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

Together 3.7 - Store and organize all of...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop... Read more
EtreCheck 3.1.4 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
Postbox 5.0.9 - Powerful and flexible em...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
DiskCatalogMaker 6.5.16 - Catalog your d...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast. Finder-like intuitive look and feel. Super-fast search algorithm. Can compress catalog data... Read more
TrailRunner 3.8.827 - Route planning for...
TrailRunner is the perfect companion for runners, bikers, hikers, and all people wandering under the sky. Plan routes on a geographical map. Import GPS or workout recordings and journalize your... Read more
VueScan 9.5.61 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Postbox 5.0.9 - Powerful and flexible em...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
VueScan 9.5.61 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
DiskCatalogMaker 6.5.16 - Catalog your d...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast. Finder-like intuitive look and feel. Super-fast search algorithm. Can compress catalog data... Read more
TrailRunner 3.8.827 - Route planning for...
TrailRunner is the perfect companion for runners, bikers, hikers, and all people wandering under the sky. Plan routes on a geographical map. Import GPS or workout recordings and journalize your... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Great zombie games in the spirit of Dead...
Dead Rising 4 arrives tomorrow, giving enthusiasts a fresh chance to take selfies with zombies and get up to other ridiculous end-of-the-world shenanigans. To really get into the spirit of things, we've gone and gathered the best zombie games that... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Advanced tips a...
Amateur Surgeon 4 is still tackling the competition at the top of the App Store charts, so if you haven't tried it out yet, you should probably do that right away. If you've been at it for a while, though, perhaps you're ready to start expanding... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Become the worl...
It's time to wield your trusty pizza cutter again, as Amateur Surgeon has returned with a whole fresh set of challenges (and some old, familiar ones, too). Starting anew isn't easy, especially when all you have at your disposal is a lighter, the... | Read more »
Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire (Ga...
Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Telltale Games really is working on a Gu...
Telltale Games' next episodic adventure is indeed Guardians of the Galaxy. A document tied to the voice actors strike suggested that the project was in the work, but now we have direct confirmation following an announcement at the Game Awards that... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon returns to iOS and Andro...
Amateur Surgeon and its two sequels disappeared from the App Store some time and it was sad days for all. But now, just in time for the holidays, the Adult Swim favorite makes its joyous return in the shape of Amateur Surgeon 4, a remake with... | Read more »
The best board games on mobile
Sometimes you need to ditch all of the high speed, high action games in favor of something a little more traditional. If you don't feel like parting ways from your mobile device, though, there are still plenty of ways to get that old-school fix.... | Read more »
The best Facebook Messenger Instant Game...
Facebook's new Instant Games is now here, meaning you can play games with your friends directly via Facebook. It's a fun new way to connect with friends, of course, but it's also proving to be a solid gaming experience in its own right, with a... | Read more »
You can now play game's on Facebook...
Facebook launched its new Instant Games platform in an exciting new attempt to engage its user base. As a result, you can now play a number of different games directly through Facebook Messenger. All of these games run with HTML5, meaning you play... | Read more »
Apollo Justice Ace Attorney (Games)
Apollo Justice Ace Attorney 1.00.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.00.00 (iTunes) Description: Court Is Back In Session Star as rookie defense attorney, Apollo Justice, as he visits crime scenes,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Monday roundup of Holiday Mac sales: Up to $3...
Take up to $300 off MSRP on the price of a new Apple Mac at B&H Photo today as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Touch Bar MacBook Pros are in... Read more
12-inch WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up t...
B&H Photo has 12″ WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up to $50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50 off MSRP... Read more
9-inch Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $20-$...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $20-$50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 256GB WiFi iPad Pro: $779.95 $20 off MSRP... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple MacBook Airs available fo...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MMGF2LL/A): $899 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/... Read more
13-inch Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock...
Amazon has the new 2016 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MLVP2LL/A) in stock today and on sale for $1749 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price... Read more
Parallels Toolbox 1.3 for Mac Offers 25 Singl...
Parallels has launched Parallels Toolbox 1.3 for Mac, an upgrade that adds five new utilities to the stand-alone application which was released in August and is available exclusively online at http... Read more
OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini Ultra-Portabl...
OWC has introduced the new OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini, a powerful yet ultra-portable dual-drive RAID solution. The new Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini packs phenomenal performance into a small... Read more
Clearance 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros availab...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ Retina Apple MacBook Pros available for up to $200 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $... Read more
Roundup of 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro sa...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1449 $... Read more
New 13-inch 2.0GHz Space Gray MacBook Pro in...
Adorama has the new 13″ 2.0GHz Space Gray MacBook Pro (non-Touch Bar, MLL42LL/A) in stock for $1499 including a free 3-year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax... Read more

Jobs Board

Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (...
# Lead Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 53586123 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Posted: Nov. 28, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Lead ASC Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Plano,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Kansas...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Hardware Design Validation Engineer - *Apple...
The Apple Watch team is looking for a Hardware Design Validation Engineer. This person will be part of the Apple Watch hardware team with responsibilities for Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.