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/.

 
AAPL
$103.30
Apple Inc.
+0.80
MSFT
$45.09
Microsoft Corpora
-0.34
GOOG
$577.33
Google Inc.
+5.73

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TextSoap 7.4.0 - Flexible text editing u...
TextSoap is for people who work with text. TextSoap effortlessly cleans up text from endlessly different formats. Wash away unwanted characters, spaces, tabs. Fix paragraphs with hard returns at the... Read more
NetShade 6.0.2 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0 - Copy, backup, an...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
pwSafe 3.1 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
StatsBar 1.8 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Path Finder 6.5.5 - Powerful, award-winn...
Path Finder is a file browser that combines the familiar Finder interface with the powerful utilities and innovative features. Just a small selection of the Path Finder 6 feature set: Dual pane... Read more
QuarkXPress 10.2.1 - Desktop publishing...
With QuarkXPress, you can communicate in all the ways you need to -- and always look professional -- in print and digital media, all in a single tool. Features include: Easy to Use -- QuarkXPress is... Read more
Skype 6.19.0.450 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
VueScan 9.4.41 - 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
Cloud 3.0.0 - 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

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer...
Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD Review
Alien Creeps TD Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: EXPENSIVE DEFENSESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Alien Creeps TD would be a fun if unremarkable Tower Defense game, but its heavy focus on... | Read more »
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: DARK YET ENTICINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s a little dark, in every sense of the word, but The Journey Down:... | Read more »
Function Space, a Social Network App for...
Function Space, a Social Network App for Science, Launches on iOS Posted by Ellis Spice on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Stupidfast – How Taylor Martinez Switche...
How do you make an Endless Running game more than just another Endless Running game? By adding real life prizes to it, of course! That’s the thinking behind StupidFast: a game designed for football enthusiasts, and the brainchild of former college... | Read more »
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: CASUAL RAIDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Combining simple combat with village building is a potent combination for... | Read more »
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulk...
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulkypix and Dark Tonic This Fall Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Dark Tonic and | Read more »
Pirate Bash Review
Pirate Bash Review By Nadia Oxford on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: BAD PIRATES, GOOD TIMESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Pirate Bash’s turn-based battles add an intriguing twist to a typical physics game.   | Read more »
Tiny Tower Vegas Review
Tiny Tower Vegas Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY DEVELOPMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Build a huge tower again but Vegas-style in Tiny Tower Vegas.   | Read more »
The Manhattan Project Review
The Manhattan Project Review By Andrew Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ROCKET SCIENCEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Manhattan Project offers a great Euro-style gameplay experience, but it is totally... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iPads available for up to $...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
Are We Now In The Post-Post-PC Era?
A longtime and thoroughgoing laptop aficionado, I was more than a little dismayed by Steve Jobs’s declaration back in 2010 when he sprang the iPad on an unsuspecting world. that we’d entered a “post-... Read more
PC Outlook Improves, But 2014 Shipments Still...
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -3.7 percent in 2014. To hat’s actually an improvement from the... Read more
IDC Lowers Tablet Sales Projections for 2014...
Following a second consecutive quarter of softer than expected demand, International Data Corporation (IDC) has lowered its worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 forecast for 2014 to 233.1 million units. The... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
The Rise of Phablets
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a businesses and technology consulting firm focused solely on the financial services industry, has released an infographic depicting the convergence of... Read more
Bad Driver Database App Allows Good Drivers t...
Bad Driver Database 1.4 by Facile Group is a new iOS and Android app that lets users instantly input and see how many times a careless, reckless or just plain stupid driver has been added to the... Read more
Eddy – Cloud Music Player for iPhone/iPad Fre...
Ukraine based CapableBits announces the release of Eddy, its tiny, but smart and powerful cloud music player for iPhone and iPad that allows users to stream or download music directly from cloud... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.