Last week the PhoneGap team held their 2nd annual European conference in the vibrant city of Amsterdam. Appropriately named PhoneGap Day EU, this was a conference perfectly crafted for every level of hybrid mobile app developer who uses the Cordova/PhoneGap framework.
The organizers picked a wonderful venue for the conference as well: the Compagnietheater. Centrally located in an older section of Amsterdam, it was a great spot for a conference that showcases some of the best of what the open source movement has brought to hybrid mobile app development.
PhoneGap Day conferences are relatively unique in that there is only one track for attendees. Each session is only 20 minutes long (10 minutes for vendor sessions - and let me tell you, does that get interesting). This format is definitely a double-edged sword: if you get bored you only have to wait a few minutes for the next speaker, but more likely, the speakers will leave you wanting more!
Day one of the conference was filled with workshops geared towards every level of PhoneGap developer. Christophe Coenraets and Holly Schinsky led a series of workshops that took you from a beginner PhoneGap developer to architecting more advanced apps (and what you can do with Cordova plugins). Google and Microsoft also gave workshops on how to develop Chrome Packaged Apps and Windows Phone 8 apps using the Cordova framework - separately of course :).
I personally had the privilege of not only attending the conference, but speaking as well. My session was on app store rejection - tips and tricks on how to avoid rejection, especially on the iOS app store. For those of you who are curious, my slides and notes are available for download. This talk was loosely based on my Icenium blog post on the same subject.
(Thanks to Vincent Hoogsteder for the picture and thanks to Reddit for the slide idea!)
Every speaker did a great job, and no I'm not just saying that. I'd like to take a moment to recognize the speakers here and encourage you to follow them on Twitter and/or look into their topics more closely:
The list goes on and on: Michael Brooks on the PhoneGap CLI was great and showcased the power of the CLI, Fil Maj showed off a really interesting end-to-end testing platform called appium, and Ally Ogilvie dove into the impressive Ejecta framework for developing performant HTML5 games with Cordova.
You may be asking, what does all of this have to do with Icenium? Well, Icenium uses the Cordova framework at its core, so everything that has to do with PhoneGap directly applies to what we are all building with Icenium. In fact, with the latest release of Icenium, we are now using the latest version of Cordova and include the Icenium Extension for Visual Studio as another development option!
If you are considering attending a future PhoneGap Day conference, trust me when I say it is well worth the time. It doesn't matter if you are a complete beginner or a seasoned hybrid mobile app developer, you will get something out of this conference and meet some cool people as well.
I'd like to send a big thanks out to some of the organizers, including Colene, Brian, Martijn, and PPK. Without them this never would have been possible.
Rob Lauer is Senior Manager of Developer Relations at Progress and has a passion for mobile app development and the open web. You can find Rob rambling as @RobLauer on Twitter.