What Do People Talk About At Programming Conferences In 2022?

After attending NDC Porto 2022, my first in-person conference for 4 years, I thought it would be nice to sum up the most talked-through topics. This will be a subjective summary and my feelings after attending ~20 sessions and talking to dozens of people. Let’s see what people talk about at programming conferences in 2022.

.NET

This is going to be the longest section of this article 😄 I think it’s a bit specific to NDC Conference (“.NET” is the first one on the list of proposed topic for an NDC talk), but there was a lot about .NET. There were quite a few speakers either working for or associated with Microsoft.

Steve Sanderson standing in front of audience

I think the most discussed .NET topic was Blazor. There were many sessions discussing various aspect of the Blazor framework, its new features and development. MAUI was also mentioned several times.

Except that, .NET developers and speakers seems interested in issues related to the new versions of .NET (.NET 6/7) and generally this whole new ecosystem that’s being formed. Topics included gRPC/gRPC web, as well as Roslyn compiler possibilities.

Another important area of .NET was the multi-platform thing. It seems to be very important to the teams at Microsoft and contributors to related projects to make everything working on as many platforms as possible. Including desktops (Windows, Linux and Mac), web and mobile (Android and iOS). There were at least few multi-platform solutions discussed several times: Uno, Avalonia, Blazor and MAUI. All seem to be solving similar problems, but each has different entry costs and technologies used.

Software architecture

From software architecture topics, the most popular seemed to be everything around DDD. Not only the fully religious implementations of DDD were discussed, but also some of its simplified forms or just few concepts extracted from it.

Jimmy Bogard during his Domain-Driven Refactoring talk

It seems it’s all about understanding our end users better. I like it 😊

Cloud

Possibilities of various cloud providers were discussed at almost every talk I attended. What I liked about that, is that it was not only Microsoft Azure discussed everywhere as it used to be few years ago 😃 Cloud is now seen more as a concept rather than concrete cloud providers’ possibilities.

While we still need to support on-premise deployments, cloud seems an inevitable way to go for many applications.

Web

WebAssembly and accessibility. There were the two topics discussed very often in terms of web technologies. Some sessions touched on React, but rather briefly. I even didn’t hear about JavaScript very often, which is actually weird 😄 TypeScript was also a topic, as well as some frontend testing techniques/frameworks.

UX

I attended two sessions about UX. This is quite interesting for me, as I think we can do much better in terms of usability of our software for the end users.

Tatiana Kolesnikova and her talk: Change wings on the fly: replace a system that handles 50 million euro turnover with zero downtime

In general, I love the concept of designing and implementing the application from the user’s point of view. Maybe it sounds obvious, but it’s not always like that. Especially in corporations, when there are several layers between programmers and end users. Each layer adds its own filtering. This process makes the final solution sometimes far away from end users’ expectations.

Eleftheria Batsou - It’s easy to create a good looking product, but what about a useful one?

Soft skills/team leadership

Not only technical stuff at programming conferences in 2022? Sure 🙂

Heather Downing - The Care and Feeding of Software Developers

I also enjoy team leadership and light-management topics. Although not many programmers I talked to especially love those talks. Except the ones who have actually managed people. There were, however, quite a few sessions on that, and I liked them. I think leadership is translatable to everyday life, not only work.

Conclusion

My general feeling after NDC Porto 2022 is that we all want to be focused on people. We want to take care of our end users, but also of ourselves 😉 The main message was to make everyone feel welcome in IT. Especially after the pandemic, which increased anxiety and reduced the importance of social aspects in software development. I think programming conferences in 2022 should cover these topics.

Technical stuff is important – without that we can’t make anything. However, we are all people, and we need to take care of ourselves first, so all of those awesome tools can be used effectively and to everyone’s satisfaction 😊

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