094 iPS Conferences

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Check out RailsClips on Kickstarter!!

02:16 - Conference WiFi

03:31 - Conferences

10:23 - Budget, Content, and Social Aspects => Value

  • Hallway Conversations
  • Evolution of Attending Conferences
  • “Slam Dunk Sessions”

14:38 - Panelist Plans for 2015

19:57 - Size: Smaller, Regional, International Conferences

21:29 - Travel & Accommodations

26:46 - CocoaConf vs 360iDev

28:44 - Presenting/Speaking at Conferences

32:53 - Attending Conferences (Tips)

  • Meet People
    • Go Out to Eat
    • Tweet with Conference #
    • Back Channel IRC
  • Make a Friend on Day 1 => “The Crowd”
  • Talk Shop
  • Find a Local: “Take me to the best _____?”

37:52 - “The Unconference”

40:29 - Favorite Speakers in the iOS Space

The Shape of Things to Come: How an Industrial Designer Became Apple's Greatest Product (Andrew)Orange Juice Liberation Front: WWDC First-timer tips (Andrew)WWDC Tips as Accumulated by a Veteran of a Staggering ONE WWDC (Andrew)5 Tips for WWDC 2013 (Andrew)Carl Brown: Making the Most of Your (iOS) Dev Conference Experience (Jaim)Ray Wenderlich.com (Alondo)360iDev (Alondo)RailsCasts Kickstarter (Chuck)YouTube (Chuck)FFmpeg (Chuck)Developer’s Box Club (Chuck)Ruby Remote Conf (Chuck)

