Introducing RWConnect at RWDevCon 2018!

Ray Wenderlich

Why do people go to conferences?

One reason is to learn new things – it’s one of the best ways to keep your skills up-to-date as an advanced developer.

However, after organizing & attending many conferences over the past 7 years, there’s one reason I hear more than any other: it’s all about the people.

After all, you can always watch the videos later, but a good conference brings together a diverse crowd of people with similar interests from all around the world.

This leads to making new friends, and new connections, that you never would have otherwise. I know tons of people who’ve met lifelong friends and business partners through conferences that have changed their life. I know I certainly have!

That’s why the theme of RWDevCon 2018 “connection”. In particular, the connections and friendships that we make with each other at the conference.

And to help us with this theme, I’m thrilled to introduce a brand new feature of RWDevCon: RWConnect!

What Is RWConnect?

RWConnect is a series of activities designed to help conference attendees get to know each other and have fun together throughout the conference. Here’s what’s inside:

1) RWConnect Open Spaces

Connect with other conference attendees on the topics you’re most passionate about!

In the afternoon on day 1, we’ll have small group round-table discussions on topics proposed and led by fellow attendees. This is a great way to share what you’ve learned, and to learn from others.

2) RWConnect Hackathon

In the evening of day 1, join your fellow attendees in coming up with ideas, testing your skills, and collaborating on a new project.

A hackathon is a perfect way to see just how much you can get accomplished in a short period of time. Code for as long or as little as you like – go all night if you wish!

3) RWConnect Family Fun Days

Want to bring your family with you to the conference?

Our volunteers are organizing some fun family activities for families to enjoy together in Washington D.C. while you are at the conference. Just meet in the lobby at 9:30AM sharp each day!

4) RWConnect Design Lab

Want to get some design assistance with your app?

Stop by our RWConnect Design Lab in the Edison Foyer, and talented UX/UI Designers Luis Abreu and Luke Freeman will be glad to review your apps and give suggestions!

5) RWConnect Board Game Zone

Do you like board games?

Stop by the Board Game Zone during day 1 and day 2 lunch, play some games led by our volunteers, and make some new friends!

6) RWConnect Trivia Night

RWDevCon 2017 James Dempsey Game Show

Join James Dempsey on Saturday night for the RWConnect Trivia Night!

Split into small teams to answer iOS, Swift, and Apple trivia questions to win “optional prizes” – which could be an amazing prize, or could be nil!

7) RWConnect Women’s Meetup

On Day 1 (Friday) during lunch, meet and greet with fellow women who code for an informal discussion! :]

8) RWConnect Opening & Closing Receptions

ReceptionMixed

Begin and end the conference with a bang with our opening and closing receptions, with great food, great drinks, and great folks!

What If I’m an Introvert?

I’m an introvert too, so I know what it’s like.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences where I go to a social event, and everyone is standing in their own little cliques with people they work with.

No-one makes an effort to say hi to new people, and and I end up feeling awkward and disconnected. It’s sad to say, but I often end up hiding in my hotel room!

Don’t worry – we have designed RWConnect to be introvert-friendly, by fostering a friendly and welcoming environment, and adding ways to socialize with fellow attendees in a more structured way. For example:

  • The RWConnect Board Game Zone is an excellent way to get started. You don’t need to know anyone; just come on over and our host Brian will assign you to a group and a volunteer will teach you all the rules. It’s a great way to meet people while having a lot of laughs and a lot of fun! :]
  • At the RWConnect Trivia Night, we split everyone into random groups, so everyone has a good excuse to meet new people. You’ll get to know your group as you work together to solve iOS & Apple trivia questions. So stop on by, look for the table with your number, and you have a built-in group to spend the evening with!
  • At the RWConnect Open Spaces, you can simply sign up for a topic you’re interested in and attend. If you feel like contributing to the discussion you can, but if you just want to listen that’s fine too!

I think you’ll find the general atmosphere at RWDevCon friendly and inclusive, and our goal is for you feel comfortable, welcome, and right at home! Here’s what some of our 2017 attendees had to say:

  • “I felt more at ease meeting everyone at this conference vs other tech conferences. The RWDevCon crew and attendees have made this conference a psychological safe environment for me.”
  • “It’s definitely not natural for me to go up to strangers and talk to them and I felt like the conference environment made it a lot easier for me to go out of my comfort zone.”
  • “I love meeting friends and this is the first conference that offered a very open and friendly environment where not all devs were just staring at their computers/phones and open to meet & talk.”
For the extroverts: It would be amazing if you could do me a favor and help out the introverts in the crowd. Please try your best to get outside of your normal groups, and say hi to random people – especially if you see anyone on their own. You never know – you might make a lifelong friend.

Where To Go From Here?

At RWDevCon 2018, you’ll meet a ton of friendly new people, and have a blast. Just like Mic Pringle! :]

Although attending a conference is all about the people, don’t forget we have an amazing schedule jam-packed with 18 advanced hands-on tutorials as well.

It’s going to be our best event ever, and we hope to see you there! Register today: our $100 off early bird discount ends soon.

Ray Wenderlich

Ray is part of a great team - the raywenderlich.com team, a group of over 100 developers and editors from across the world. He and the rest of the team are passionate both about making apps and teaching others the techniques to make them.

When Ray’s not programming, he’s probably playing video games, role playing games, or board games.

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