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CocoaConf vs. WWDC… Which Conference Should You Attend?

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I just wrapped up a great weekend with CocoaConf San Jose. I’ve gotta say: if you’re looking to maximize bang for your buck, save the money you’d spend on WWDC and consider CocoaConf instead!

First, there’s the stress of trying to get a WWDC ticket. Then the expense. Sure, there are all those great talks, but Apple makes the videos available to registered developers. I think the main reason to continue going to WWDC is if you’re really desperate to get help in the Apple labs.

I’d never been to another iOS/Mac developer’s conference before this past weekend. I was impressed by:

  • The small size. With only a hundred developers, there were many opportunities to build relationships, even with the speakers.
  • The speakers. This is a class act of experienced people. Many of them are published authors. They’re there because they’re passionate about their craft.
  • The food. Remember when WWDC food used to be decent, before the iOS-induced population explosion? This was like that, only better. Much better.
  • The duration. My brain is full by the third day of any conference. CocoaConf wisely stops there.
  • The price. Way cheaper.

I came away having learned good stuff. But maybe just as important, I made genuine human connections. (Good luck doing that at the great cattle-herding of WWDC.)

CocoaConf is a traveling conference, hitting up several cities in the U.S. You owe it to yourself to check out the one nearest you.

Question: What are your favorite conferences, and why? Leave a comment below.

About the Author Jon Reid

Programming was fun when I was a kid. But working in Silicon Valley, I saw poor code lead to fear, with real human costs. Looking for ways to make my life better, I learned about Design Patterns, Refactoring, and Test-Driven Development (TDD). Programming became fun again! I've now been doing TDD in Apple environments for 18 years. I'm committed to software crafting as a discipline, hoping we can all reach greater effectiveness and joy.

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  • Ron Lisle says:

    I couldn’t agree more. While we will be sending several folks to WWDC this year, we’re planning on sending more folks to 360iDev and CocoaConf. We had 4 folks speak at the CocoaConf in Dallas recently (which got them free conference tickets), and I hope to speak at a conference later in the year. I’m hoping they’ll bring a CocoaConf to Austin :-)

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