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!

cocoaconf

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

Jon is a consultant on Clean Code for iOS, focusing on Test Driven Development, unit testing, refactoring, and design. He's been practicing TDD since 2001. You can learn more about his background, or see what services he can bring to your organization.

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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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