A few weeks ago I renamed the iPhone developer meet-up from NSiPhoneDevs to NSHappyHour. When I announced the name change I said I would follow up with the reasons behind the name change but I totally spaced and forgot. Thanks to @jlbruno for reminding me to explain the reasons behind the change.
I came up with the name NSiPhoneDevs back at the beginning of the year. I like the name because it’s a good play on words, or rather a good play on prefixes. “NS” is the class name prefix in the foundation framework used by iPhone and Mac developers, but “NS” also stands for North Shore. For those who don’t know, Salem MA is located in Boston’s North Shore area. So NSiPhoneDevs is short for North Shore iPhone Developers.
While I like the name it is not without it’s problems. First, NSiPhoneDevs doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. I for one am guilty of saying “NSiDevs” on more than one occasion. Another issue with the name is some may believe it excludes iPad developers. This is a stretch I know but I’m sure with the release of the iPad there will be more new developers entering the space who consider themselves iPad developers.
The third, and most important reason for the name change, is the name NSiPhoneDevs excludes a major developer group, the Mac developer. I talked with many Mac developers who said they are not interested in the group because it’s iPhone only, and this includes Mac developers who also do iPhone development. My intentions were never to exclude Mac developers. On the contrary, I want more Mac developers to come especially given that I’m doing more Mac desktop development these days.
The iPhone has attracted a large number of developers who come from other platforms including Windows, .NET, and Java. The reasons for moving from another platform to the iPhone varies by developer. Some are interested in mobile development. Some are interested in joining in on the gold rush. For others, including me, the reason is out of love for Cocoa, Objective-C, Xcode, and OS X.
I switched from Windows and web development to work in the world of Apple because, in my opinion, it provides the best developer experience. Programming on my Mac, whether for the desktop or for the devices, is way more fun for me then in Windows, and I find the developer tools to be far better than anything else I have used in recent years.
So back to the NSHappyHour name change. As someone who is also doing Mac development I did not want others in the Mac developer community to feel excluded. After all, we all use a Mac for programming, we use Xcode as our developer IDE, and we work with many of the same core frameworks.
This point hit home for me at NSConference 2010 where I met a lot of people who share the same passion and love for the developer experience provided by the fruit company. It was at this time I realized NSiPhoneDevs is the wrong name.
The NSiPhoneDevs name is good because it builds off the hype that is the iPhone, but at the same time the name is bad because it does not recognized the development community as a whole. At the end of the day we all work with pretty much the same tools and we can learn a lot from one another whether you are writing iPhone/iPad only apps, desktop only apps, or doing all of the above.
So the group is now called NSHappyHour. After all, that’s what the group is really about. Getting together with fellow Cocoa developers to talk shop over a few beers. So if you are writing code and producing apps for the iPhone, iPad and or Mac then NSHappyHour is the perfect gathering for you to socialize, learn, and network while enjoying tasty adult beverages.
For more information about NSHappyHour, visit http://nshappyhour.org.