I just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year!

I have high hopes for 2015 and I hope it will be a great year for all of us :]

Workwise I have a number of project cooking which I will be posting about at length shortly. I’m working on:

  • An awesome workshop for RWDevCon about animations
  • A fantastic inspirational speech for RWDevCon that is still secret, but I promise you that is just great :)
  • A new secret book project – to be revealed very soon
  • A new app & keyboard “Doodle Doodle
  • A new location somewhere in the sun… where I can finally rest after all these above are finished :)

Long story short – I’m motivated and full of hope and expect a plethora of posts throughout January related to the above projects :)

Now it’s time for a post New Year’s diet.

Marin


 

This is just a quick reminder that the iOS8 Feast is ending this Wednesday. On the 22nd of October our big giveaway will happen and raywenderlich.com will give prizes of $12,000 value to a number of participants.

Getting part and increasing your chances of winning is very easy just re-tweet the giveaway announcement!

 

 

The iOS8 Feast is a month long celebration of the release of iOS8 – during that month the team at raywenderlich released all our new books and the updates to our existing learning materials.

The iOS8 Feast overview

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On the 17th of September we released Swift by Tutorials – a brand new book to teach you everything you need to know to start writing Swift applications.


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On the 24th of September we released iOS8 by Tutorials – the book that covers in details all new APIs in iOS8. All in Swift, all awesome.


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On the 1st of October we released (my favorite) update – the second edition of iOS Games by Tutorials – a fully re-written in Swift and re-imagined for iOS8. We worked hard on iOS Games by Tutorials 2nd Edition to add a full introduction to Scene Editor, Playgrounds, and all new APIs in the iOS8 release


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On the 8th of October (and throughout the iOS8 Feast) – Matthijs from the team has released updates to all four parts of the iOS Apprentice – the book to teach absolute beginners developing for the iPhone in Swift.


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Finally on the 15th of October Core Data by Tutorials came out – a brand new book about programming with Core Data in Swift. The first Swift Core Data book out there!

So – it’s been a fantastic month for all of the authors on the raywenderlich.com author team. And those $12,000 in prizes are waiting for the lucky winners, it’s not too late to send a tweet and get a chance to win some!


Marin’s honest speaking advice

Before I started speaking at conferences I carefully read through a lot of advices on the Internet, and it really seems like lots of people wanted to give some on their blog. There was even somebody who created a while ago a site about speaking advices (http://speaking.io)

It’s been a while though and after I spoke at few events I realized that most of what I read didn’t apply to me at all (and I doubt it applies to many), so I thought I’d round up some advice list of my own.

Hopefully it’ll help people who just start speaking or want to start doing that.

Disclaimer: Those below are strictly based on my experience, they might apply/be relevant only partially or not at all to your case.

The event

  • Topic: You need to talk about something that is relevant to the general conference topic. Speaking specifically about iOS or Android on a Mobile conference is fine, but showcasing CSS hacks on a Geolocation event is a recipe for trouble – people most probably won’t understand it and when they do that they’ll be bored.
  • Location: Local events are very different than international events. For me local events are about showing off who’s doing better between competing companies – I don’t need any of this, because I don’t care. I like international events – I find that people there are coming over most often to do networking and have fun. And I care about those :)
  • Type: Conferences with 100+ attendees are fun – so much fun! And you get to meet tons of people, and everything happens pretty randomly. On a smaller scale event – say if you are a guest speaker at a local meetup of 20 people you might expect to be treated as “the guest”, have dinner out with few guys, etc. Choose your flavor.

Your presentation

  • Topic: Please present on a topic you feel comfortable with. I was on an “event” where somebody from the first row kept correcting the presenter and that was a disaster. That was a free event so let’s say it was kind of okay, but for an event where people pay money to attend – presenting wrong facts is a no go.
  • Presentation intro: A lot of people start their presentation with a number of slides that describe who they are and what they did: “I was born here and here, graduated in top 10 of my class, I worked on this and that app, …”. Believe me – nobody wants to know this. At least not before you presented anything. People are already sitting in front of you, they are already sold on you and your talk, don’t bore them with the story of your life, but get to the topic they came to learn/hear about. Put 1 slide with your name in big letters, and a second slide with the 1 thing or 2 things you want to tell about yourself, and move on to your topic.
  • Presentation outro: Again – lot of people would have a slide with lots of code as their last one and then cut to an empty screen that says “Fin” or “The End” then cross their hands and ask “Questions?”. Don’t do that. Remember you skipped on long introductions? Now is the time to ease the audience out of your talk. Say that’s the end and move on to a couple of slides about yourself or your product. Include a URL or Twitter handle, or a QR code and leave that slide on screen. People who are interested in the topic will notice and get in contact with you. But please – leave the slide with your contacts on screen, during questions and all.

Presentation format

Your content format depends strongly on what you present but here are some advices based on what I’ve done or seen in the past.

