RWDevCon 2015

Written by Sam Davies

The approach to learning focuses on tutorials – through written tutorials, online videos and books. This concept is as popular as it is successful, so when Ray announced “RWDevCon: The Tutorial Conference”, I knew we were in for something different.

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I was lucky enough to be asked to present a tutorial on the new adaptive layout functionality introduced in iOS 8 (matching up with some of the chapters I wrote in “iOS 8: by tutorials”), so was really looking forward to meeting both the conference attendees and some of the other team-members.

The conference had two varieties of talks – tutorials and inspiration talks. The tutorials were quite different from the talks you’d expect at other tech conferences – involving the attendees following along as the speaker ran through a live demo. Following this there was a challenge project to allow the attendees to consolidate their learning.

The key message here is one that I like to emphasise in my own talks – you can only truly learn by doing. It’s all very well watching a speaker wow you with tech, but until you’ve had a go at it yourself you don’t truly realise quite how much (or little) you understand.

Every talk followed the same format, and this level of consistency was only made possible due to the huge amount of preparatory curation, review and practice put in by the team – both the speakers and the razeware team. Never before have I been so prepared for a conference talk – something required for such extensive live-coding demos.

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This unique approach to the conference made it a huge success. There were far more less-experienced iOS developers at this conference than any other tech conferences I’ve attended in the past, and this is truly fantastic. I think that inclusivity is really important, and the provision of the beginner track at RWDevCon meant that people that might be lost at other conferences could kick-start their iOS development journey. RWDevCon also had the widest age range of attendees – from high schoolers to retirees.

It was fantastic fun to be a part of the inaugural RWDevCon – there were so many great comments from attendees that I think that Ray has started something really exciting. I look forward to attending RWDevCon 2016, and can’t wait to see how it evolves.

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