CocoaConf Chicago and Core Audio

Haven’t had a chance to write on my blog recently. I went to CocoaConf in Chicago this last weekend and it was an intense experience. I thought I would have more down time, but not only were the days long, they were packed with lots of content and by the time the end of the day came my brain had run out of available RAM!

I met a lot of amazing people. I saw a lot of amazing speakers. Among my favorites were Jonathan Penn and Daniel H. Steinberg. I went up to Dan after his keynote and told him he was my new career role model and he looked at me and said, “Oh God honey, why??”

However, the talk that made the most impact on my life as it is was the Core Audio talk by Chris Adamson. I bought his Core Audio book back in December. I took it on vacation with me between semesters because I thought I could read through it. That went fine until I got to the first code sample. It had code in it that had been deprecated. I discovered why the main method has the autorelease pool in it. It was because before you instantiated an NSPool object, did something, then called the drain pool method.

So, anyway, I got very confused about what stuff was deprecated and what was pertinent for Core Audio, so I set the book to the side until I learned enough to be able to make that determination.

I was super excited to see Chris’s talk. I wanted to go up to him and talk before the talk, but I didn’t really know what to say. At conferences I prefer to go to someone’s talk and then approach them later and talk to them about their talk. So far it has worked. The Core Audio talk was one of the last ones of the conference, so I saw him around for three days without talking to him 🙁

When he started talking about Core Audio, it was a revelation. I noticed that when my brain sees a bunch of unfamiliar stuff, it runs away and hides. I usually have to look at something two or three times before my brain gets used to what it is seeing and is willing to process it.

I did not feel that way with Core Audio. The first time I saw actual Core Audio it was a revelation, an epiphany. I didn’t want to run and hide from it. I wanted to dive into it and absorb it.

I got to talk to Chris after his talk and he is super cool. He is the first person I have encountered in four years who knew the person I named my dog after (her name is Delia Derbyshire). I had a great deal of fun talking to him and I hope that I get to do so again at some point in the future.

After I got back from the conference, I felt energized. I felt like I finally had a grasp of what I am doing. I spent the whole next day coding. I was in the flow.

This is the first time I have gotten into the flow for Objective-C. Before this, I did my homework because it was something I had to do. When I would talk to people who said they would code for hours I was jealous because I wanted to want to code for hours, but I wasn’t there yet. I was afraid it would never happen.

I want to be part of this world. When I go to these conferences and everyone knows each other and they are all familiar with each other’s work. I want to be one of those people. I don’t want to be the nerd that goes to Comic Con once a year so that I can meet the people who create my favorite shows, only to go home and wait for the next year to come so that I can rub elbows with these people. I want to be one of them. I want to walk the walk rather than just be a fan girl.

When I got home I dug into Core Audio. I stayed up all night coding and listening to my internet radio while drinking tea. My husband kept yelling at me about when I was coming to bed and I yelled at him that I was busy and to leave me alone. My dog, Delia, was unhappy that I wasn’t cuddling with her, so she came to my office and gave me disapproving face.

It was glorious. I feel that I now have focus. I know what I want to do. I know what I want to accomplish. I feel confident that this is something I can do and do well.

I feel bad that I didn’t write more about the conference, but if you are reading this post you were probably there and don’t need me to say what it was like!

I am going to code now. Life is amazing.