  • Code samples: I’ve seen presentations that start with 5-6 slides about the presenter and his whole life and then just switch to an infinite amount of slides that are full of source code top to bottom. Tips & tricks rarely works as a presentation. I’ve seen some that were okay, but tips and screens full of code are a recipe for people just pulling their laptops and start checking mail.
  • Live coding: I’ve seen many times people say that live coding is a NO NO NO. My own opinion is that live coding is YES YES YES. Yes it can go wrong, yes the wifi can go down, yes you can make a mistake. Just rehearse everything few times at home, have the source code starter AND completed project prepared, and make sure you talk to the organizers how important is for the connection to work, and tell them exactly what you will do. That’s it – when in the end things work out the audience will be very happy – I promise.
  • Workshops: If you stay in front of a group of people and show them stuff on screen – it’s not a workshop. In a workshop people do stuff themselves and you help them out (if needed, usually people are smart enough to figure things out – and that’s what makes it fun for them). What I’d do is to have a 20% – 25% of the time at the beginning to present the basics on the beamer, live code a bit, and then put people to do stuff themselves. I’d put task instructions on screen – sometimes just spelling the code other times describing what the code would do and let people figure it out.

The community

  • Questions: Very few people can attend a presentation and then come up with an interesting question right away. On my talks I usually try to take 2 max 3 questions, and I’d wrap it up. But I always make sure to say that I’m there the whole day, and I want to talk to everyone about the presentation topic or anything else. And then I do hang around just in front of the hall where the presentation was or in the lobby, so that I can actually meet people while they are still excited about what I presented.
  • Speakers: The other speakers on the event are some of the people you really want to network with. After all – you have a common interest (speaking) and they tend to be quite interesting guys (they got invited to speak after all). If there’s a speakers’ dinner or so make sure to get to know as many people as you can. It’s tons of fun!
  • Douchebags: You will meet some of them. A bunch of guys on an ego trip – just released their website or first app last year, and this year they are all over the place trying to show how much they don’t care. You’ll recognize them fast – they are usually in a little group, they don’t attend any of the other speaker’s talks, and their presentation are basically a pitch for their app. Just ignore those guys, they’ll never say “hi” or so anyway. (Brutally honest I know – this is what this article is about after all)

The presentation software

  • Keynote: I personally love Keynote. It’s easy to create shapes and diagrams, to import and edit images, and they have some very simple themes that you can use for just anything. In the end it’s not the presentation theme, the fonts, or the colors – it’s your content that is important. And Keynote allows me to create content very fast, which is important for me. Additionally I use often (especially for workshops) animations in Keynote – they allow me to introduce a complicated concept piece by piece, demonstrate animations we are about to build, etc.
  • Deckset: It’s getting popular with speakers lately, you can give it a try too. I’m not a big fan since their themes are very recognizable and on a conference where more speakers use that app presentations tend to seem visually similar. (Which is not a problem with simple theme, but with a special font/colors it jumps in your eyes every time) It’s an interesting idea anyway – you can use Markdown to quickly create simple presentations if that’s your fancy.

Bonus: Speaker’s essential pack-list

Okay here are the essentials you really don’t want to leave home:

  • your laptop obviously – it has your presentation, and your email
  • adapter – if you fly overseas check if you can use your plugs or you need a converter
  • mini-DVI to VGA – you’d be surprised but some events don’t have one for you, so bring yours just in case
  • remote control – that depends, I personally can present also without it, but if you can’t – don’t forget it
  • business cards – believe it or not, it’s still the easiest way to exchange contacts. Not cards of your employer though, your own personal cards
  • cash – check if the country you fly to generally accepts cards, if not you’ll need to carry cash around with you (don’t laugh – in some European countries you simply can’t pay with credit cards)
  • usb stick – keep the most important files on a stick. You’ll be happy about it if the wifi fails you
  • good mood – yay! you’re speaking! you’re gonna have great time :)

Alright … that’s all I’ve got for now. Hopefully you’ll find this list helpful. Write a comment or email me if you have any comments, feedback, or some extra advices.

Cheers, Marin


Book: iOS8 by Tutorials

As every year ever since iOS5 also this year the ray wenderlich tutorial team has prepared a book to teach you the new APIs in iOS8. Available at iOS8 launch the book goes in depth to unravel the mysteries of:

  • Adaptive UI with Size Classes, Universal Storyboards, and more
  • App Extensions
  • Cloud Kit
  • Xcode 6 and the new development tools
  • TestFlight integration
  • Handoff
  • Visual effects, and more

14 of the best authors on the tutorial team worked together to produce an almost encyclopedic coverage of the new APIs in iOS8. You can read end to end to become an iOS8 expert, or you can just focus on the chapter, which are of immediate interest to you, and leave the rest as a quick reference for later on.

The book covers all the latest tech: iOS8 APIs, Xcode 6, and Swift.

iOS by Tutorials is a part of a 3 books bundle, all written by the fantastic authors from the ray wenderlich tutorial team, which teaches everything about iOS8 and Swift. The bundle includes Swift by Tutorials, iOS8 by Tutorials, and Core Data by Tutorials. All books covering the latest tech: iOS8 APIs, Xcode 6, and Swift. Last but not least: you save off the books price if you buy the bundle!

To learn more about Swift by Tutorials and the book bundle visit this page: www.ios8-by-tutorials.com

Or click this banner and go straight to the book store to buy instantly the 3 book bundle:

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Book: Swift by Tutorials

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RwDevCon – a raywenderlich.com conference in Washington, Feb 2015

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