TweetFollow Us on Twitter

NSConference 2010

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 07
Column Tag: Conferences

NSConference 2010

NSConference 2010

by Dave Dribin

What is NSConference?

NSConference is a multi-day conference put on by the venerable Steve "Scotty" Scott of the Mac Developer Network. Scotty does a lot of wonderful things for the Mac and iPhone developer community, including his podcast, the MDN Show. In 2009, he decided to branch out into putting on his own conference. This first year, the conference took place only in the United Kingdom. For 2010, Scotty expanded the conference to the United States and put on the conference in both the UK and US. In interest of full disclosure, I was a speaker at this year's conference.

The Structure

There were three days of sessions and one day of longer training workshops. The three session days were broken down into two days of Mac-related sessions and one day of iPhone-related sessions. As with most Mac and iPhone-related topics, however, there was a lot of crossover between the two types. For example, my talk was on clean code was part of the Mac sessions, but pertained equally well to iPhone programmers (at least I hope it did).

The sessions at the UK and US versions were generally the same. There were minor differences due to scheduling conflicts, and the speakers were free to change up their presentation slightly. I've included a list of all the sessions at the end of this article. The full-day workshops were classes concentrating on a single topic. The topics were generally quite technical in nature. Some were about specific APIs or technology, along the lines of presentations you might expect at Apple's WWDC. Others were topics that you would never see at an Apple sanctioned conference, and still others were more abstract in nature.

I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at this year's conference, which means I got to attend both the UK and US versions. The UK version was held in Reading, not too far from London, and the US version was held near downtown Atlanta, Georgia on the Georgia Tech campus. The UK version had the day-long workshops first, followed by the Mac and iPhone sessions while the US version had the day-long workshops after the other sessions.

Each session was about an hour long with about thirty minutes between sessions. The long breaks between sessions were nice because it allowed for socializing with other attendees. While the technical content of the sessions is no doubt the focal point, the social aspects of conferences like WWDC have been of great value to me. I was glad that Scotty recognized this and incorporated it as a core part of NSConference.

The Sessions

I'm not going to give opinions on any of the other sessions, as that would be a little awkward, given that I was a speaker. I can, however give a brief overview of my talk and then list all the presentations. The video of all sessions are available for purchase on the NSConference website. The video for the workshops are not yet available.

My Clean Code Session

My presentation was titled "Clean Code" and while technical, was not about any specific APIs or technology. Writing clean code is very important for real-world projects, in my opinion. While it is important for an application to function properly, it is only part of the problem we programmers face in day-to-day coding. Clean code, to me, is about the quality of the code itself. The quality of the code plays a huge role in how fast new features can be added or bugs can be fixed. Anyone who has been programming for more than a few years knows that spaghetti code is much harder to understand, and hence, to extend or modify.

The core of clean code, to me, is about readability and understandability. The compiler doesn't care how well the code is written or what language it was written in. Thus code should be written with other programmers as a prime audience. A quote I used from the Abelson and Sussman textbook, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs adequately describes how I feel about this:

"Programs must be written for people to read and only incidentally for machines to execute."

I gave some specific tips on what clean code is and how to recognize it, such as the Don't Repeat Yourself or DRY principle along with the advantages of small classes and methods. I went over a few "before and after" examples of how shortening methods to about fifteen lines of can drastically help readability. I also discussed the differences between the main techniques to reduce coupling between different layers of the application: delegates, notifications, and key-value observing. If you want to hear more about these topics, along with why I think the singleton design pattern is almost always a design smell and should be avoided, download the full video, complete with some good Q&A.

List of All Sessions

Here is a full list of all the sessions. Remember that if you find any of these interesting, you can purchase videos of many of these on the NSConference website.

