iOSDevCampDC 2012

About two weeks ago, on Saturday August 11th, we held our fourth iOS-related event in the Washington DC area: iOSDevCampDC 2012. We had a great mix of talks, six in all, from local iOS experts, with a select group of sponsors and a great group of attendees. Verisign hosted us and provided the venue in Reston, VA, allowing us to accommodate more people than last year. The dual screens were a nice touch too.

Let me give a brief wrap-up of the talks:

Ken (chief doer of savvy apps) gave a talk about how gestures affect the designs of iOS apps.  He talked about some good lessons learned.  I was impressed that he mirrored both his iPhone and iPad on his Mac so that he could project both on the screen.  Ken’s definitely been a proponent of gestural (or gesture-first) interfaces with apps like Agenda.

Jon (DC area Managing Director of Big Nerd Ranch) dived into the technical details of concurrency on iOS.  He covered both GCD and also NSOperation.  I hear he’s going to be giving an OpenGL class soon.

Mark (Director of Mobile Development at Politico) discussed how to make iOS apps more flexible by having them adapt to changes via a dynamic configuration that’s downloaded.  He also showed some good practices around that such as validating the configuration and having a good download manager.

Mark (Senior Lead Developer at Odyssey Computing) showed us how to do slick animations to do things like folding screens like origami and flipping screens like a book. I really liked that he wrote an app that allows you to toggle some switches and sliders to try out different permutations to see how they affect the animations.  He blogged about his experiences and his presentation titled “Enter the Matrix.”

Chris (Director of Strategy, Global Monetization Solutions at Millennial Media) explained how to use metadata to make more money with ads.  The more you know your users, the better the ads you show them will be.  One point that stood out was tangential: every app needs a privacy policy.  This is due to many forces in our industry but is probably going to be forced in the near future due to government oversight.

James (Principal Software Architect at YellowBrix) took us through how to embed Lua, a dynamic scripting language, into iOS apps.  He also discussed his open source framework for making it easier to do Lua in iOS called Gemini.

As the Lead Organizer of iOSDevCampDC, it was satisfying to put together another event and have it go well.  Sean was a great help as a fellow Organizer, heading up the delicious food that we all savored and assisting with countless other things.  Jose helped out as well, taking pictures and also giving a good overview of our local weekly (NSCoderNightDC) and monthly (CocoaHeadsDC) get-togethers.  My kids Diego and Mateo manned the registration booth and got a taste of what professional developers do. They’re getting started with programming themselves.

Special thanks to Happy Apps, Millennial Media, savvy apps and Verisign for sponsoring the event!