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DDDNorth 2024


Developer! Developer! Developer! was founded in 2005, with the aim to have a series of regional conferences; organised by developers for developers. Developer! Developer! Developer! North or DDDNorth was held this year (2024) in the University Of Hull's Computer Science Department.

With 5 sessions, each having 5 talks per session lasting an hour, there were 25 talks to choose from covering Azure, GitHub, Communication, Testing, Debugging, IoT and much more; there was something for everyone.

The Talks (that I attended)

10 Practices for a Healthy DevOps Life - Richard Fennell

Richard took us through a DevOps journey sharing best practices and practical tips. He reminded us that having source control is great, but using it well and to its fullest is as important, if not more so. And that we should also use the right tooling for the situation; for example, it is possible to commit videos to source control, but a better option may be to use another tool that allows the user full access to version history. Richard also covered:

  • Work tracking
  • CI/CD
  • Infrastrucutre as Code
  • The importance of automated testing
  • Supply Chain analysis
  • Documentation
  • Exploration
  • And more

My favourite quote from Richard is:

Software Development is a team sport, not a solo one

Azure Architecture: Choosing Wisley - Rik Hepworth

Rik reminded us that when defining our Azure Architecture, we need to consider not only what we're building but also the following:

  • Team Experience
  • Operating Cost
  • Development Cost
  • Existing Standards
  • Strategy
  • Performance
  • Security
  • Risk
  • Product Life Cycle

And also, there is a cognitive load on our teams if we ask them to up-skill.

Rik reminded us that some organisations are not committed to the culture of learning.

Rik's session was interactive,and we defined an Azure Architecture together. The top 3 takeaways from Rik's talk were:

  • Cloud architecture is a team sport
  • Be mindful of the cognitive load
  • Expect change and review the architecture regularly

Cypress, Playwright or Selenium: choosing the right testing tool - Soumaya Erradi

In this great talk, Soumaya took us through the pros and cons she had found of each of Cypress, Playwright, and Selinum whilst she was using them to test the front end of applications.

She also did a demo of each of the testing tools. Her session ended with a debate about Cypress and Playwright and which to use when. There was a lot of love in the room for both these testing tools. I won't say which Soumaya preferred, as this would give away the ending of her talk. 

The memorable quote from Soumaya was

Test the automation tool you want to use against some of the harder cases to automate, for example modals

Beyond version control: Using GitHub throughout your development lifecycle - Chris Reddington

Chris' talk was an interactive talk, he gauged the experience of the audience with GitHub, fair to say in our case it varied from none to advanced.

He then took us through a repository, projects and then on to a demo of GitHub CodeSpaces. During the demo of CodeSpaces Chris demonstrated GitHub Copilot showing how GitHub can:

  • Explain code.
  • Refactor code.
  • Write test cases for code.
  • Write a GitHub action for running the test cases that have just been written.

For anyone concerned about CoPilot there is the GitHub CoPilot Trust Centre

Chris also demoed secret scanning, which prevents secrets being pushed to the code base.

Top Quote from Chris:

When working with CoPilot context is everything

My Talk - Debugging: More than breakpoints and log analysis

The eagle eyed among you will have spotted I wrote there was the chance to attend 5 talks throughout the day, but that I've only written about 4. The 5th talk was my own "Debugging: More than breakpoints and log analysis". We explored:

  • What can cause defects
  • The impact on development of how bugs are reported, and ways to document defects.
  • How to develop to support debugging
  • Debugging techniques
  • And explore some of the debugging tools offered by C#, SQL Server Management Studio, and the Azure Portal.

I think I won the prize for the most zen quote

How Errors Are Handled Impacts How Errors Are Handled


And finally a blog about an event isn't complete with mention of the food. The food was very tasty and catered for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters, and included gluten free too. 

Because the food was so tasty, I forgot to take pictures, so the pictures below are taken from various twitter accounts,please see the text below the picturefor the image credit.

Croissant and Pain au Chocolate

Image credit The Yorkshire Techy

Sandwiches and pastries

Image Credit: Robert Hogg

Crudites: Carrot, cucumber, tomato and pepper with dips, and also cheese and tomatoes on sticks

Image Credit: Linda Hogg

Cream Cakes

Image Credit: Linda Hogg


DDDNorth is an excellent, free software conference, in which you can network, share knowledge and learn new things.

A big thank you to all the organisers including Robert Hogg and Linda Hogg, all the speakers, the volunteers and of course the sponsors without whom DDD North would not have been possible.