With tickets to WWDC getting harder to come by and services like WWDC Alerts coming together to help developers buy tickets before they sell out a number of smaller iOS and OS X development conferences have grown in popularity such as CocoaConf, NSNorth, NSConf, and Çingleton. Indisputably the original WWDC alternative was C4, which is no longer held, but is often cited as the inspiration for these newer conferences.
I’ve been following these conferences and with a trip to WWDC ’13 looking unlikely this year decided to make the trip down to CocoaConf DC and it was well worth it. The conference was well organized and in my experience ran flawlessly – all without the lines and jet lag of WWDC!
The first day started off with a keynote by Daniel Steinberg on a “Pocket Full of Patterns” which offered an insightful look at the history of design patterns and the pragmatic application of them in our apps.
I followed the keynote with sessions on:
- UICollectionView by Mark Pospesel that included some great sample code and custom layouts
- UIStoryboards by Daniel Steinberg in which he showed off some incredibly clean code for passing data between view controllers using blocks
- AutoLayout by Jack Cox with some great tips for taming the often unpredictable AutoLayout
- Using Kiwi for testing iOS apps in a BDD style by Doug Sjoquist
The evening was capped with keynote by Jeff Lamarche of MartianCraft spelling out some lessons learned in his former enterprise career and current indie one as well. I’m so looking forward to Briefs 2 which his team has been busy crafting.
The second day was just as good, with sessions on:
- Animation using UIKit and Core Animation by Mark Pospesel with one of the best sample app’s I’ve ever seen
- A in-depth look at performance analysis tools and debugging techniques by Mark Dalrymple
- Some great strategies for dealing with sometimes connected apps that can really be applied to any mobile apps that access network resources by Ken Auer
- A great discussion of managing the relationship with your clients by Jaimee Newberry of Black Pixel
The conference wrapped up with a ton of prizes being awarded and kudos to all the speakers and conference organizers. All in all it was a great time, I learned a lot, enjoyed meeting some other iOS and Mac developers from the east coast, and hope to make it back next year!