Tony Edwards

DDD Southwest Conference

- 2 mins

I was lucky enough to join the Bristol area’s tech community at the 2024 rendition of the DDD South West Conference today. And what a day it was! With over a hundred attendees in the room, there was plenty of conversation, a torrent of top tech talks, and quite possibly the healthiest conference lunch I’ve ever seen!

The most useful two sessions of the day focused on communication under different guises.

The first, from John Kilmister, was focused around the communication and professional skills that help to propel a developers career forwards. Whilst there was a bunch of common knowledge in the session, it was explored and explained in a way that still added something new to the conversation. Even better, I left with a list of books to check out to explore the topic further.

John Kilmister speaking at DDD Southwest 2024

One of the points made by John solidified something known for years without realising. . .

Technical skills dissolve over time. Communication skills compound over time.

Quite obvious when it’s put so eloquently!

The second was from Aaron Green. This talk explored confidence, charisma, and how to make the right impression when meeting someone new. Again, there was a lot here that I was aware of, however there was still enough new to make it a worthwhile watch. Even better, I have a page of notes that can be interwined into future uni classed!

Aaron Green speaking at DDD Southwest 2024

Being Bristol, the event attracted people from the tip of the South West 👋, South Wales, and London. As such, DDD offered a nice blend of perspectives on the world of development. The result being super interesting conversations nestled between sessions, stretching on into the evening.

It was great to dive into MAUI and the wider open-source ecosystem. FOSS is something I’ve become increasingly passionate about in recent years, and it was nice to gain some insights from someone far more experienced than myself on the topic, but working with the same tooling.

Most importantly, for the first time in a long time, an event captured that community vibe that so many aim for. It was relaxed. There were no sales pitches. No superstar speakers. No expensive tickets. No major problems (that the audience was aware of). Just a bunch of people giving up their Saturday for free to share knowledge and catch up with friends at a slickly run and relaxed conference.

As is often true with conference visits, the highlight was these conversations that wrapped the conference sessions. It was enjoyable to mingle with the crowd and get to know some new folks on a trip to the far North.

It might have taken me the best part of a decade to get to my first DDD South West conference, but It won’t take that long for me to join my next one.

10/10 - Highly recommended

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