Three excellent days at QCon London 2012 mean I can say that QCon and its sister conference GOTO are consistently good. I've only missed one of these conferences for software developers since the London event began in 2006. Thank you to Black Pepper Software for sponsoring its developers to attend; they are great for learning, meeting folks, renewing enthusiasm.
A few themes emerged from the conference, some controversial, others less so. - don't build frameworks - rethink your architecture, e.g. does a relational database really match your data - 100% unit test coverage is not a silver bullet - performance test every release - low coupling please - ORMs are the bad guys - don't abstract to solve problems you haven't got yet - BIG data is here/or coming soon - so is functional programming - don't use patterns for the look of it
Sadly I didn't learn how to test mobile webapp layout efficiently - across the several hundred platforms out there.
"Crazy Talk - When 10 second builds start to make you nervous" was indeed crazy - perfectly so - and won my vote for the best talk of the conference. Daniel Worthington-Bodart was passionate to the point of benign insanity about reducing build times. How to get a 30 minute build down to 2 seconds shows awesome commitment. Measure your build! - you know to do this for your app, do it for your build as well. Don't split up your tests! - split up your app instead. Manual test! - not just AT.