Renaissance 2013: The iOS App Maker’s Conference

Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Event, Programming | 0 comments

Renaissance 2013: The iOS App Maker’s Conference

Last week I had the pleasure of attending version 1.0 of a new kind of iOS developer’s conference, Renaissance: The Art and Science of Apps. Billed as “the iOS app maker’s conference,” it spanned three days from Monday to Wednesday at the University of California, San Francisco. What made Renaissance so special is that it combined engineering (of course) with artistry and the business of being an app maker.

Author Ken Segall covered simplicity in design.

We knew this was going to be different when at the very start several application authors one by one went up on, stage giving a brief history of their work. They all ended with stating their name and said “I make apps.”

Tim Burkes, the energetic force behind the Silicon Valley iOS Developer’s Meetup, spearheaded this effort and made it a fun and memorable time. The opening keynote called “Dare It” was given by Brenda Chapman, who directed and wrote Pixar’s Brave. Not bad company to keep. Tuesday’s keynote, Focus It, was Ken Segall who authored Insanely Simple, which chronicles Apple’s simplicity-or-else approach to design. (a book I had just finished, and I highly recommend it). “Do It” was the theme of the final keynote delivered by Tim Berry, cofounder of Borland. Berry covered writing and presenting the all important business plan for new startups.

It seemed like every MacBook was an MBP 15" with Retina

In-between these speakers were panels on localization and running a software contracting business. The latter included the CEOs of Bottle Rocket and Black Pixel. On the technical side of things were talks on topics such as the new Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) standard for very low power short range Bluetooth devices, and third party APIs. The artistic itch was scratched with sessions on beautiful use of fonts and animation and sound.

Tim opted to have just a single track so all participants were on the same page for the entire time. This managed to keep the feeling of Renaissance intimate and friendly.

One couldn’t avoid the Microsoft booth as they were soliciting for developers to consider programming apps for Windows 8. I suggested that they were like Mormons going to a Baptist church to gain converts. Nice bunch of people there plus they had extra munchies when the normal cache was put away.

Many hope that there will be a Renaissance 2. If there is, don’t hesitate to sign up.