When my focus was .NET development, on the podcasts I listened to I’ve used to hear praises heaped upon Norwegian Developers Conference. It was held in Oslo and quickly became Europe’s largest .NET & Agile conference.
I wanted to attend. Badly. I imagined myself listening to all the amazing speakers like Rob Conery, Carl Franklin, Dan North and Jon Skeet. I believed that I’ll learn more in a week than in a couple of months at my job. I suspected that my mastery of C# would increase twofold just by breathing the same air as Jon Skeet.
Alas, it was not possible. I didn’t earn enough to consider buying a ticket. And my first employer, a small company, was not ready to invest that kind of money into a young software engineer.
Almost 6 years ago, after working at that small company for 3, I’ve switched jobs. I’ve joined Adform. Even before being named Lithuania’s Best Employer in 2012, 2014 & 2016, it was a go-to destination for a .NET developer in Vilnius.
I still didn’t earn enough to consider buying a ticket myself. But after a year there, during my performance review, I’ve asked my manager for a chance to attend NDC Oslo. I thought that I was asking for a lot, but was still hopeful about how that conversation will end. I was wrong. I was denied. In a nice and emphatic way, but still denied.
More than 4 years ago, I’ve joined Vinted. .NET moved out of focus and so did NDC. I’ve attended multiple other conferences since then. But none of them captured my imagination as much as NDC once had. It was supposed to stay an unfulfilled dream.
NDC grew since. It’s now more than just one event. NDC conferences are held in Oslo, London and Sydney. They are no longer solely focusing on .NET & Agile, but all technologies that are interesting for developers.
I was always interested in sharing knowledge via public speaking. That wasn’t natural for a total introvert, but the challenge itself was one more reason to do it. Over the years, I grew a lot as a speaker. Last year I spoke at 6 conferences, 3 of them abroad. Each of them was an exciting opportunity to share and a fun challenge. For each I’ve paced ten of thousands of steps (or so my Fitbit tells me) as I walked back and forth rehearsing.
Four months ago I became aware of CFP for NDC London. I’ve entered. Dreams of old came back to me. I didn’t think I’ll be accepted, but it didn’t seem completely otherworldly to try. To my surprise and delight, I was accepted! This week I’ll stand in front of a small crowd and tell them about Engineering for Engineering’s Sake. At the same time, in another track, Jon Skeet will talk about abusing C#.
Update: schedule change moved me to speak at the same time as Douglas Crockford instead. On one hand, that makes the ending of this story slightly weaker. But on the bright side, I get to geek out about name-dropping Jon Skeet and Douglas Crockford in a sentence about me. Win.