NSConference, an independent event aimed at Mac and iPhone developers, is taking place in the UK in a few days and in the US in a few weeks. Last year’s event was fantastic and I am optimistic that this year will be even better. Whilst I am looking forward to seeing some familiar faces from last year I’m also keen to meet lots of new developers and, with them in mind, I thought it might be worth publishing a few pre-conference notes.
When I attended NSConference last year I had only been developing Cocoa applications for around a year. Despite being a seasoned developer, the previous 15 or so years of experience seemed to vanish and I felt like a relative newbie. In these situations there is a temptation to keep your head down a bit and try not to make a fool of yourself. Don’t. Apart from the fact that the people who will be at the conference are very amiable, friendly and won’t laugh at you, the best way to learn is to ask and there will be seasoned developers who will learn from your questions and comments. After all, if people knew everything they wouldn’t attend an event where the aim is not only to meet new people but also to learn new things.
Related to the previous item, don’t be in awe of anyone, go and say hello, introduce yourself and meet as many people as you can. Last year I suffered a degree of shyness and whilst I would go and say hello to people from Twitter or people I had emailed, I wasn’t brilliant about approaching people like Mike Lee who has both an imposing reputation and an imposing physical presence. This is my biggest regret and I am really pleased that I have the opportunity to remedy that this year. One of the big reasons to attend a conference like this is to meet people and people also go there to be met. If you don’t know who someone is, ask them. If you do know who they are because you read their blog or they have provided a useful answer on Stack Overflow you even have an ice-breaker to help you. It is worth having a moment of sheer bravery because once you have met someone in person it is much easier and much more pleasant talking to them via email, Twitter or iChat.
Last year some of the presenters provided copies of their slides and the event was also recorded and those videos were made available shortly after the event so taking notes is not essential. However I would recommend taking a laptop or a notepad to jot things down. Last year some attendees collaborated their note-taking via SubEthaEdit and I believe that this will happen again this year. Hopefully Scotty or Tim will provide some additional information about that at the start of the conference.
Scotty and Tim are the main organisers of the event but they have a small team of people helping them out (including me at the UK event) so if you have any problems, concerns, questions or comments please do tell someone. It’s meant to be a fun, productive conference so please don’t keep quiet if something is disrupting your enjoyment.
The main thing to remember is that you are there to have a good time meeting new people, catching up with existing friends and learning lots of new stuff. I’m sure you will have a brilliant time and will get an enormous amount out of it and please do come and say hello to me if I don’t find you first.
Finally, I’ve created four iCal file for the Mac and iPhone days in the UK and the US. Feel free to download them and import them into iCal so you have the schedule on your Mac or iPhone. Please make sure that you have turned on timezone support in iCal too because I don’t want to be responsible for you turning up to an empty room in the middle of the night!
The UK Mac calendar was updated on 1 February @ 16:15 to reflect schedule changes on Tuesday 2 February.