Would you attend an iOS Remote Conf? Email chuck@devchat.tv

Transcript

[This episode is sponsored by Hired.com. Every week on Hired, they run an auction where over a thousand tech companies in San Francisco, New York and L.A. bid on iOS developers, providing them with salary and equity upfront. The average iOS developer gets an average of 5-15 introductory offers and an average salary offer of $130,000/year. Users can either accept an offer and go right into interviewing with a company or deny them without any continuing obligations. It’s totally free for users, and when you're hired they also give you a $2,000 signing bonus as a thank you for using them. But if you use the iPhreaks link, you’ll get a $4,000 bonus onset. Finally, if you're not looking for a job but know someone who is, you can refer them on Hired and get a $1,337 bonus as thanks after the job. Go sign up at Hired.com/iphreaks]**[This episode of iPhreaks is brought to you, in part, by Postcards. Postcards is the simplest way to allow you to feedback from right inside your application. With just a simple gesture, anyone testing your app can send you a Postcard containing a screenshot of the app and some notes. It’s a great way to handle bug reports and feature requests from your clients. It takes 5 minutes to set up, and the first five postcards each month are free. Get started today by visiting www.postcard.es] **CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to episode 94 of our iPhreaks Show. This week on our panel we have Alondo Brewington. ALONDO: Hello from North Carolina. CHUCK: Andrew Madsen. ANDREW: Hi from Salt Lake City. CHUCK: Jaim Zuber. JAIM: Hello from Minneapolis. CHUCK: I’m Charles Max Wood from DevChat.tv. Before we get going, I just want to mention really quickly that I’m putting together a Kickstarter campaign. The idea behind it is that I’m trying to find a revenue source that isn’t consulting or contracting that will allow me to spend a little bit more time on the shows. What I’ve come up with is a video series on Ruby on Rails. The rewards are definitely not Ruby skewed to those, so if you are interested in supporting the show or supporting me or if you’re interested in Ruby on Rails videos, screen casts then by all means go check them out. You can find it at devchat.tv/kickstarter. You get the details there. Alright let’s do a show. Should we talk about conferences? ALONDO: Absolutely. CHUCK: Want to hear a joke? ALONDO: Yes. CHUCK: Conference Wi-Fi. ALONDO: Hi-ho. [Chuckles] CHUCK: It’s a joke. ALONDO: Yes it is [chuckles]. JAIM: You are correct sir [chuckles]. CHUCK: It’s always so bad and it’s funny because I’ve been to conferences that are at the same venue every year, and they get the same internet provider every year and they have the same problems every year. They warn them every year, it’s like “You remember last year?” “Oh yeah, we got it covered.” JAIM: Definitely venue specific. Some places have it figured out, some groups realize you have to bring in your own Wi-Fi and make it happen. The venue’s probably not going to handle a bunch of people on their phones constantly. CHUCK: That’s the thing, especially at developer conferences I show up with a laptop, an iPad, an iPhone and maybe one or two other Wi-Fi enabled devices somewhere. So if everybody does that [chuckles] yeah, that’s me. JAIM: You download Xcode too while you’re at it? CHUCK: I will neither admit to nor deny having downloaded Xcode at a conference. I’m just kidding. ANDREW: If you can get in on the Ethernet at WWDC you can download Xcode, but otherwise you’re out of luck. ALONDO: I heard that’s pretty fast. ANDREW: Yeah, I think they have local, I almost think they've got servers local to the building to cache that stuff. CHUCK: Makes sense. So what conferences have you guys attended? ALONDO: I guess for iOS developers, the big one is WWDC. Unfortunately, I have not won the lottery and I missed that on the years where it was fairly easy to get a ticket – I’ve heard Bill’s glorious tales. But the one’s I’ve attended most frequently and most recently are the CocoaConf, which is a smaller conference which takes place in about between six and nine locations in a given year, spread out all over the United States. They typically have grouped by season so they do a spring tour, a fall tour or what-not. They make it pretty accessible to anyone in the United States. My new favorite though is 360iDev – I went to my first one last year. I really enjoyed it in Denver, I had a great time. The Wi-Fi actually was not bad compared to a lot of other locations. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This year, I just got back two weeks ago from DC from the RWDevCon which is the Ray Wenderlich Development Conference, which is a [inaudible 04:36] based conference. Actually, John from 360iDev help Ray hook that up and it was a great time. CHUCK: That sounds like fun. ALONDO: It was. It was a lot different than what you normally get at a conference because most conferences, at least at this stage, are presenter oriented where the presenter gets up and there’s a topic. They talk for 30 minutes to an hour and a half and you’re pretty much either just taking notes or watching a bunch of slides whereas this one was tutorial driven. So there was about maybe five minutes of introduction before we jumped right into a demo and then you’re doing the lab and you’re working on the particular area and then there’s a challenge at the end. So you spend about 15-20 minutes trying to push yourself at the very end. That hands-on approach I found is just phenomenal. CHUCK: That sounds really cool. What about you other guys, what conferences have you attended? ANDREW: I’ve been to WWDC a couple of times and I went to CocoaConf in the last fall in Las Vegas. CocoaConf actually did a one day conference here at the fall of 2013. Here being in Utah, it was actually up in Ogden called Cocoa Slopes and I attended and spoke at that. To be honest, the couple of years I went to WWDC – that was my budget for time and for money for conferences. Now that WWDC, for all intents and purposes, impossible to go to, I think I want to start trying to go more to the smaller conferences. I heard really good things about the Ray Wenderlich Conference that was a week ago. A friend of mine actually spoke there. He’s a writer for the site and he said it was a lot of fun; it went really well. CHUCK: Is that friend of yours someone I know? ANDREW: Yeah, it’s Jake. He comes [inaudible 06:22]. CHUCK: What about you Jaim? JAIM: Like Alondo I missed out on WWDC last year, but I did fly to San Francisco so I just had an AltConf and did that. At least around the area, that’s a free one that you can go to if you don’t have the magic ticket. That’s actually how I met Alondo. Ticket aside, if you go to San Francisco a couple of scents that you’re really not used to smelling [chuckles]. A little bit risqué for a podcast. The first one is urine, which – okay, the urban area’s used to it but the second one, smells like the guy in college with all the Bob Marley posters [chuckles]. CHUCK: Oh that smell. ALONDO: From the street corner I was like, “Where am I? I’m not in Colorado.” JAIM: I walked out and I just get a big whiff of weed, let’s just say it. You’re not used to smelling that on