Well, about 3:30 am this morning, I rolled in from the New York City stop on the iPhone Tech Talk World Tour. It was an exhausting, long, and very, very good day.
Yesterday's tech talk registration opened at 8:00am, with John Geleynse's kick-off presentation starting a little after 9:00. According to John, there were 350 iPhone developers in attendance, and looking around the room, I don't have trouble believing it. There were a lot of iPhone dev geeks sitting in the room. I got to see a lot of old friends, and meet a whole bunch of new people, which is one of the things I love about events like this.
There were three tracks, with five sessions during the day in each, plus a lab that was open all day long. Apple engineers were available for help and for code and UI review.
For me, the highlight of the day was Allan Schaffer's two OpenGL ES talks in the afternoon. They contained a lot of really in-depth technical data that I haven't seen presented before (and I went to all the OpenGL ES talks at WWDC). All of the other sessions I went to had some overlap with sessions I went to at the dub-dub, but they all contained good information and were presented well. I didn't hear a single negative comment from anyone about any of the sessions.
The format and presentation were very much like WWDC except on a much smaller scale, of course. Apple had with them the entire evangelism team, plus people from various engineering teams as well as support staff from Apple Events. We were given a continental breakfast, bagged lunch (but a really good bagged lunch), and we ended the day with a wine and cheese hour, which gave us the opportunity to socialize with each other and with all the Apple employees at the event.
It was a truly great event. I would have gladly paid to attend; the fact that Apple did this for us for free is somewhat mind-boggling to me. I can't imagine what it cost them to put it one. We had a whole floor of the Marriott Marquis, the event was fully catered, and Apple must have brought along somewhere in the range of thirty full-time employees, maybe even more. Plus, we got another Apple T-shirt for our collections, although mine is going into my wife's wardrobe, as it's been quite some time since I could wear size L T-shirt (probably Junior High).
Apple brought great people, presented great information, gave one-on-one consultations to dozens of developers, and they listened. They listened to developer's concerns about a wide variety of issues and gave feedback and insight to help people resolve their issues.
If they do these events again next year and you are an iPhone developer of any ability level, do yourself a favor and sign up as soon as it's announced. Even if you have to travel and spend the night in a hotel, it will be well worth the expense. It's a great opportunity to meet other developers, to talk to people at Apple, and to improve your knowledge of the platform.
So, for anybody at Apple who might stumble across this post: Thank you.