CocoaConfThis weekend I attended CocoaConf DC.  This was my first time at a CocoaConf and my experience was absolutely incredible!  CocoaConf is a series of conferences all about iPhone, iPad, and Mac development.  I first heard of CocoaConf about a year and a half ago when my friend and former teammate, Adam, went to CocoaConf Columbus (in Ohio).  I wasn’t all that interested in attending at the time but after switching jobs, I started doing a lot more iOS development as well as presenting to iOS audiences.  Thanks to the organizer of CocoaConf, Dave Klein, I had the opportunity to present at the DC version of CocoaConf. 

It’s always interesting being “the Microsoft guy” at an iOS conference or user group.  When talking with people and you tell them you work at Microsoft, the reaction ranges from jaw-dropping shock to well guarded jaw-dropping shock.  However, once I have a chance to talk to people about what I work on and talk about (Mobile Services) they’re consistently blown away by how much support we’re putting out there for iOS.  Thankfully at CocoaConf, I had the ability to share this story with a lot of people.  While I didn’t have a lot of attendees at my actual session (what do you expect when you’re up against Jack Cox talking about auto-layout and Mark “borkware” Dalrymple talking about headers) I probably spoke with twice as many developers outside of the session.  The community at CocoaConf is absolutely amazing.  Everyone is willing and happy to talk about tech and open to hearing about things they normally don’t (like saying iOS and Microsoft in the same sentence).  I can easily say that I’ve never had conversations at a conference like the ones I had this past weekend.  In addition, I was able to meet a ton of great speakers and iOS luminaries.  It’s not every day you meet people like Ray Wenderlich, Jaimee NewberryJeff LeMarche, Daniel Steinberg, Bill Dudney, and more!

If you’re an iOS or Mac developer, I can’t suggest the CocoaConf conferences enough.  There are still two CocoaConfs coming up: one in Dallas and one in San Jose.  Hopefully they’ll soon announce conferences for the fall as well.  I had a lot of fun at CocoaConf and would happily return anytime in the future.  For anyone that attended my session (or didn’t) and would like access to the slides, you can grab them here.  Additionally, you can view the videos I mentioned of Brent Simmons talking Mobile Services here.  Good luck to everyone in Dallas and San Jose, I can’t wait to be at CocoaConf again!  Thanks again to Dave for having me out.

Chris Risner

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