the street and I looked around and the look on my face, Alondo had the exact same look on his face like, “What is happening here?” So yeah, AltConf is a great time. You can go and see all things happening at that area. You can talk to a lot of people in the area and be a part of it. So that’s definitely recommended. I also did more local regional conferences. Mobile March is one that’s held in Minneapolis every year. I spoke in it last year. I went to That Conference which happens in the summers in Wisconsin Dells – Silkies area, so people from Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago that area. That’s not a real mobile heavy conference but had a decent mobile track with some people on our show speaking there. I spoke there. So that’s the upper mid-west. I think for iOS conferences, went over the big ones CocoaConf, 360iDev, and now the Rey Wenderlich one. CHUCK: It’s interesting because I’m coming from the Ruby community; I haven’t actually made it out to the iOS events. I go to CocoaHeads when I can make it, but they have a lot of regional conferences in the Ruby community. I’m wondering if a re-do or another round of mobile related conference out here in Salt Lake is how some our conference would go over. My conference experience, I’ve spoken at several conferences and attended several conferences all the way up to the larger multi-track conferences like RubyConf and RailsConf, then all the way down to just the regional local conferences. In two weeks I’m going to MountainWest JavaScript Conference which is the third and fourth of March and then  I’m going to NG-conf which is the fifth and sixth of March and then I’m going to MountainWest Ruby Conference which is the next week the ninth and tenth. So I get the weekend off, but that’s crazy stuff and all those are in Salt Lake City. So most of my conferences are web development conferences not mobile development conferences but I definitely love to get a mobile conference. I think that would be awesome. ALONDO: You brought up a good point too because I was thinking about – there are the standard iOS dev conferences and the holy grail, getting the golden ticket for WW but is anyone else going to the mobile conferences? I did go to DevNexus two years ago, and it was more of Java focused conference so it was mostly Android. There was a little mention of iOS, I was curious if someone experienced that as well and what that was like. ANDREW: I haven’t experienced it myself, but I’ve gotten the feeling that the mobile development groups tend to be more Android focused and I don’t know why that is. Seems maybe the iOS does thinks as an iOS community and then this other community tries to include everyone but really all the other people which is mostly Android developers. So I’ve seen that myself. There’s actually a group here in Salt lake called the Utah Mobile Developers Group. Ostensibly they’re for all mobile development but definitely seems like it’s mostly Android developers. ALONDO: Yeah, it’s just a different feel. You mentioned the cost and time; I think that’s one of the constraints for people going to a conference. If I had [inaudible 10:32], I'd get to conference all the time, that’s what I’d do for a living but I just don’t have the budget and the time for it. I really enjoy being there. But I think you have to plan your year around it, and if you’re an independent dev or your company’s not really spending money for you to go to conferences, you have to be pretty selective. I had a conversation about this with someone recently. What would you consider the things that you would look for to get the most bang for the buck from a conference, if you had to pick a single one or maybe at most two in a year? ANDREW: For me personally, I actually like the idea of a smaller focused conference so when I say that I mean I’m not that interested in mobile development because it’s too broad. I think the smaller conference like CocoaConf – the one I went to in Las Vegas – I think there were probably only 60 or 70 people there. It was very focused of course on iOS and Mac development. The small number of people meant that you could talk maybe not everyone be but most everyone. You could certainly talk to anyone you wanted to talk to and got to meet some people that I already knew from following on Twitter and people I didn’t know but know of. It was really cool and I would say that it’s actually the social aspect of the conferences that I’m mostly interested in. The technical content is great but I don’t feel like that’s quite as exclusive to a conference. There’s a lot of technical content on blogs that you can just find by looking around podcasts, for example. You can’t really meet people any other way than going and meeting other people in person, so I really like that chance to socialize. CHUCK: I completely agree. That’s one of the big things that I really get out of conferences. That said, I have put on an online conference, and that eliminates a lot of the barriers as far as cost and travel go. Podcast Movement, which was a podcasting conference for podcasters, it really had that feel and it was just really nice to hang-out with people that I had gotten to know on Twitter or at other conferences and take advantage of the opportunity to get to know some folks in a more intimate setting, that is. JAIM: Yeah, that makes sense. The good conferences at least the hallway conversations are easily more valuable than the presentations. Because the presentations are meant for a general audience; one person talks, explains things but if you get in the hallway talking to people next to you, you learn a lot. That’s a lot of where the value hails from. If you’re just going to sit in a room listen to someone talk, I don’t know if I would go to many conferences but just being able to talk to people that are doing cool things doing things similar to you, that’s a lot of where the value of conferences comes for me. ALONDO: Not only do you go and need to spend some time with other developers, they introduce you to new things like having an old-fashioned, for instance. So it’s always nice. I think about my evolution of attending conferences. When I first started going to iOS dev conferences, I was so into the technical aspects. I was sitting just trying to plan these multi-track conferences, making sure I didn’t miss any of the sessions I wanted to go to. It was just a huge brain dump of information. Now I find that I spend more time just trying to see friends and colleagues and people I haven’t seen in a while and just catch up. I’m really enjoying the social aspects a lot more than the technical aspects. I figured certain things I can watch a video or read a blog post or catch up on notes later so my approach has changed. I’m actually migrating to this phase now that I’m looking to actually presenting this year as well. I see it when I was green I was really just technically focused and not so much now. CHUCK: Yeah. With that said, sometimes there are slam dunk sessions you want to go to. A lot of times I’ll sit in the session, I’ll either hack on whatever they’re talking about or just take the opportunity to explore that. So as far as the sessions go in my opinion most of them are an hour long, so they really can’t show you a whole lot anyway. Unless