Reconnecting, recalibrating, and rediscovering at NDC Oslo 2023

Former chef and soldier, then turned developer. I love outdoorsmanship, and all things technology.


As I sit here, reminiscing about the whirlwind of experiences from the past week, a smile inadvertently finds its way onto my face. For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic, I attended a live, in-person event. The NDC Oslo 2023 wasn’t just a conference – it felt like a homecoming, a reunion of the global developer community.

There was something unequivocally magical about the first steps I took inside the conference hall, the bustle of passionate individuals around me mirroring my excitement. While virtual meetings have their place, nothing can truly replace the warmth of a handshake, the shared laughter, the spontaneous conversations at the coffee corner, or the electrifying energy that vibrates through a live audience.

The NDC Oslo 2023, with its versatile agenda and wide range of topics, was impossible to attend and not be overwhelmed by the sheer brilliance on display. Yet, three categories resonated with me more than others – of course, there was Artificial Intelligence, the integral importance of OAuth 2.1, and the ever-evolving landscape of Microservice Architecture.

Another thing that hit me was how immensely the noise of 3,000 people takes you and smashes you to the ground, rendering me exhausted and excited at the same time.

Taken from the mass floor with stands and people
Photo: John H Øien

Focus areas and trends in the developer sphere 2023

Artificial intelligence and ethical considerations:

With sessions like “AI for Inclusive Society – Responsible AI” and “Malignant Intelligence: Prompt Engineering,” it’s evident that AI continues to be a significant focus. However, discussions aren’t limited to technological advancements but extend to the ethical implications, reflecting the industry’s growing concern about responsible and equitable AI use.

Evolution of languages and frameworks:

Several sessions focused on language and framework updates, such as “.NET 7 API diff”, “What’s new in C#? Exciting new features in C# 9, 10”, and “Deep Dive into Advanced TypeScript: A Live Coding”. This signifies the continuous evolution of programming languages and the need for developers to stay updated.

Photo of info screen and viewing area
Photo: John H Øien

Cybersecurity and data privacy:

The session “OAuth and Proof of Possession – The long way round” highlights the tech industry’s ongoing focus on data security and privacy. As digital interactions increase, so does the need for secure data exchange, reflected in discussions around updated protocols like OAuth 2.1.

Distributed systems and microservices:

“Developing microservices like a boss with Dapr and Tye” and “Building Distributed GraphQL APIs” illustrate the continued interest in microservices and distributed systems. These architectures allow for scalability, resilience, and better organization of complex software projects. But this is now slowly growing out of its hyped focus of the past couple of years.

Frontend development and user experience:

Topics like “Secrets of building robust UI components,” “Frontend Architectures: The Next Generations,” and “Web Accessibility Deep Dive” underscore the importance of frontend development and user experience (UX). The tech world recognizes the need for robust, accessible, and user-friendly interfaces in creating successful digital solutions. However, as a developer, UX is an area we must embrace more than we do.

The future of work:

Sessions like “Developing Resilience for the Future of Work” indicate a growing interest in understanding how technological advancements, remote work trends, and changing workforce dynamics impact the future of work in the tech industry.

John attending a talk with Kitty Toft UX Designer at Tietoevry
Photo: John H Øien

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Embracing the AI revolution

The focus on AI was evident from the get-go. From keynotes to sessions, it was clear that AI has moved beyond just being a buzzword, morphing into an integral part of today’s tech world. As sessions delved into the details of AI applications, the power of machine learning, and ethical considerations, they brought to the forefront the incredible potential and responsibility we hold as we steer the AI revolution.

It surprised me that it was less of an “all-hail Mary” vibe, but rather a skeptical and healthy view reflecting on the future and how to use AI sensibly. Hypes are often remarkably present in the big conferences, like in Microsoft Build and Google IO, which were hosted before and during NDC, but that did not happen at NDC. Maybe it will be more prominent next year when the developers have played more with it. But, that made the AI part of NDC even better as you are left with a good reflection not just a hype.

Understanding OAuth 2.1

Next on my agenda was exploring the nitty-gritty of OAuth 2.1. This was my main goal in attending NDC Oslo, as it touches on everything we do and look at in the User team at Mews. So, in the era of information overload, safeguarding data has never been more crucial, and we take that seriously. The NDC Oslo sessions around OAuth 2.1 provided a comprehensive look at this updated protocol – the rationale behind its implementation, the additional security measures it provides, and the potential pitfalls. Walking out of these sessions, I felt enlightened and more equipped to handle the challenges and responsibilities of managing user data.

Mastering microservice architecture

Finally, I was drawn to Microservice Architecture, an approach revolutionizing how we perceive and manage complex systems. The discussions around this topic were practical, robust, and engaging, dissecting the subject from multiple angles – from design patterns and strategies to troubleshooting common problems. It was refreshing to deep-dive into the granular details and come out with a greater understanding of the intricate web of services that make our applications run seamlessly. I see some excellent potential in this regard for the User team. It is good to look at what we can do to simplify things. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to keep adding complexity and overengineering everything, so looking at the microservices architecture as one solution to rule and overcome them all makes me skeptical. So, it was nice to see some reflective perspectives on this topic at NDC this year.

Photo of the main stage where they show where the next NDC event is hosted. Copenhagen
Photo: John H Øien, next up is Copenhagen Developers Festival in August


The NDC Oslo 2023 was more than just a learning experience; it was an affirmation of our resilience and unwavering passion for innovation and growth. As I look back, I realize that it wasn’t just about the topics we discussed or the presentations we attended; it was about us, the global tech community, coming together once again, in person, reinvigorated and ready to shape the future.

As the dust settles and we all return to our respective corners of the world, one thing is clear – we carry with us not just the knowledge we’ve gained but the spirit of people at NDC Oslo 2023, a spirit that I am confident will echo through our work and impact until we meet again.

Until then, happy coding to us all.

Former chef and soldier, then turned developer. I love outdoorsmanship, and all things technology.

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