.NET Downunder Tour Sydney 2019

On Saturday 19th October 2019, we hosted the .NET Downunder Tour in Sydney. We were very fortunate to host international speakers from Microsoft who were here in Sydney for NDC conference. Not only that we also had talented local speakers who showcased what Sydney has been upto. And this event was completely free, thanks to our sponsors : Microsoft, Telstra Purple, Obiquitech and SustainAbility Consulting.

Here are a few highlights for me:

Talks by some of the best in the industry

  • Karel Zikmund - .NET Core Engineering Manager

  • He shared awesome war stories from spending 15 years in the .NET team.

  • Ryan Nowak - Developer and architect on .NET team

  • Ryan has worked on Razor, MVC, ASP.NET Core, and Blazor, among other things. Ryan showed us intricacies of routing in .NET core 3.0

  • James Newton-King - Creator of JSON.NET

  • He works as a developer on the ASP.NET team. James shared his tips on designing wonderful .NET APIs

  • David Kean - Developer at Microsoft

  • He works on C# tooling for visual studio and he shared very helpful productivity tips for C# Developers

  • David Wengier - Developer on the C#/VB/F# team at Microsoft

  • He is currently trying out the vertical tab well in VS. He taught us about Lowering in C#.

  • Don Syme - Researcher at Microsoft and creator of F#

  • He is the reason why we have Generics in c#. Don shared his learnings from F# community and shared his grand vision of what the tech community should look like.

  • Drew Noakes - Senior software engineer at Microsoft

  • He taught us about the Nullable reference types in c#.

Talks by our local speakers

  • Mehri Sand - Developer at CBA

  • She shared her experiences of blending functional programming into C#

  • Azadeh Hassanzadeh & Soudabeh Norouzinia - Developers at MYOB

  • They shared their experiences building microservices in .NET core.

Panel Discussion

We finished the day with a panel discussion. We explored topics like career advice, mistakes, burnout, interviewing techniques, community involvement etc. We finished the discussion with our favorite section: the rapid fire round. This was not recorded to allow for more open discussion.

Here are some of the questions we explored:

Personal Stories

  • Share a war story with us.


  • What does career progression look like for someone who always wants to stay close to software? (Do you need to leave software behind to progress to the top?)

  • What career mistakes has given you one of your biggest lesson?

  • Have you ever been given career advice that dramatically changed your view on something? What was it?

  • Have you ever changed your career? What was your background?


  • Have u ever struggled with life-work balance?

  • If yes, how do you overcome it?

  • If no, what is your secret sauce?

  • What is the something you wish you would have understood 10 years ago?


  • When you interview someone, what is it that you look for?

  • What are the most common reasons you don't hire a candidate?

Working Remote

  • A few of you are working remote.

  • How do you manage that?

  • What are the challenges?

  • What are the advantages?

  • Does it help you to manage life-work balance better?

Rapid Fire - To finish

  • Tabs or spaces

  • Currently tinkering with

  • Currently reading

  • Pet peeve

  • Professional accomplishment you are most proud of

  • One thing you love to hate

Local companies sponsoring the event

The event was sponsored by the local companies namely Microsoft, Telstra Purple, Obiquitech and SustainAbility consulting. Thanks to them we could offer free morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and social drinks. We also had a local catering company who had been in business for two weeks, delivering top notch food and service. Check this space. FreshFood.com.au.


Live stream

We wanted to support remote first and hence the event was live streamed so people could watch it from the comfort of their home. Here is a full recording of the event.


MC'ing the event (Will Ray and Mouna Neelakanta)

We had a blast MC'ing the event. Preparing for the various aspects of the conference starting from opening the day to introducing speakers to running the panel discussion was a lot of fun. We learnt loads along the way.

Awesome organizing crew

It was great to collaborate with the other organizers: Simon Waight, Alec Tucker and Will Ray and our sponsors Tim and Lawrence to create an awesome conference for everyone.

We had a blast but we are also super tired or at least I am. We are off to recover so we that we can organize more awesome events like these in the future. Thanks to our sponsors, speakers, organizers and all the attendees. Until next conference!

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