it’s a tutorial based thing where you’re a couple of hours in and then you’re actually delivering code one way or another. For me it’s okay; is this something that I’m interested in exploring, and then if it’s not, then I’m out in the hallway. JAIM: So I should ask, what is your plan for 2015? That’s mostly Alondo since he’s the conference guy. ALONDO: I started off this year with the RWDevCon and I really enjoyed it. I will try to attend at least one CocoaConf. So there’s a request for papers I believe coming up pretty soon for 360iDev and I’m going to submit one for that. I’ll try to find another iOS conference to possibly present in later this year. Again this part, evolution – now I’m looking more to present than just to attend. But I definitely don’t want to miss conference like 360 and CocoaConf where I do have friends that I only get to see once or twice a year. I may even go to AltConf even without the prospect of a possible WW ticket as well for the same reasons. JAIM: That makes sense. I’ve got the first couple of weeks in June marked off my calendar. We'll never know for sure; I’ll be booking a ticket and get a place down there. Hopefully I’ll have a –[crosstalk 15:37] ALONDO: I’ve all but given up hope that that’s actually going to happen for me [chuckles]. JAIM: You never know, keep going out there [crosstalk15:44]. CHUCK: Before it was a crapshoot and now it’s literally a lottery. ALONDO: If I do win, I’m going to immediately go buy a Powerball ticket the same day. CHUCK: See if lightning will strike twice, huh. JAIM: I’m on a roll. ANDREW: I don’t have any expectation at all get in to WW or get a ticket. If I could just be assured of getting a ticket I’m not sure if I’m going to go this year. My philosophy now is I’m going to apply for a ticket every single year. Then maybe every once in a couple of decades I can go. ALONDO: I spoke to someone who actually went a couple of years ago and they made and interesting point. It was like the same thing someone told me about October Fest. They said that, “Go one time but once you’ve done it, that’s all you need to do.” ANDREW: I’ve actually been twice and I agree. I think the unfortunate thing is in the old days because that everybody that wanted to go could get a ticket, you had a consistent group of people there and it was pretty small community at the time of Mac developers. You went because it was the social occasion where you got to meet people that maybe you only saw once a year that was spread around the country. And also at that time the technical content was exclusive so they didn’t post the videos online and for everybody to download the same day. You couldn’t see the sessions unless you went. So it’s changed. It’s really quite a different proposition now. It is an experience and I certainly think people should go once if they can, just to experience it; waiting in line for the keynote and seeing the keynote and just being there with 5,000 other people that are like-minded. It is a fun experience, but it’s not something you have to do. You can watch videos online and you can’t be guaranteed that you’re even going to meet people you know, because you’re probably the only one of your friends that managed to get a ticket if you get one. I didn’t go to all of AltConf but I hung around it a little bit and had a friend that was there the last time I was there which was in 2013 – that volunteered and was there the whole conference for AltConf. I think that’s a great option; I hope that doesn’t get crowded out too, but I think they did a really good job and it’s a completely different feel but you’re still in the city at the same time and definitely worth going to. ALONDO: Yeah I definitely agree with that. It’s my first time going out in San Francisco and spending time at AltConf and just from the sheer amount of change with iOS 8 and the introduction of Swift, the energy was so high. Even not being in Moscone you can just feel it as they were making the announcement; they were going through the keynote at all. It was great to be in the same city. It's almost like when the Super Bowl is in town even of you don’t have tickets to the game you just want to be in the same town because there’s so much going on. CHUCK: How is it different from just another conference experience? ANDREW: Well, the whole city is taken over by – I mean not the whole city but the whole downtown, everybody is there because they’re Apple developers. Five thousand people there for WWDC, a thousand Apple engineers, you can tell because they’re wearing badges or their jackets that they got. The whole downtown of San Francisco is full of this buzz of people; they’re there for the same reason. There’s no independent iOS conference that’s even a tiny fraction of that size. It’s huge. ALONDO: Agreed, and this is walking down the street and seeing people whose blogs you read, or podcasts you listen to. It’s just really interesting and I never encountered that before. ANDREW: John Gruber does live taping on the talk show that’s fun. Just people that you recognize that are famous in the community that are there. A lot of them are not even attending WWDC; they’re just there for announcements. It’s a lot fun and another thing in San Francisco for WWDC is there are a whole bunch of parties and meet ups and things that are organized in the evening. You don’t have to have a WWDC ticket to go to. So you can certainly participate in those. There’s still the problem of just thousands of people descending on the city, but those can be pretty cool and fun and a good way to socialize too. JAIM: So if you plan it right, your food budget for the week is zero [chuckles]. “Hey GitHub’s having a meet up. Great!” ALONDO: When we’re talking about the size, I think is interesting though is the value of some of the smaller more regional conferences and what you can get out of them. I’m looking now even to find conferences that are not necessarily as technically oriented but something that maybe around the business of app development. I know that there was one, I’m trying to remember, I think it’s a place in Canada and there might have been another one in the States, but I don’t know if either one of those is still going on. Anybody knows about – I think the other one is Çingleton, and then the other one I’m drawing a blank on. JAIM: I can’t think at the moment; I should look up a list because there a number of conferences we haven’t talked about including some in other countries. I think there’s one in Ireland, the name is not coming to me though. ALONDO: Is it Úll? JAIM: That sounds right. ALONDO: I’m waiting for the day that I have [crosstalk 20:47] ANDREW: I suppose you say that Ull, U-L-L? ALONDO: Yes. ANDREW: I think that would be really fun to go to because it’s this travel opportunity, go to another country but then you also get to make a conference thing. I’ve been to Ireland once and loved it. So I should look for an excuse to go to that. CHUCK: My wife and I did that with Aloha Ruby Conference so we went out to Hawaii and spent a couple of extra days on the beach in the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is definitely a travel opportunity. Most cities, I wind up going to she’s like, “Have fun.” I said, “Hawaii,” she said, “I’m coming.” JAIM: Oh really? Hawaii – perfect. CHUCK: Tax deductible vacation. So are travel arrangements a major concern when you pick a conference you’re going to? ALONDO: It depends. I’ve got to say I’ve done it various ways. For instance, for conference like AltConf of course I did the plane trip and rental car or Uber. For this last conference for the RWDevCon, I happen to live pretty close to a train station, so I chose the Amtrak train to DC. It was perfect because the Union station was a couple of blocks from the hotel where the conference was and it made it dead simple to get there and get in and get out, and not have to deal with traffic or any of the other issues, no lines for TSA. I’ve driven to all the ones – I’ll typically drive to a CocoaConf or something like that. So I think just depends on how far you are and how far you’re willing to travel for a particular conference. Airline of course can be a hassle depending on the connection flights. CHUCK: I don’t know if I could spend a week on the train like that. Those Amtrak trains go so slow. I’m sorry, I’m exaggerating a little. ALONDO: No, you’re not. I did the train trip all the way up to Denver and each train. Each way was at least four hours behind. The return trip; they actually had the fun of a fire on the train and had to get off. CHUCK: No kidding. [Chuckles] ALONDO: The smoke was coming from the car in front of me, it was a dining car. I was like, “That’s not good.” CHUCK: Alondo, you have the coolest stories. ALONDO: [Chuckles]. JAIM: For me for the smaller conferences, travel is not a huge deal. I don’t really care much if I fly. I drove to CocoaConf in Las Vegas. I actually drove to WWDC the first year I went because I took my wife and we made it a trip; but I will say that for the big one, WWDC. Travel is not such a big deal but accommodations are. As soon as you find out you’re going, you reserve a hotel room because they go really fast and they’re expensive too; the cheap places go faster. That one is a little bit hard. You need to make sure you’ve got a place to stay; you can’t show up and find somewhere. CHUCK: Most of the conferences I go to have some kind of official conference hotel. Either the Venue is in the Hotel or you’re pretty darn close so I usually just stay there. ANDREW: Right, and sometimes they have discounts. Apple actually does some partnership with hotels where they have discounted rates during the conference but I think those usually go quite fast. The two years I’ve gone I bought my ticket and immediately found a hotel room within minutes because I didn’t want to get pushed out somewhere far away. ALONDO: I was wondering about that, I actually managed to stay with my co-worker who got a ticket to WW and I slept on the floor. I don’t think I’ll have that luxury this year because the chances that one of us getting a ticket. Are people coming in from a long way away, or is it just you find a hotel and it’s just as close you can get to Moscone or what? ANDREW: I just found hotels as close as I could get to Moscone. Both times I’ve gone I stayed somewhere up in Union Square. I have one friend that knows somebody and he stays somewhere kind of far away in San Francisco, and then takes a taxi in the morning. But I think it’s much better to find somewhere you can just walk to the conference in the morning because it starts pretty early and a lot of times you want to leave in the middle of the day and go back to your room, go back afterward to get ready for dinner and it’s not convenient if you have to travel half an hour each way. JAIM: You can do it both ways. Last year I was a little bit late in deciding I was going to AltConf and I went in Airbnb and found a place up in Russian Hill, just a few miles away. Walk-able but it's a long walk. Definitely would have liked to go back and forth more easily but it was fine. I got up early because I’m on central time so I’m two hours ahead of everyone else so I got up early, walked a couple of times all the way down there. It’s a little bit out of the city, but definitely if you can, be able to drop your laptop off before going to the after-hours events and some valuables. But not paying three hundred dollars a night on room is valuable too you balance it out. ANDREW: The rooms have only gotten more expensive the first year I went, I think I only paid a hundred and fifty a night which wasn’t that bad but I couldn’t find a room that cheap the second time. ALONDO: Yeah, I was hearing prices in the three hundreds when I was there. We actually stayed in Tenderloin and did walk a little ways. In fact I looked at – I was using the motion chip in my iPhone. And that was the most steps I had taken still to this day, that week at WWDC. ANDREW: Be ready to walk a lot. Well, if you have a ticket and you want to get to the Keynote be ready to get up super early and stand in line if you want to get in, get a good seat anyway. CHUCK: That’s right. It doesn’t count if you can’t smell Tim Cook right? ANDREW: The thing is, the room where they do the keynote is not big enough to hold everybody at the conference. I think it maybe holds about three thousand people and there are five thousand plus conference attendees. And of course part of that room is reserve for Apple employees and press and VIPs, not just part of it, like a huge chunk of it. Even if you’re the first person in line, you’re still not going to be front row, you’re always back. But if you’re late getting in line, you won’t even get into the main hall. They have over flow rooms where they have screens but it’s a cool feeling to be in the room with Tim Cook and everybody else presenting. JAIM: So if you want to avoid the madness of WW, getting all your flight and three hundred dollar a night hotel rooms. And if you’re thinking about CocoaConf, 360iDev, which one would you pick and why, if you had to pick one? ALONDO: If you asked me that before I’d gone to 360iDev last year and had done them in, I would have said CocoaConf easily, it would have been hands down. But I had such a good time at 360iDev, it’s a different experience and I like the size and I just like the interactions I was able to have. They did a mini conference in Greenville in last year as well, and that was only about 80 attendees I think, that was really nice as well. I still love CocoaConf but I’ve got to give the edge to 360iDev right now. ANDREW: I’ve never been to 360iDev but I’ve never heard anything but great praise like that, from people who have been so it just seems like they do a great job. But I love CocoaConf. I think the Family who runs CocoaConf – the Kleins – are really nice, good people, very friendly and I admire them. I think that they do a great job. It’s probably hard to go wrong between those two. I did a little real quick to refresh my memory but there’s also NS North up in Canada hat I’ve heard good things about. Then they do NS Conf in the UK every year and that’s actually coming up in about a month. There are other conferences that are not US specific. But a lot of the same speakers, I think a lot of Americans travel to those conferences to speak. I think that brings up the point which is there’s actually this group of people who do the conference circuit. A lot of these conferences will have – you’ll see a lot of the same people at CocoaConf as you would at 360iDev