"Engineering Life" - Mike Lee

"Spelunking OS X" - Jonathan "Wolf" Rentzsch

"Clean Code" - Dave Dribin

"Signing Your Apps" - Graham Lee

"Data Presentation in Mac Apps" - Drew McCormack

"Core Animation" - Marcus Zarra

"Cocoa Design Patterns that Leverage the Objective-C Runtime" - Jeff LaMarche

"Brushing Up on Open CL" - Andy Finnell

"Meet the User" - Mike Lee

"Hard and Fast OpenGL ES" - Jeff LaMarche

"Core Data Synchronization with ZSync" - Marcus Zarra

"The Physics of Sumo" - Drew McCormack

"Supporting Online Play and GameKit in Your Application" - Jeff LaMarche

"The Many Faces of Data Persistence" - Aaron Hillegass


Dave Dribin has been writing professional software for over eleven years. After five years programming embedded C in the telecom industry and a brief stint riding the Internet bubble, he decided to venture out on his own. Since 2001, he has been providing independent consulting services, and in 2006, he founded Bit Maki, Inc. Find out more at http://www.bitmaki.com/ and http://www.dribin.org/dave/.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Freeway Pro 7.0.3 - Drag-and-drop Web de...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With its user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
Cloud 3.3.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6.5 - FTP and SFTP browser....
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more
Firefox 36.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox for Mac offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals and... Read more
Thunderbird 31.5.0 - Email client from M...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
VOX 2.4 - Music player that supports man...
VoxIt just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features & support for all audio formats you should ever need... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.46 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
WALTR 1.0.9 - Drag-and-drop any media fi...
WALTR is designed to make it easy to upload and convert any music or video file to an iPad or iPhone format for native playback. It supports a huge variety of media file types, including MP3, MP4,... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.14 - Enhances Open...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
Boom 2 1.1 - System-wide pro audio app f...
Boom 2 is a system-wide volume booster and equalizer app that is designed especially for OS X 10.10 Yosemite. It comes with a smart interface, self-calibrates itself according to your Mac, offers... Read more

Legacy Quest is an Upcoming Rouge-like T...
Legacy Quest is an Upcoming Rouge-like That’ll Kill the Whole Family Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 26th, 2015 [ permalink ] Nexon Co. | Read more »
Grudgeball: Enter the Chaosphere Review
Grudgeball: Enter the Chaosphere Review By Jordan Minor on February 26th, 2015 Our Rating: :: MUSCLE MENUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Regular Show gets an above average game.   | Read more »
Action RPG League of Angels – Fire Raide...
Gaia is being invaded by the Devil Prince and the demonic Devil Army at his disposal, and it’s up to you and your avatar to defeat him in League of Angels – Fire Raiders. Raise a mighty army from hundreds of recruitable angel heroes and take the... | Read more »
Burn Rubber on the Ice With a New Cars:...
Burn Rubber on the Ice With a New Cars: Fast as Lightning Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 26th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
AdVenture Capitalist Review
AdVenture Capitalist Review By Jordan Minor on February 26th, 2015 Our Rating: :: DAS KAPITALUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad An inadvertent Marxist manifesto.   | Read more »
Monster vs Sheep Review
Monster vs Sheep Review By Jennifer Allen on February 25th, 2015 Our Rating: :: SAMEY FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad What Monster vs Sheep lacks in variety it makes up for with stress relieving fun. At least, for a... | Read more »
Is Your Face Ready for the New Outwitter...
Is Your Face Ready for the New Outwitters 2.0 Trailer? Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 25th, 2015 [ permalink ] One Man Left Studios has announced that their turn-based strategy game, | Read more »
HowToFormat Review
HowToFormat Review By Jennifer Allen on February 25th, 2015 Our Rating: :: USEFUL TIPSiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Making a presentation and want to get it just right? HowToFormat teaches you how... | Read more »
Thermo Diem Review
Thermo Diem Review By Jennifer Allen on February 25th, 2015 Our Rating: :: GETS TO THE POINTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Want to know whether it’s warmer or colder tomorrow? That’s precisely what Thermo Diem will... | Read more »
Tap Heroes Review
Tap Heroes Review By Jennifer Allen on February 25th, 2015 Our Rating: :: TAPPING & GRINDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tap like crazy, grind like crazy, in this tapping game that overcomplicates the mix.   | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

New Travel Health App “My Travel Health” iOS...
Rochester, Minnesota based Travel Health and Wellness LLC has announced that its new iOS app help safeguard the user’s health when traveling abroad — “My Travel Health” is now available on the Apple... Read more
Sale! MacBook Airs for up to $115 off MSRP
B&H Photo has MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 128GB MacBook Air: $799 100 off MSRP - 11″ 256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100... Read more
15-inch 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro (refurbishe...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1489 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is... Read more
Wither The iPad mini? End Of The Road Imminen...
AppleDailyReport’s Dennis Sellers predicts that the iPad mini is going to be left to wither on the vine, as it were, and then just allowed to fade away — a casualty of the IPhone 6 Plus and other... Read more
Android and iOS Duopoly Owns 96.3% of Smartph...
IDC reports that Android and iOS inched closer to total domination of the worldwide smartphone market in both the fourth quarter (4Q14) and the calendar year 2014 (CY14). According to data from the... Read more
13-inch 2.4GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
MacMall has the 2013 13″ 2.4GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro available for $999.99 for a limited time. Shipping is free. Their price is $300 off original MSRP, and it’s the only sub-$1000 new Retina... Read more
Save up to $300 on a new Mac, $30 on an iPad,...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
Mac minis available for up to $75 off MSRP
MacMall has Mac minis on sale for up to $75 off MSRP including free shipping. Their prices are the lowest available for these models from any reseller: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459.99 $40 off - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
WaterField Unveils Versatile Padded Gear Pouc...
San Francisco manufacturer WaterField Design’s new Padded Gear Pouch is a light and handy-sized, yet protective, organizer for every kind of take-along gear: technology, travel, toiletries,... Read more
College Student Deals: Additional $50 off Mac...
Take an additional $50 off all MacBooks and iMacs at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through April 11, 2015. Anyone with a valid .EDU email address can take advantage... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.