Two of the best presentations I attended, both for content and delivery were Sam Newman and Jez Humble, author of Continuous Delivery (Disclaimer: They are my colleagues after all). What I enjoyed about their talks were both their talk about real world examples, as well as important advice as well as the delivery. Getting the balance right is really difficult to do.
I also really liked the keynote from Dirk Duellmann from CERN who talked about the big data challenges they have storing information. Although it took a while to get to the meaty part of the data, storage details I think it’s a very interesting outlook they have with architectural choices such as the view that they cannot design for hardware or devices today as these will be obsolete as time goes forward. Being able to retrieve historical information is important as it the ability to store all of the data in a format others can read. They have realised the importance of the scale of the work they are doing, so they are focusing on doing something good (storing and making available data) and working with other groups to do the analysis.
There were loads of highlights such as meeting many new people and connecting with old ones as well as some interesting side conversations.
I gave my talk (above) and was very happy with the results. The Trifork team behind the conference are awesome at getting feedback to presenters for quickly and I was very happy with the results. The conference uses a simple voting system for feedback (red, yellow, green) and they keep track of the number of walk outs. I ended up with 90 green, 26 yellow, 1 red and only 2 walkouts. I have no idea how that compares with other speakers but I’m pretty happy with the results. What I also appreciated were the people who came up afterwards to talk to me about how the topic is really important and what some people got out of it (affirmation they are doing the right thing, new ideas to take back, new books to read, more things to focus on, or a good idea of how to prepare as they step into the role).