This was something new for me; sketchnoting a 3 day workshop. The workshop was Architecting applications for the enterprise hosted by the Software Design & Development group as part of their Deep Dives series.
Dino Esposito is someone who I’m familiar with as I have both editions of the book he co-authored Architecting Applications for the Enterprise (Microsoft Press). So I approached this workshop with some prior knowledge of the subject matter. I was surprised when I managed to produce only one sheet of A5 for each day of the workshop, I thought I would have had pages and pages of them.
So what did I learn?
- Sketchnoting technical content is hard
- I’m getting better at focusing on the BIG ideas
- I like my freebie pen I got at DDDEA, more on that later
- I will make mistakes (spelling, positioning) but they can be fixed, nearly always
- Using a pencil helps when you’re not sure, is it cheating?
The pen I’ve switched to was a freebie I received at DDDEA from the Tinamous.com stand. It flows really well, is multifunctional and has a bit of meat to it so it feels great in my hand. It has a stylus, pen and light. The ink refil has adlerglobal.com D15 written on it which I followed to find the pen. Nice bit of conference swag.
Another fantastic event with a brilliant range of topics and I captured one of them in a new sketchnote presented below. The day started with a session on Sketchnoting for Developers which covered most of what I know about sketchnoting so far.
Other sessions I attended included:
- IoT development fun with .NET and Rasberry PI @christosmatskas (slides) – Potentially a great session but was a little short and missed sharing some lessons learnt during the development process.
- Microservice Architecture, what is it, why it matters and how to implement it in .NET @shawty_ds (slides) – I heard about Nancy previously but after this talk I tried it for the first time and was impressed at how easy it was to get it up and running. Another useful takeaway was the topshelf library for creating windows services.
- Monoliths to Microservices @samelamin (slides) – See the sketchnote below. Really good and valuable real world experience, try and catch this talk at other conferences where Sam is presenting.
- Monitoring and addressing technical debt with SonarQube @richardfennell (slides) – Again some good real world experience and factors to consider when starting with SonarQube.
Onto my sketchnote. I’m still using the same pen and paper as I did in my last attempt but this time I didn’t feel the need to sketch each session and stuck to the one I felt was of most value to me. And this time I used a scanner to take a copy which gives a much better result than my phone.
Over the weekend I was at DDD East Anglia armed with my gel pen and notebook. I’ve been attending these events for years taking the odd note here and there but recently I came across a different way of note taking called Sketchnoting. The end result is fab and one quick glance at my notes allows me to quickly recall all the important info from the talk.
Below you can find my notes from the event right after reflections from the experience.
- Get a moleskin notebook. I couldn’t use the reverse side of the paper because it was too thin and the gel ink came through.
- The big message I took from the book was to listen out for the big ideas. You can only do that when you’re not sketching so I tried my best not to be sketching all the time.
- Practise, practise and more practise. This is key to being quicker with the pen and being able to do more with it.
- DDD, CQRS and Event Sourcing... how do I actually DO it? @neilbarnwell
- Monolith to Microservices @IJohnson_TNF
- Become a MEAN developer!! @shonuzzz
- You keep using the word agile, I do not think it means what you think it means @NathanGloyn
I’m looking forward to doing this again at DDD North (24th October) and the session “Sketchnoting for Developers”.
Feel free to share any tips in the comments below and check out the recent podcast episode of the MS Dev Show on Sketchnotes with Mike Rohde for more info on, you guessed it, Sketchnoting.