NSNorth Wrapup

I spent the weekend at the new NSNorth conference in Ottawa. This was a small iOS developer conference in the spirit of Cingleton, and NSConference, put on my Dan Byers and Philippe Casgrain. It was a great weekend.

Working from home full-time, especially, in a small town, it was great to get to hang out with some other iOS developers. The talks were inspiring; now my problem is too much inspiration, not enough time.

Here are a few notes on some memorable bits from some of the talks

Guy English did a nice overview of SceneKit, including demos of exactly how much you can get and how much SceneKit gives you with small amounts of code. There are still some questions, I think, about what Apple intends for us to actually do with SceneKit: It seems unsuitable for games, but a bit too low-level for apps. My theory is there’s still a framework to come that will bring it all together. I have a small SceneKit project I want to kick off.

Sam Vermette talked about the nuts and bolts of submitting projects to GitHub. Why you’d do it, what to expect in the way of draws on your time doing support and whatnot, but also what you’ll get out of it. I have a list of various bits of code I’ve written for my own projects that I’ve been meaning to submit; I’m going to try to get that done while I’m inspired to do so.

Luc Vandal told us that if Apple calls, answer the phone. (And more, of course – Luc had a lot of good info on how to get noticed by Apple).

Gus Mueller took us deep into Core Image. Not sure that’s going to be immediately useful to me, but I’ve filed the information away and I’ll know when I run into a situation where I have a problem that Core Image can solve.

Jason Brennan talked about CortexKit, a framework he’s building to help make software more aware of the context of what the user is doing beyond the scope of just the single application you’re working with. Cool stuff; I’m looking forward to getting a drop to play with.

Justin Miller talked about maps on iOS. You can build some really beautiful maps based using the framework Justin works on for MapBox.

Caroline Sauve walked us through the design and development of an iOS adjunct to the Corel Painter app that ultimately wasn’t received the way they expected. The lesson here is that you need to validate your product with some actual users as the product is developed, not just at the start and end.

Rick Fillion of Black Pixel talked about working with designers. I think I’ve always had a pretty good relationship with the designers I’ve worked with, but Rick’s talking about taking it to a whole new level. He requires that the designers he works with drop assets into Xcode and check them into Git themselves. Sounds good, but I think this will take some designer training. He also suggested developers learn to think in HSL instead of RGB, which makes a ton of sense.

And Joe Cieplinski showed his company’s teleprompter app running on an iPad in space (cool!) and talked about building a successful brand and reputation for the long term, not just a product for today. Great advice. And, measure success in terms of the number of days you get to not work in a cubicle.