and the other conferences. ALONDO: Agreed. I definitely think, as you said, between these two conferences it’s great, and you do see a lot of the same people. Although there’s a slight change in the last year as some of those people have gone to Apple, so some of the people had it on rotation, so there's like room for new people. And one of the things is my goal for this year is to be able to present at those. I was curious about that experience of how you prepare and given that queue, what does it take to be accepted? ANDREW: I presented at Cocoa Slopes which was like a mini CocoaConf that Dave Klein and his Family did here in Utah. I can’t really remember exactly; somebody asked for a local speaker so I was not competing with the big guys as I guess you’d say. I’ve spoken a lot at CocoaHeads, so my approach wasn’t that much different except I that I just took it more seriously and spent more time preparing and more time practicing and everything. But if you can present at CocoaHeads you can present at one of these conferences; it’s like a bigger scale but sort of the same thing. That actually leads into something I want to mention which is go to CocoaHeads. It’s not a conference but it’s sort of like a mini conference every single month. CHUCK: To answer your question Alondo I’ve spoken at whole bunch of the regional conferences. I’ve also spoken at RubyConf and ultimately what you have to do – it comes down to if they have a call for papers or a call for proposals; you want to write a proposal that is really compelling that makes them want to pick your talk. The big points are that I’ve learned over the years is initially I didn’t want to give away the whole talk, but you can give it away to the organizers. You can say, “Here’s the outline, here are the things I want to cover, here are the outcomes I want people to have.” Make sure that your title or headline is solid and interesting, so it can’t just be UI Table Views. If there’s a problem that you can cover that a lot of people have with table views or you’re trying to inspire people to adapt to a particular development practice, then you put something intriguing in the title in the description that goes in to the program. You give them as much information as you can so that the right people come to your talk. It also helps if you know people organizing the conference. Those are the major things, and you also have to understand that depending on the conference they may get hundreds of proposal and they only have a dozen or two spots. If they are basically selecting ten percent of the talks then your talk proposal has to really nail it. The other thing is that different conferences are looking for different talks so you have to be cognizant of what kind of talks they are going to want at 360iDev, for example, versus CocoaConf. What are their focuses and who are their audiences? And if you can tailor things that way and if you can give them something interesting that’s going to draw people into your talk, then they’ll select you to speak. JAIM: That makes a lot of sense. Creating a conference proposal for speech can be a topic in on itself. It’s definitely something you can work on. You don’t have to have the speech finished before you do a proposal. You can create two or three. Definitely, like Andrew said, start at your CocoaHead iPhone meet up, anything, just get out there and do it. Every time you do it, you learn. The first time you do it you feel like an idiot. ALONDO: My first CocoaHead Talk was about 320, so yeah I felt like an idiot. JAIM: Second one, you’ll feel less of an idiot then keep going. Even if you get out there, you help people out. Talk about something you’re interested in, you’re going to help someone out. It’s very rewarding so just get out there, start doing it. CHUCK: It’s also a terrific way to meet people because if you give a talk that inspires or is compelling, then people will want to come up and talk to you. Really works well that way. One other thing that came to mind as far how proposals go is that I helps I helped choose the talk for MountainWest Ruby Conference and some of the Talks were really good as far as, “Okay, here’s what I’m going to talk about, here’s my experience, here’s why I’m the person to give the talk and here’s what it’s about.” A lot of them were just really generic. So it’s like it’s on topic for the conference, but I don’t actually know what you’re going to do with the thirty minutes we’re going to give you on stage. There’s nothing here that tells me that I’m going to be excited to see this talk. JAIM: So if you’re not speaking at a conference, what tips have you learned to get more out of a conference you’re just attending? Because I go to a conference everyone is either talking to someone they know, sticking by them or have their head in their phones. How do you get more out of a conference? ALONDO: I make it a point to try and meet people. That’s the big thing for me; I don’t have a hard fast rule about making a new friend every day, but I definitely try to talk to people that are around me or in between sessions. For me, the icebreaker is just what topics they maybe going to or what they just came out of or somebody found interesting because usually that’s the beginning of a really good conversation. I probably could learn something, particularly if it was a session I wasn’t able to attend because I was in another one. I would say that’s the biggest one and I’ve stopped trying to follow and do everything in particular; I’m not going to get all the information in a session taking notes. So I really just pay attention to the speaker and just try to get the high points. I think that’s helped out a lot and just make quick notes about reference materials I can go back and look at later. CHUCK: One other thing that I do is usually try and arrive the day before the conference if I’m coming into town, and I usually fly out the day after. In that way the meals’ - there are always meal breaks, some conferences provide meals and some don’t but in any case, that way I’m around so it’s like, “Hey, do you want to go and grab dinner at whatever place in town?” You can also tweet usually with the conference hashtag and say, “We’re going to meet up, and we’re talking about whatever topic is relevant,” because you have a few people to talk to that all are interested in gabbing about it. “So we’re going to meet in the foyer in 10 minutes.” So you’ll pick up another four or five people and then you all go get Chinese food and talk about whatever it is. I’ve made some really solid friendships if you want to call them that; people that I stay in touch with coming out of some of those things just because it’s, “Hey we’re all getting together, we’re all sharing food, and we’re talking about tech we really care about.” ANDREW: I don’t really have anything to add and it depends on your personality. I’m actually not that good at going up and talking to people I don’t know but the advice I would have would be to get over that and talk to people. Everybody there already something in common with you, that’s why you’re at a conference right? You’re in an iOS developer or whatever kind of conference it is, so ask them what they do, ask them what they work on. In my experience most people are friendly. CHUCK: The other