RW Speakers

It’s been almost a week since RWDevCon. So… how was it? In one word – Awesome!

The Conference

RWDevCon is – to the best of my knowledge – the first-ever tutorial conference in which the participants get hands-on experience. As Ray Wenderlich said in one of his emails:

“The focus will be on high-quality hands-on tutorials, along with an inspiration track to get people pumped up to make some amazing things.”

He was right – amazing things happened, for sure!

Hey, Want To Be A Speaker?

In September 2014, I received an email from Ray. In this email he explains that he’s hosting a Tutorial Conference in DC, on Feb 6-7, 2015. He goes on to write:

“I was wondering if you would be interested in being a speaker at the conference? I think you’d make for a great speaker and consider you a very important member of the team, so I’d love to have you there.”

Wow! Me? A speaker? What an honor, I thought.


I sat there – looking at the email – carefully wondering how to respond. DC isn’t exactly around the corner. There’s likely going to be a lot of people at the conference. Besides… public speaking?! Yikes!

Of course, it didn’t take long for my inner critic to weigh in on the matter.

“Let’s be honest,” it said. “You’re a fraud. A hack. You have no clue what you’re doing. Why on Earth would anyone care what you have to say? You should decline. Immediately!”

I countered with, “STFU,” then crafted my reply:

“That sounds like a great idea. I’m interested, for sure.”


I believe we ended up with roughly 23 speakers. Ray paired us up in teams and we went to work!

For the most part, we were each responsible for two sessions. In my case, I had a “Tutorial” session and an “Inspiration” session. By the way, I still haven’t decided which I enjoyed doing more!


My partner was Brian Moakley. I enjoyed working with him. He loves zombies… so he’s OK in my book!

Over the next few months, he and I hashed out the particulars for our tutorial sessions:

– 101: iOS Apprentice Review 1
– 102: iOS Apprentice Review 2

We came up with an app idea (StoryTime) and started coding it. Next, we created the supporting materials (Keynote, Written Instructions, etc.). Finally, we had a few practice sessions with one another – then later, with Ray.

Once we had our Tutorial sessions worked out, we started working on our Inspiration sessions; mine was on Possibility. It was based on something my mom has always taught me: “Nothing is impossible. The impossible just takes a little longer.”

Out Of My Comfort Zone

I’m odd. I know that. I have strange unfounded fears; I don’t like elevators, airplanes, tunnels, or crowds. RWDevCon had them all!


When I accepted Ray’s awesome invitation to be a speaker, I did so with one caveat – no airplanes. I have flown before; it sort of looks like this.

That being said, I decided to drive to DC – which took about 13 hours. For the record, driving was the easy part. Well, except for that one-hour-long detour in which I was desperately trying to avoid the tunnel.

Seriously! Who builds a giant tube under water and then expects thousands of vehicles to drive through it? Gah! Ever see the movie Daylight?

Another relatively easy thing to deal with was my no-elevator policy. Simple enough… I requested a room on the second floor. =]

But, what about the crowds? The people? Ugh! This one… well, it was not so easy.

I See People – Lots of People!

I’m a social-noob. I’m awkward. I’m shy. And, let’s not forget… I look like an extra from The Walking Dead.

If you were at the conference and ran into me, I apologize. I probably said something stupid; or worse – said nothing at all.

The trouble is… I’m not great at “the small talk”. I never know what to say. I worry about the shape of my mouth as I ‘attempt’ to force the words through my lips. I wonder what to look at while I’m talking. I wonder what to look at while you’re talking. Where do I put my hands? How do I hold my body?

And… I especially wonder if you can see how incredibly uncomfortable I am. I also wonder if you think it’s because of you. It’s not. It’s me. And, no… this isn’t a break-up. =]

Honestly, my speaker sessions were a lot easier than I imagined. Sure, I was nervous, but eventually I fell into my role as a speaker. I’m still not sure how that happened, but I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

iOS Apprentice

In Conclusion

I had a wicked awesome time at this event. Having been an attendee at WWDC and now a speaker/attendee at the first-ever RWDevCon, I can honestly say – without a doubt – RWDevCon is on par for being one of the best!

My only regret is not spending enough time as an attendee. Due to other obligations, most of my free-time – as well as my evenings – were spent working on my favorite iOS project! ;]

On the plus side… I did get to Jam with Tim Mitra!


By the way, you can still download the Conference Materials. If you need any help, please drop me a note and I’ll do my best to give you a hand.