NDC London 2020

This was my third year in a row attending NDC London and it remains my favorite conference. You can read about my earlier visits in 2018 and 2019.

The Operating System

As in previous years, the location for NDC London 2020 was the Queen Elizabeth II Centre which is an excellent venue. It is easy to get to, has unrivaled views of Westminster Abbey and the facilities are superb.

The conference is spread over three floors with high quality food and drink being served throughout the day. This year there was a big improvement in the number of places available to sit down during breaks and at lunchtimes. One downside though which is more indicative of our industry was the men’s toilets were very busy especially during talk change overs.

A word of thanks to the NDC organizers and the many volunteers that efficiently dealt with problems that came up. I saw first hand two challenges that were quickly addressed with no repeat. Excellent work.


I attended this years conference on my own but struck up conversation with other delegates. Never easy to do but something that makes me feel better afterwards. I’m sure that others are in the same position and at next years conference I will see if there is interest for delegates that are on their own but would like to be part of group of two or more during break and lunchtimes.


Whilst the Conference Operating System is important, the talks are the cornerstone of good conferences and like previous years they were on the whole excellent.

The keynote was delivered by Tess Ferrandez which made you think about the responsibilities of being a developer today and that we are not just developers. It was an inspiring talk and an excellent way to start the conference

Troy Hunt during his first talk on Thursday

Over the course of three days I attended 23 talks and have a note book full of things I need to learn, find out more about or try out.

In a number of talks I attended I noticed that there were two people who were using sign language to translate the talk for a number of delegates. After one of the talks I went up and spoke to them and I asked them for advice for when I am giving a talk and it is being translated. Just be yourself they said and try to keep to a minimum any jokes that are a play on words.

Favorite talks

I love attending a talk and being taken somewhere I wasn’t expecting to go either by the skill of the presenter in delivering the content, a thought provoking comment or how engaged the audience are. The following list, which is not in any order were my favorite talks out of the 23 I attended.

  • Building Trust in Teams – Richard Campbell
  • OWASP Top Ten Pro Active Controls – Jim Manico
  • Rise of the Klintwalker – Lars Klint
  • UX Design Fundamentals – Billy Hollis
  • The Art of Code – Dylan Beattie


Here are the 23 talks I went to.


  1. Keynote: We are the Guardians of our Future – Tess Ferrandez-Norlander
  2. Serverless: Five Key Things you need to Know – Gojko Adzic
  3. Delightful Durable Function Patterns – Adrienne Tacke
  4. Lightning Talks
  5. An introduction to Machine Learning using LEGO – Jeppe Tornfeldt Sørensen
  6. The OWASP Top Ten Proactive Controls 2018 – Jim Manico
  7. Rip It Up And Start Again? – Sam Newman
  8. A Developer’s Introduction to Electronics – Guy Royse


  1. The Internet of Pwned Things – Troy Hunt
  2. Angular and The Case for RxJS – Sandi Barr
  3. Everything is Cyber-broken 2 – Troy Hunt and Scott Helme
  4. Lightning Talks
  5. Ordering the chaos – cleaning logs and ordering events in microservices – Adam Furmanek
  6. 25 Years of SSL – Secure(ish) Sockets Layer – Scott Helme
  7. DDD Really Matters! – Jimmy Nilsson
  8. Shrink The Web: How To Get Happier By Removing Crap – Lemon


  1. Building Trust in Teams – Richard Campbell
  2. The Rise of Klintwalker – Mastering Your Inner Developer Part 2 – Lars Klint
  3. UX Design Fundamentals: What do your users really see – Billy Hollis
  4. Lightning Talks
  5. Continuous Integration and Delivery for Databases – Jimmy Bogard
  6. Combatting illegal fishing with Machine Learning and Azure – for less than £10 / month – Jess Panni & Carmel Eve
  7. The Art of Code – Dylan Beattie


With some exceptions the talks are recorded and available to watch on the NDC YouTube channel.

I admit that watching them back, something is lost from the enjoyment from watching the talks live. However if you can’t get to an NDC event they are the next best thing.

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