NAVTechDays 2017: Final thoughts

As every year, I look very much forward to one particular conference: NAVTechDays. Not because I don’t like the other ones. But NAVTechDays is special. It’s one person that controls it – completely driven by the community, which makes it quite independent from Microsoft. An insane amount of people make the trip to Belgium, my home turf, and – all DEV related. So if this isn’t right up my alley, I don’t know what is :-).

This year was the 7th edition. The 7th already! I must be getting old. I have been at all editions, and have been enjoying it from the very first one!

And I know I fall into repetition .. Because I have been telling you for years: this conference rocks! And it mainly does because it’s so different:

  • Pre Conference days with focussed full-day workshops
  • 90 minute sessions deep dive sessions
  • Great food
  • Beer tasting
  • Great setting: a movie theatre, which means:
    • Very big screen
    • Great seats
  • Best speaker infrastructure I have ever experienced
  • Cosy expo-area, with all tech-related sponsors
  • Everything is recorded

This year was no different. All so good .. All so well organised … . And I feel I’m getting used to it ;-). I actually try not to, because as I said – it stands out of any normal conference .. and we need to keep realizing it and keep enjoying it!

So – if you weren’t there – you missed out on something!

What did I do?

Well, I was honoured to be able to contribute to it. And quite a lot. First, I had two very enjoyable Pre-Conference days. And I made it hard on me, because I did 2 different topics.

Event Based and SaaSified Software Architecture

First day. 20 people, talking about the new DEV environment in VSCode – but not “just” leaning hem how to work with it, but also how to architect a decent, maintainable solution in it, and “saasifying” it for the users!

PowerShell Blackbelt

On second day, I did the “traditional” PowerShell day, which I tweaked a bit for handling the new stuff. Talking about ExtensionV1 (which was a lot of PowerShell) doesn’t make sense anymore. But there is still some PowerShell for Extensions V2, so I tried to handle that as well, on top of some general topics about PowerShell.

Both these days had very good feedback – for which I would like to thank the attendees for. Do know that I really enjoyed it at least as much as you!

Rock ‘n Roll with VSCode

And last but not least, my conference session. This is for me the “main fight”. The one thing I prepare for quite a long time. This session took me three months to prepare .. as a lot of it was just very new to me.

I created a VSCode Extension to basically know what it takes to create one, which I think is quite interesting for you to use or explore to figure out some basics of VSCode Extensions in combination with the al language. I’ll go into it in another blogpost. On top of that, I showed quite some already existing VSCode extensions that might be useful to you during your development days. I did all demos using just one app, which you can find online:

All is online

As mentioned above, one of the very differencing things about NAVTechDays is the fact that everything is recorded .. and online just a few days after the conference! You can download everything from MiBuSo. Here is the direct link to the powerpoint decks, and the session recordings:

On top of that, all recordings are also available on youtube here. And yes, my session is on there as well 🙂


Yesterday, I received the evaluations. It made me proud. I know it’s not a “vote”, nor a competition. It’s just evaluation of the sessions .. but nevertheless, I always compare :-). And apparently, my session was quite well received. Even more – it got the best evaluations from all sessions. That gave me “5 seconds to wow” feeling :-). It’s an honour to do a session on the best conference in front of the best community in the world. And it’s the best satisfaction to get if the session was well received :-). Thank you for that!

Worth to mention is that Vjeko got the best evaluation as “speaker”. Totally no surprise to me :-). I’m just very proud to be on his heels as second best one :-). Congrats, bro!

Some impressions

All that is left for me is sharing some pictures. And I realised that I didn’t take too many pictures this time.

A big thanks from Luc. No, Luc, thank YOU!

Luc during the keynote, showing off with feedback about the pre-conference day

This is how Vjeko’s session looks like from the outside – virtually everyone wanted to be part of it

Some pics of my session:

You don’t want to know what I was doing here…

Natalie and Gary being cool

For more impressions, please visit:

See you next year at NAVTechDays!

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    • Natalie K. on December 19, 2017 at 3:07 pm
    • Reply

    Final Thoughts on NAVTechDays 2017: Better hide when Waldo is using his camera ;-))))

    And congrats for your superb evaluation result, well deserved! See you next time.

      • waldo on December 19, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Lol 🙂 yes, very true!
      It was nice to meet you again, though 😉

    • Kai Kowalewski on December 21, 2017 at 12:03 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks for the great session, you can see yourself in action in my video here:

      • waldo on January 2, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      of course – sorry for not mentioning it. Totally forgot!
      Thanks, Kai!

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