Wroc# 2017 – conference retrospective

February and March are usually very special months for developers in Wrocław, as they are abounding in some big events. Last week I wrote few words about Boiling Frogs 2017 conference, and today I would like to give my report about another conference I attended yesterday – a famous Wroc# (WrocSharp)!

The conference was once again taking place in Wrocław City Stadium. I estimate it was attended by about 500-600 people, many of them came from other cities. I needed to pay 150 PLN to get the ticket – I think that’s a low cost for such a big event. The fact, that whole income from the tickets sales will be donated for charity organizations was an additional motivation to pay for it. That was a very smart solution for the organizers of the conference – last year edition was for free and it was really hard to get the ticket, as the EventBrite needed to deal with huge traffic when tickets were available. This year a different ticketing site was used. Despite it also got hanged for a little bit when the registration got opened, I was able to get my ticket anyway, as well as my team colleagues.

There were 6 main presentations during the conference. Not all of them were strictly related to C#/.NET technology – that’s misleading in my opinion, as the event name itself contains “C#” keyword. Some of presentations were rather about web development than .NET.

The very first presentation carried out by Frans Rozen was the least correlated with .NET. However, in my opinion (and I’m not alone with it) it was the best one – it was inspiring, I learned cool stuff I wasn’t aware of and had the impression that the presenter is really dedicated to the topic.

Next presentations were more targeted for .NET developers. Unfortunately I must say I’m a little bit disappointed about them. I attended 2 previous Wroc# conferences, so I’m used to Chris Klug’s presence. But that’s 3rd year in a row when he’s talking about Angular or minification. Maybe someone that listens to him for the first time that’s valuable, for me it was just nothing new.

Angular was also mentioned by Steve Sanderson. However, his main topic was ASP.NET Core. This technology is one of the main topics on Wroc# 3rd year in a row. Each year I hear a lot of boastful words that it’s coming and it’s going to be great (usually from Microsoft employees). Unfortunately, neither Steve nor previous Wroc# speakers managed to convince me that it’s mature enough to abandon an old ASP.NET.

I must say that I learned something from Maarten Balliauw’s presentation about logging. It’s always nice to hear about some interesting frameworks and APIs you didn’t know. And as I wasn’t interested in Azure AppInsights so far, it was nice to get some knowledge about that. Although, I’ve heard some unhappy voices after this presentation, probably from people who already knew AppInsights.

Shawn Wildermuth’s presentation was about to convince me to use Visual Studio Code. His live coding session was a little bit boring for me, it hasn’t proved VS Code can be as productive as “normal” Visual Studio. I see the necessity of having 2nd lightweight text editor on my dev machine, but so far Notepad++ was good enough for me. After his speech I’m unconvinced. I also didn’t enjoy Tess Ferrnandez presentation. She spoke about debugging .NET performance & memory leaks. The way she presented the topic just didn’t hit me.

It was possible to ask some questions to the speakers using Twitter. All my questions were answered, one of them was even quoted on stage during the last part of the agenda – the discussion panel. I think that was the 2nd best point of the conference.

Beside some technical issues at the beginning of the conference (microphone crackings), the organization of the event was on a very high level in my opinion. All presentations were in English and I think that no one had an issue to understand them. The food served during the event was great, and traditionally there was a possibility to taste craft beer straight after last presentation. I wasn’t missing anything. I also wasn’t bored during the breaks between the presentations – there were a lot of additional atractions. I tried some VR devices and fitted myself to the Tesla car, which was cool. The conferences like this attracts polish .NET community, so I had also possibility to speak with some of our own .NET MVP’s. And of coarse, the presenters were opened to talk with everybody during the whole event.

I always spoken highly about Wroc# conference. I think that would be unjust to give a bad remark for this year’s edition just because I didn’t like all the speeches. It was organized even better then previous ones and obviously I will be very interested to attend next year edition. I would recommend it to everyone who’s interested in web development using .NET.