23 Mar 2016

RWDevCon 2016 – Alexandria

Let me review and also share my views for the conference on iOS Development with Swift (named as RWDevCon 2016) which we (Mobiuso team members – Bhavna/Aparna/Sandeep) attended at Alexandria, USA on 11th and 12th March 2016.

Opening Reception (In the evening on a day before)

It was a Two day Tech conference with Opening reception on a day earlier.

There were 270 attendees for the conference from 17 different countries and this reception indeed helped us to meet and greet many of the attendees and speakers (tutors for session). We interacted with many speakers/attendees, got to know their background and shared our background with them as well.

Takeaway from this event: It’s a feel good factor when you get to Interact with people who are going to be part of your environment for the event. Also, meeting people from different culture/region broadens one’s perspective.

Opening Remarks (Day 1 – first event)

This was started by Ray Wenderlich’s wife Vicki. She outlined what’s going to be for next two days.

This was second such conference by them and hence they highlighted what they found best/successful in last year’s conference (and hence included this year) and also what new they are going to experiment this time.

She also mentioned the 4 core values on which whole conference is planned. Those were: Hands-On Tutorials, Inspiration, Team Coordination and Friendship.

A speech by Ray Wenderlich followed next. He suggested one interesting and useful trick to developers: Divide your task into smaller ones and work on a smaller piece at a time, then join those pieces. I think this is really helpful when some gigantic task scares us and becomes hindrance to start. I could correlate his trick to construction of a building.

Tech Sessions (Day 1 and Day 2)

These were completely hands on Tech tutorials – around 1.5 hrs each. There were 3 different tracks (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced) going on parallely and one could attend any one of them based on topic covered. What I liked about these sessions was that all of the sessions were being recorded, and a detailed PDF book that covered all of the demos, was sent in advance to all attendees, so in case something was missed during the sessions, there was a handy reference book to refer to!

All speakers have had multiple practice sessions before these live ones. Also, Technical lab sessions were reviewed thoroughly by Editorial team to present best to the attendees. There were session feedback (in form of small cards) as well at end of each session.

Below is list of sessions I attended:

  1. Beginning UIStackView
  2. Beginning App Search
  3. Design Patterns in Swift
  4. How to make delightful UI
  5. Xcode tips and tricks
  6. MVVM in practice
  7. Firebase and Couchbase labs

Party (Day 1 – Last event after sessions)

This was again an event to meet and interact with the attendees, speakers and organizers, grab delicious food with drinks and enjoy music.

Closing Remarks (Day 2: Last event)

This was by Ray Wenderlich, to thank all. Immediately at the end of Two day conference, he had complete analysis with presentation ready on what he felt went successful and what went a bit unexpected and needs improvement in next year conference he intends to conduct. I really admire two things about him, which definitely inspire us as well: His quick approach to analyze how conference went and frankness to admit where they failed right in front of crowd.

Also, there were feedback cards to rate conference on 4 core values mentioned during opening remarks.

Nearly 30 attendees (selected randomly from list of those who gave session feedback) got a gift (either a book on Swift / iOS development, or Interesting Board game of Cards). Luckily, I was one of them.

To end the conference with a surprise, there was a gift for all attendees (a book on 3D iOS games by RW team, a week earlier to it’s actual launch on website).

So, overall it was an amazing experience attending conference, so much to learn and take away!