Cocoaconf 2011 Recap

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Cocoaconf actually took me by surprise as I just happened to hear about it from a tweet within a month of it taking place. It’s pretty rare to find developer events of this size so close by Detroit so I had to jump on the opportunity. Who would’ve thought that I would get so much out of spending a few days in Dublin, Ohio?

Cocoaconf is a brand new conference that’s geared towards a technical audience (eg: no vendors were present). There were sessions for many skill levels and even an all day “soup to nuts” workshop that created an iPhone app from scratch using many of the Cocoa API’s. The sessions that I found most helpful were ones that I don’t normally see too much coverage of like UIAutomation with tuneup_js as well as unit testing with ghunit and ocmock. I would say that the session that surprised me the most was on NSURLConnection and the different networking protocols and technologies that are present in Cocoa. Immediately I could see the benefit of things like Bonjour discovery and the AFNetworking library.

One session that I thought was unique was the “We Made An App For That” talks where attendees had the opportunity to talk about their experiences in building their app and give a demonstration of how their apps function. The apps ranged from one that had just been released within the last month and even one that had sold thirty thousand copies!

To help give the speakers feedback there were cocoa bucks being rewarded for those folks who filled out the questioners. These cocoa bucks were then entered in a drawing to win prizes at the end. This was clearly an important part of the conference as they were being handed out at all of the doors, and from the looks of things they had a good amount of them turned in. I actually didn’t realize at the time but quite a few of the books that were being given out were written by the speakers at Cocoaconf. This goes to show you the quality that was put into their debut event and from the sound of things it’s only going to be getting better.

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