Last weekend I had the privilege to be able to attend the inaugural 360MacDev conference in Denver. While many readers may only be beginning to think about deploying apps on OS X, there are many developers out there who’ve been happily making a living doing so for years. The overlap, or synergy, if you will, of the iOS and OS X communities was clearly evident at the conference.

Since this was the first 360MacDev it was small and everybody sat in on the same sessions. There was a great mix of in-depth technical talks, design talks, app store talks, and a few of Mike Lee‘s dirty jokes to kick things off. If you couldn’t attend be sure to look for the next one in 2011. We got to spend some time with old friends and make a few new ones, and it was nice to see the young crowd (12 year olds Charlie and Santiago) again in attendance. Hate to think what I was doing at that age. It’s hard to pick, but one of my favorite sessions was John Pannell‘s Get Connected! talk about the various network capabilities on OS X.

Yes, there was a lot of speculation and trepidation about the upcoming Mac App Store. Fact is, we don’t have many real answers yet, but in a few short months all will become clear. Michael Simmons covered what we know from previous experience on the iTunes App Store and existing Mac sales channels. According to Jay Freeman there will be a Cydia Mac Store for those that aren’t interested or able to get their Mac apps past the Apple approval process. It’s not hard to imagine that he’ll be just as successful in an environment where the devices have never been incarcerated in the first place.

Putting together such an event is slightly more complicated that renting hotel rooms and selling tickets. That’s where credit is due to John and Nicole Wilker, creators of the 360 Conferences empire. They’re able to consistently attract top speakers and keynoters, which makes attending a no-brainer for me. Sure, I live in Colorado, which means I didn’t have to fly to Denver. But I know it was well worth it, even for my friends that had to fly there. Because their focus is the community itself, these smaller 360 conferences are much more personal, and have no “corporate” feel.

That’s why it’s nice to see John get recognized as an influential young Coloradan. The work he and Nicole do is much appreciated by the Mac and iPhone developer community. John’s pretty low-key, he’d probably rather be sitting in attendance with the rest of us than running around attending to details. Glad they are up to the task. Job well done!


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