MacTech Conference October 17-19

I’ve been meaning to plug the MacTech conference in LA. It’s happening from October 17 to 19. It’s a small, two-track show with sessions for iOS/MacOS developers and IT folks. The pre-event discount is in effect until Monday so if you’ve been thinking of going, now would be a good time to register.

I’m very pleased to be invited back to speak again. I’ll be talking about a pet topic du jour: the danger of dumbing down apps by dismissing a useful idea as an “edge case.”

MacTech is one of my favorite conferences because it’s kind of a counter-WWDC. You’re there with hundreds of people instead of thousands, which means that over the course of three days you have lots of opportunities to have real conversations with people. A session about using AppleScript to automate support tasks is useful. A chance to talk about AppleScript over a lunch and then a dinner with people who are smarter than you are is VERRRRRRRY useful.

The other plus? The organizers take responsibility for showing people a good time. And here you’re thinking “Open bar.” No, no.

(I have read online about conferences in which the sessions are largely just a pretext for a three-day boozle. I do not get invited to those kinds of conferences. Equal arguments can be made that this speaks well and poorly of me.)

MacTech sets up terrific after-hours events. This year, there’s a private tour of Disney Animation Studios. Two of the speakers work at Disney Animation. You can correctly guess that this tour won’t be an electric trolley ride past the buildings and then a visit to the gift shop.

But we get back to that sense of community. Some of the most valuable things I’ve ever learned in conferences were things people told me while hanging out between sessions. And many of those Most Valuable Things were learned at MacTech. Before MacTech, Ruby On Rails was something I’d heard about and played with a little. But one morning got me actively excited about the platform and I’d written a couple of apps with it before my flight home.