First, let me clear up any international confusion. The name DDD comes from Steve Ballmer’s famous mantra, but we soon shorted the mouthful to DDD. No intentional collision with Domain Driven Design. DDD is a UK equivalent of a code camp. Last weekend was out sixth (we have two per year, so we have been going at this for three years), kindly hosted by Microsoft (thanks to Clare Burgess for all the support). The major rules we have are:
- No Microsoft speakers
- Open submission of sessions
- Open voting on sessions to form the agenda
- Free to enter
- On a weekend
The mantra is by the community, for the community, and one of our key goals has been to encourage the growth of speakers from within the community who can share real-world experience with their peers.
How did it go?
We had 320 attendees, and gave 20 sessions across 4 tracks. Because my session (on LINQ, layered architectures, and n-tier) was on first, I had a good chance to wander around. The feedback I got from people attending was very positive. From an alt.net perspective it is interesting to note that we had a good set of submissions on how to improve practices or expand horizons, such as Dave Verwer on Iron Ruby, Paul Lockwood on Cruise Control.NET, Richard Fennell on Scrum, Mike Hadlow on Inversion of Control, Michael Foord on IronPython and Dynamic Languages in general, and Ben Hall on TDD with MbUnit. Gary Short and I both gave patterns and practices focused talks too. That makes at least seven talks out of 20, which, considering the open process seems pretty healthy. In addition, there is still a real appetite among the delegates for introductory sessions on much of this material; showing new people are becoming involved all the time.
So why questions about the future?
While Code Camps seem to be fairly organic about springing up, we have only just begun to see the emergence of regional DDDs in the form of DeveloperDayScotland. So one question that might be asked is whether the perception that the fact that we sell out of spaces within 24 hours, is not indicative of a demand that is not being satisfied by a central event, and it would be better to let many DDDs spring forth across the country, even if each one was smaller and more localized. It might also stop us falling into the ‘usual faces’ trap for speakers, as only a few would probably be dedicated enough to attend all the DDDs, opening the path for more local speakers to emerge.It would seem that the other way is to up the bar for the central event, and fly in top-name speakers. I’m cautious about this model. While you might construct a cracking event, and it might be on a weekend, and free to attend, it would also lose the ‘promote local talent’ and ‘voices from the coalface’ feel that is, for me, at the heart of DDD.There is a part of me that questions if we should not be more like code camps, publish our manifesto for DDD (my suggestion is an agile manifesto style: We would prefer local speakers to ones from further away set of rules).I know that other members of the committee have raised the idea that we need to meet on the future of DDD. So Craig, Zi, Phil, Guy and I will be sitting down to talk about what happens to DDD. However, it is ultimately the community’s conference, so it would be great to hear what you have to say, especially the usually silent majority, before we sit down.