thing is if you’re introverted, I have a few introverted friends. The trick that they pull is that they go, and their whole goal the first day is to make one friend that they can hang out with. So when they show up they look for the guy that seems to be with a crowd. He may not be the ring leader of the crowd but he’s with the crowd. And so they make a friend with him or her and then when that guy gets pulled in, “Hey, we’re all going to go to lunch,” or “Hey, we’re all going to go hack on this thing for a couple of hours,” then you get pulled along. And you don’t have to get out of your shell more than you’re comfortable with and you can still be involved. JAIM: Those are good hacks. Talk to people about the conference, you don’t make a friend if you can. Another thing, if you’re at an iOS conference, the person sitting next to you is probably an iOS developer; ask them about what products they’re working on, what frameworks. People like to talk about themselves. I like to find out what people are doing, I have read a blog post on some framework. Someone’s complaining about it and I find someone that’s working with the framework like, “Hey, did you have that problem?” They can help you out. That improves your knowledge and it helps you meet people next to you because most of us are doing similar things, and doing cool things so we can learn from everyone. CHUCK: Integrating with Apple Pay; what a pain in the neck, “Oh you aren’t just kidding.” JAIM: Definitely. Another thing I see people do is hit the Twitter feeds. Does the conference have a hashtag that people are using? Start tweeting. Or a back channel IRC. ANDREW: Couple of Cocoa Conference I went to and in WWDC, they had Glassboard for back channel talks. But Glassboard’s gone now so I’m not exactly sure what conferences are going to do, but find out if there’s something like that. Whether it’s a Twitter hashtag or maybe people who use Slack, it’s a good way to keep up with stuff that’s going on especially things like people going out to eat after the conference or activities people are doing like going bowling. It’s a good way to be part of the social aspect of the conference. JAIM: There are plenty of people there that are company head and there’s one person they can send and it’s that person. They don’t really have anyone else. You’re not the only person that doesn’t know anyone. CHUCK: One other thing that I run into is that a lot of times, I’ll just insist, “Okay, I want to find a local who can take me to best whatever in town.” If I push it a lot a bit – a lot of times that’ll work out – somebody will know somebody who’s a local somebody. Then you can turn that into a social engagement with people. JAIM: So a lot of conferences have the same format: someone gets up there and talks everyone listens. There’s another format that can be used called “The Unconference” where somebody will lead the session but it’s meant to be more inclusionary. People in the crowd are supposed to speak up and discuss and create discussions. There’s some really good Unconferences around. Are there any for mobile, for iOS development? ALONDO: The very first one I went to was in Atlanta but it’s not ongoing. In fact, I actually tried to get with one of the local organizers of CocoaHeads here in Raleigh – we were going to try and put one together. I think that’s an awesome idea. We really like to see some different formats for conferences that break away from the mode of standard conference presentations, and Unconference model would work really well. JAIM: I don’t care what conference it is. The brain power in the seats is better than the brain power on the stage. CHUCK: The podcast community has really done really well with this with their PodCamps. They’re usually Unconferences. ALONDO: It was called CocoaCamp I think that was the name of it but that’s been 4-5 years ago now. I don’t know why it hasn’t taken hold; I’d love to see it though. Again, I’d like to see some conferences around some other issues as well like marketing of apps and business of apps and just about the technical aspects. One of the nice things about RWDevCon is this; the latter part of the day there were no technical talk, they’re all inspirational talks.  It was a nice break from diving into WatchKit or Adapt Aware and really talking about some of the other aspects of development on a platform that I think resonate with people. JAIM: Yeah, definitely. We’ve been seeing hard technical topics all day; something light at the end of the day makes sense. Give my brain a break. CHUCK: The hard parts in my experience with development at lot of times are the people issues and not necessarily the hard technical topics. You can find the solutions to that. It’s just tech but people are complicated. JAIM: This is true. ANDREW: Along those lines, Daniel Steinberg who I think is a regular at these conferences spoke at the CocoaConf I went to. He did, I think sort of the closing keynote. I’m actually usually not much for these kinds of presentations. I really prefer technical content, I often find the soft inspiring talks just not my thing, but he gave just what I thought was an absolutely excellent talk about the fundamentals were being kind to people and being a good person, but he wove in math, and Swift. It was really well done so if you go to a conference where he’s speaking, make it a point to see his talks. ALONDO: I will second that. He does an awesome job. CHUCK: Who are your favorite speakers in the iOS space? ANDREW: Jonathan Penn. ALONDO: He’s fun [chuckles]. ANDREW: He’s actually at Apple now but he’s speaking, I can’t remember now but he’s actually going to be speaking at a conference coming up here soon even though he’s an Apple employee. I think he’s not going to talk about anything particularly technical because of the restrictions on him doing that but he’s great. I actually spoke alongside him. So I tried out my Cocoa Slopes talk. I did a pre-conference practice at the CocoaHeads the month or two before and he ended up being at our CocoaHeads that night and filled the other slot, which is a mistake on my part because there’s no way we can match somebody like that speaking ability. He’s great, Daniel Steinberg. ALONDO: Those are definitely two of my favorites from the CocoaConf circuit. I really did enjoyed Matthijs Hollemans from the RWDevCon. He did a couple of talks and they were really good and I thoroughly enjoyed them. ANDREW: It’s not a talk but James Dempsey has a band called James Dempsey and the Breakpoints. He writes and sings songs about Global development which sounds funny and it is funny, it’s a comedy thing. He did a performance at CocoaConf that was fun. CHUCK: That sounds fun. That’s it. Instead of starting another podcast I’ll just start a band. JAIM: That’s good. Write a bunch of Ruby songs and go for it. CHUCK: The other thing that I want to just point out because we’re talking about this and it reminded me that some of the Ruby Conferences, they would have jam sessions. People would show up with whatever musical instrument they play and I mean everything from a saxophone to a ukulele and just jam. Don’t discount those social opportunities because they’re a lot of fun, they’re low pressure and you can really just get to know some folks. ALONDO: That’s a great