Why the Explore DDD Conference in Denver is Worth Your While

In September, in Denver, will be held the most ambitious DDD-specific conference to date in North America. If you are based on this continent and serious about DDD, I’d urge you to attend. The lineup of speakers is relevant to where DDD is evolving now, with some of the people who are on the edge, shaking up the way we do what we do. And it includes the depth of experience of a few of those who were there before me, who were major influences on my thinking before I wrote my book. The lineup of pre-conference training workshops present a rare opportunity to learn from the leaders.

And frankly, you might not get another chance. We haven’t had a lot of public DDD events in this country, and I have an impression from the organizers that registration is low so far. With that speaker lineup, we’re going to have a great conference! But the private hosts will lose money and may not try again.

On the other hand, why bother? What can we really gain from physically attending an event like that over reading books (which you should do!) or watching the videos from the European conferences? Well, those things are valuable, and if you can’t go to Explore DDD Conference, you’ll be able to see the talks, which will be posted online soon afterward.

I remember a particular panel at DDD Exchange 2010 in London. Event Sourcing and CQRS were really heating up, and there was a lot of excitement and quite a bit of confusion. We had a panel including Greg Young and Udi Dahan in which they debated their distinct views on the subject. This direct face-to-face discussion, with a mix of other deeply knowledgable members of the community, helped the sharpening and clarifying that was needed.

And it was not fun for me, but it was fascinating and valuable. I was right in the middle of it, and I gritted my teeth and gave it my best energy because I knew that these were the most important new trends in our community at that time.

Right now we have a few important trends. One is Event Storming, a structured collaborative technique developed by Alberto Brandolini. At DDD Europe 2016, people were keenly interested in that topic, and Alberto’s presentation and workshop were well attended. But also, there was an “unconference” track, which is space set aside for unplanned, informal discussions and activities. The impromtu Event Storming activity grew into a kind of Event Hurricane that ran for two days! As the enthused attendees ran out of wall-space for their models in the meeting rooms, they spilled out into the hallways and eventually the lobby. This was fun! Joyous, even.

Those were high points, and I can’t know if anything like that will happen at Explore DDD, but at all of these events there are hundreds of less visible interactions. Networks form and are strengthened. Ideas are cross-fertilized. Most of the speakers are practitioners, as are most other attendees, and all that experience leads to deep conversations.

I also join general software development conferences where DDD is one topic among many. Those conferences are very valuable. But the DDDers are a dilute part of the mix, and people jump from topic to topic. Occasionally a community, if it is to be a community, needs focused, sustained interaction. So I hope many of you will join me in attending the Explore DDD Conference.