Fortunately, I arrived on Wednesday already, so I could participate in the big get-together at the bar that night. A lot of people who arrived early, too, had a great time getting to know each other, drinking beer and cider and generally talking about Mac development related stuff. Getting to know a bunch of people who I just knew from Twitter made this evening a blast.
Obviously, a night such as that one had its drawbacks - namely, alcohol consumption. Too much of it for a clear head on Thursday morning, anyway. About three cups of coffee, a great breakfast, two paracetamol and a Red Bull later, I was back on my feet and excited about the sessions that the day would offer. And I should not be disappointed. All the speakers knew their stuff really well and presented us with great material and inspiration to start working on something that would utlize our new-found knowledge. Especially Philippe Mougin seemed to have hit a nail with his talk about F-Script, as everyone seemed to be eager to use it right away and find out more about their and Apple's applications.
Thursday night saw the NSConference banquet taking place, which was a great dinner along with the chance to meet even more fellow developers and have some great conversations. Also, even more beer and cider, although I managed to drink in moderation and avoid taking even more medication the next morning.
After four more great sessions and a somewhat decent lunch, we got to be witnesses of the first ever Cocoa Faceoff, which pitted the speakers from America against those from Europe with each team joined by two delegates. Both teams had 30 minutes to design a Cocoa application, along with an iPhone version for conference organisers. By the end of the time, the teams should present their idea to the audience which would judge these applications. Scotty made promises of glory for the winning team and shame for the losers - while seeming completely impartial (*cough*).
Tim and Scotty would grab each speaker out of their group for a few minutes, so that they could provide a quick tip to the remaining delegates. This proved to be a lot of entertainment, although it resulted in Xcode being unusable at some point and almost got the Mac Pro destroyed.
Both teams presented their application ideas to the cheers of the audience, and Europe took the win, with a barely noticeable higher noise level than the American team achieved.
With this, the first ever UK Mac developer conference came to a close, and all of us could go home and look back on a few days full of great talks, informative conversations and a lot of fun. I couldn't find one person who didn't enjoy the conference or didn't think they walked away with some very valuable knowledge.
All that said, I'm looking forward to NSConference 2.0 next year.