point because when we talk about breaking the ice and not necessarily being the most extroverted person, one of the things I liked about 360 idea and somebody actually implemented at RWDevCon where they had a game day. So had game night at 360, and so you go in and do like a hack-a-thon or you can go to another room where they had a bunch of board games and different games set up. You could play and it’s a great icebreaker and a way to get to know people that midway through the conference. RWDevCon did a little bit differently because they had a tournament that took place over the course of the two lunch sessions which was really nice. Again, it was just a nice way to sit around the table and meet some people while playing a game. Get to know some other dads and have some fun. I think it’s a nice touch. CHUCK: Alright. Well, I know that some of us had some stuff that we had to get to today. I’m going to steer us into the picks. Andrew, do you want to start us off with the picks? ANDREW: My first pick has gone around the web; it’s a long New Yorker article about Jonathan Ive. It is really long, it took me probably an hour or more to read the whole thing but it’s definitely worth reading. It’s just an interesting look at Jonathan Ive the person and a lot of the design process at Apple, and some of how things have changed since Steve Jobs died, and a lot of it’s also specifically about the Apple watch. It’s very much worth reading. Then my second pick is going to be a bunch of links, but these are just links to people who have written blog posts about tips for WWDC. If you’re one of the lucky people that get a ticket or even if you’re not and you’re just going to AltConf or to hang out in San Francisco for the week, these are some of the good tips for being there, good things to know. There will be a few of those links in the show notes. Those are my picks. CHUCK: Alright. Jaim, what are your picks? JAIM: Alright, I’ve got one pick. It’s a blog post by Carl Brown who’s been on the Show at least a couple of times. He wrote up his approach for going to a conference flying in, maybe not knowing anyone and how do you meet people, how do you get the most out of a conference by talking to people. So he wrote up his approach and I give it two thumbs up. CHUCK: Alright. Alondo, what are your picks? ALONDO: One of my first picks is raywendelich.com. I had a wonderful time at the conference, and they have wonderful tutorials on the site. There’s actually a blog post there too, about different iOS conferences that are available in the year but it might be a little bit out of date. I don’t know if all those conferences are listed there. Then the second one is 360iDev; it's a great conference. I encourage anyone who can go [inaudible 45:00]. I think they’re pretty much – I can’t remember close to what it was the past year. I think it’s reached an appropriate size; it’s right around 380 people I think is what the number of attendees was last year.  It was just awesome. So those are my two. CHUCK: That one’s actually one of the cities that I will drive to instead of fly to which is Denver. And it's just because it’s just close enough to where, when you factor in how long you’re going to the airport, it’s just not worth it in Salt Lake City. It’s not worth flying. I’ve got a few picks here; it’s mostly stuff I’ve been working on these days. The first one is that Kickstarter Campaign I mentioned at the top of the show. I’m probably just going to mention that for the next few weeks so check that out. The second pick is – so I’ve been working on getting all of the podcast episodes on to YouTube, and what I’m working on there is getting annotations so that all the picks and everything as you watch it, if we mention something, it has a link to it. Then it’ll pop-up and you can just click it and go out to wherever that stuff’s at. Also putting together playlists and then collecting information to find out like which episode should be in the top ten playlist. So I’ve been using FFmpeg which is open source mp3 and other audio and video encoder to do that. I’m really liking YouTube’s mechanisms for managing a channel. So I’m going to pick YouTube and FFmpeg. And then finally I’ve been working on building relationships around just developer swag. I might have mentioned it on the show before but if you go to devboxclub.com, I’m working on pulling together a monthly subscription for boxes that are sent out to people’s houses that have books and t-shirts and desk toys and just fun stuff; stickers, coupons. So if you’re interested in that, go to devboxclub.com and enter your email address, I’m probably going to wait till either I have critical mass on the email list before I start launching it, or may just open it up to the first 50 people. I haven’t decided yet. For the first run, it’s only going to be 50 boxes so I can get a feel of the logistics before I go full scale. And then the last one is I’m also working on Ruby Remote Conf. I had JS Remote Conf last week and that was a really awesome success. So I’m doing it for Ruby; I’ve thought about doing one for iOS and I had a few people ask me for it, but this podcast doesn’t have the same size audience as the other shows do. It’s about on the scale of the Freelancer Show. So if you would like an iOS Remote Conference, I’m kind of tempted – Alondo brought it up a couple of times – I’m kind of tempted to do two of them and one would be a technical conference and one would be a business conference. And that’s just me thinking off the top of my head on the show. Anyway, if you’re interested in that, send me an email chuck@devchat.tv and just let me know that you’re interested in the conference. If I get enough people asking for it, then I’ll look into putting one together. And those are my picks. ALONDO: Awesome. JAIM: Plus one. CHUCK: Alright, well let’s go ahead and wrap up the show. That was a fun discussion guys. JAIM: Yes. ANDREW:   Yeah, I agree. We should go to a conference as the iPhreaks sometimes. ALONDO: We should, that’s a great idea. CHUCK: It has been done; I don’t have any objection to that. If we wanted to do it at 360iDev or CocoaConf, that would be awesome. ANDREW: We could even record a live show. CHUCK: Yeah, that’s usually what we do. ALONDO: Yeah, let’s do that. JAIM: That’d be fun. I’d be up for it. I’m up for it**[This episode is sponsored by MadGlory. You've been building software for a long time and sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. Work piles up, hiring sucks and it's hard to get projects out the door. Check out MadGlory. They're a small shop with experience shipping big products. They're smart, dedicated, will augment your team and work as hard as you do. Find them online at MadGlory.com or on Twitter @MadGlory.]**[Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at BlueBox.net.]**[Bandwidth for this segment is provided by CacheFly, the world’s fastest CDN. Deliver your content fast with CacheFly. Visit cachefly.com to learn more]****[Would you like to join a conversation with the iPhreaks and their guests? Want to support the show? We have a forum that allows you to join the conversation and support the show at the same time. You can sign up at iphreaksshow.com/forum]**

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