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A mostly-fresh start

Developer Conferences

I just read an article on a tech news site that I generally respect which took shots at GDC for its code-heavy treatises, as compared to other industry events like E3 or PAX.

For those who haven’t been, GDC stands for Game Developers Conference. It’s explicit purpose for game and game-adjacent developers, programmers, designers, artists, to share notes, compare techniques, and get into the nitty-gritty details of game development.

If your complaint about GDC is that it’s taking a more intellectual route compared to E3 or PAX, it’s because its not for YOU, game journalist. The other events you mention exist explicitly for your purposes. Stop dumping on the one event designed for game developers to get together and talk shop.

At least developers can still buy tickets to GDC. I think this is at least in part because they have a separate ticket just for the show floor/keynote hangers on like this article’s author. WWDC has failed in this regard because they insist on bundling major product announcements with what is otherwise a perfectly civilized developer conference. I would wager that WWDC tickets would be accessible to more actual developers if Apple sold a separate keynote-only ticket, or even had the big product-announcements the week before so WWDC could also have the reputation for being a code-heavy treatises like GDC.

Demand for and Apple centric developers conference is so high that several independent conferences have sprung up over the last few years. NSConf, Úll, and Çingleton all look to be doing good work, although they are very indie focused. It’s hard to get approval and funding for these smaller non-mothership based conferences for corporate devs. These smaller conferences are also missing the extreme press scrutiny of the bigger official xDCs, but I think that’s a good thing.