that will expose parts of our flagship software that were previously unavailable to external consumers. I’m interested to see what these two speakers will offer in terms of new information, or lessons learnt.

Back to Basics: Simple, Elegant, Beautiful Code

Listening to Andrew Harcourt give a talk is always both entertaining and enlightening, and I’m sure this talk will be no different. Its always a goal of mine to write simple code, and I considering myself a craftsman when it comes to developing software, so I’m interested in what sort of things Andrew has to say on the matter.

Sweet You’re Agile! No What?

Its always interesting to see what people have to say about Agile, and I wonder what Chris has to add to all the other stuff floating about out there.


I’ve never actually been to a Yow! conference before, though I have watched quite a lot of the videos that they put up after the fact (you can view all of the previous Yow! videos for free at the Eventer website). It should be a good opportunity for me, even though its a much larger, less personal conference. This year I’m looking forward to the following sessions.

Delivery Mapping: Turning the Lights On

Writing software is all well and good, but if you can’t deliver it in a timely, reliably fashion, what does it really matter? I’m hoping this session will provide some new information on that front.

Pragmatic Microservices: Whether, When and How to Migrate

Whether or not the use a microservice based architecture is something we’re currently struggling with right now, so I’m very interested in seeing real examples from big companies (on both sides of the argument) accompanied by some sort of analysis into the desirability of the approach.

Property Based Testing: Shrinking Risk in Your Code

I’m a big proponent of testing, and while I have heard some things about property based testing, my level of knowledge about it would barely fill a thimble. I’m hoping the the content of this session will enlighten me somewhat.

Agile is Dead (Long Live Agility)

In the same sort of vein as the Agile talk Chris is giving at DDD, I’m curious to hear what one of the original founders of the Agile Manifesto has to say on the subject. Personally, I think not enough people pay attention to Agile values and instead focus on the process, thinking that makes them “agile”.

Designing for Failure: Scaling Uber’s Backend By Breaking Everything

Now this is the kind of talk I can get behind. Using AWS as our primary hosting mechanism has only solidified in my mind the fact that anything can break at any moment, so you might as well be prepared for it. I wonder if this session will feature similar concepts to Netflix and their legendary Chaos Monkey, Gorilla and Kong.

Making Hacking Childs Play

Troy Hunt is pretty legendary in the security field, so I’m sure he has to say will have excellent ramifications for the way I think about security.

DevOps @ Wotif: Making Easy = Right

Looking back I’ve always been interested in making sure that software developers are involved at every step of the software pipeline, and deployment/support is no exception. The relatively new culture around DevOps only reaffirms that sort of attitude, taking operational concerns into the programming space. Hopefully this talk will add more fuel to the fire.


The downside of these sorts of conferences is that you simply can’t see everything. At least with Yow! I will be able to watch the videos later, which I certainly will be doing. There were some particular hard decisions made in my list above, and I don’t want to miss out on anything amazing.

As an aside, it really does feel like there is never an end to learning new things in this field and that can be a combination of exhilarating and exhausting. The problem is, if you stop to take a breather, everything moves so fast that you’re already behind the curve. One day it might settle down, but I can’t imagine that’s going to happen in my lifetime.

I’m still not entirely sure if anyone actually reads this blog, but if you do, and you somehow recognise me at either of the conferences above, come and say hi.