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App Developer Magazine Definitive Guide to the Top Mobile App Developer Conferences for 2015

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Posted Monday, January 05, 2015 by STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus


App Developer Magazine Definitive Guide to the Top Mobile App Developer Conferences for 2015
You would think that we would be able to stop and take a breath as we close out 2014, but noooo; I’ll be on an early Southwest flight to Las Vegas to catch the first three events of the year – ATT Developer’s Conference, AppNation and CES – all the first full week of January 2105. It’s going to be a crazy year for sure!

I really haven’t even thought about my conference schedule for the rest of the year past these events, so I put some thought into it and here are my suggestions on events and conferences that mobile developers should consider attending (as well as the rest of you who are interested in mobile ecosystem).

This is not a comprehensive list and just because I did not include an event does not mean I don’t think its worth of attending, I could only include so many here so any omission is one of the lack of article space not of that event’s relevance.

Biggies You Really Can’t Miss

- Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC): The ultimate in app developer conferences, it’s a see and be seen event with a limited number of public tickets available which are snapped up in literally minutes when the event is announced. Apple usually announces the event dates around April. The event has been held in San Francisco in June for the past several years, so if you can score a spot, block off your week now.

- Google I/O: Google typically holds its developer conference in May, although it has been held in June a couple of times since 2010 - including last year’s event. It is also held in San Francisco and because the Android system depends so much on third party participation from a hardware standpoint, included is a focus on companies other than Google. Expect the announcement of the dates to be some time in early spring.

- Facebook F8: F8 is scheduled for March 25 – 26 in San Francisco. Facebook has become a marketing powerhouse and as a developer, you just can’t ignore the impact the company has on the app economy. This developer conference features talks and overviews of Facebook products to help developers monetize apps.

- Microsoft Build: Microsoft doesn’t have the footprint in mobile of its two big competitors, however it is still a tech powerhouse and the smart money says to keep up with its products and services. The event is scheduled for April 29 – May 1 in San Francisco.

 - Mobile World Congress 2015: This event is so big (like CES) that its hard to get past all of the noise of everything going on. There is definitely more than can be covered here. The event is March 2 – 5 in Barcelona. 

 - DeveloperWeek 2015: Running from February 6 – 12, this is one of San Francisco’s largest one-week tech event series, with over 60 week-long events including the DeveloperWeek 2015 Conference & Expo, Accelerate 2015 (1,000 plus attendee hackathon) GirlDevWeek Events, Robotics Dev Summit, DevOps Summit, 1,000 plus attendee tech hiring mixer, and over 60 city-wide workshops, open houses, drink-ups, across San Francisco. Get plenty of rest before attending this one. 

App Centric Events

- AppNation: As I mentioned earlier, this event literally kicks off the Apple event year now as it is a partner event with CES. It features a big lineup of speakers and sessions, and expect to see a lot of heavy hitters attending as they are in town for CES. 

- AppsWorld: This event has been held twice a year with a spring event in San Francisco and a fall event in London. This year they are adding another event in Berlin on April 22 – 23. The San Francisco edition previously had been held in mid February and, to accommodate the Berlin event, has been moved to May 12-13. The London conference will be held Nov 18-19. These events represent a catch-all for mobile publishing with an active exhibitor base.

- AnDevCon: This Android event offers technical sessions and much more of interest to Android developers. The event will be held in Boston July 29-31.

- DevCon5:  This HTML5 designer and developer conference will be held July 21-22 in New York. It offers an enterprise focus on UI design, back-end development, and HTML5 business models.

Gaming

- London Mobile Games Week: Just like the name says, is a week long series of industry wide events throughout London for professionals in the tech, creative and entertainment sectors, with a core focus on mobile games. Held January 19 – 23, the event is anchored by the MGF London event which offers a ‘mobile-first’ forum for games industry professionals.

- GDC: On March 2 – 6 everyone who is anyone in the gaming industry converges in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference. It offers an interesting opportunity for the smaller niche players in the industry to share the spotlight with the international heavyweights. There are plenty of ancillary events including an independent game festival, parties and much more. The company that puts on the event also offers produces GDC Next (2015 date to be announced) in conjunction with the App Developers Conference (ADC).

- Mobile Gaming USA: A smaller event that offers cross platform mobile game strategies to grow acquisition, discoverability and monetization. Held June 10-12 in San Francisco, its worth attending just to hear the heavyweight speaker lineup including John Riccitiello - CEO of Unity; Bob Meese - Head of Games Business Development for Google Play; and Steve Carlin - Global Head of Gaming for Facebook.

Company Specific Developer Events

 - Samsung Developer Conference: The undisputed worldwide heavyweight champion for smartphones, Samsung just wrapped up its 2014 developer conference in November and should be hosting its 2015 event around the same time in San Francisco. The company has a long reach in everything smart tech and you probably will want to keep up with what the company has cooking.

- Qualcomm Upling: If your carrying an Android smartphone it probably has a Qualcomm chip in it. The Uplinq developer event focuses on mobile, computing and wireless through technical education sessions, business content and networking opportunities. The 2015 date has not been set, however the 2014 event was held in September in San Francisco, so that’s a safe date to plan for now.

- Twitter Flight: 2014 saw Twitter launch its first conference for mobile developers as a launch pad for new company initiatives. Last year saw the introduction of Twitter Fabric, which is the company’s move to tie together the recently purchased Mopub and Crashlytics platform with its Twitter marketing opportunities. The 2014 event was held in October, not sure when the next event will be scheduled.

- Yahoo Mobile Developer Conference: Yahoo plans to showcase its recent Flurry acquisition (as well as other mobile related purchases) with its first ever mobile developer conference on February 19, 2015 in San Francisco. No details have been released yet, but expect to see something soon since the event is just around the corner.

Enterprise Events

- IBM Innovate: This new event combines three former IBM events - Impact, Innovate and Pulse — into one. It’s a huge event with 1,500 plus technical sessions, 42 tracks, 8 streams, 3 general sessions, hundreds of hands-on labs and certification opportunities. With IBM’s recent affiliation with Apple on the enterprise front, expect a heavy dose of news on that partnership. The event is February 22 – 26 in Las Vegas.

- CTIA Super Mobility Week: Another Las Vegas event held September 9 – 11. The event bills itself as the largest mobile event in North America and it features the usual assortment of speakers, exhibits, seminars and more.

- Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit: So what makes this event worthy of attending? Unfettered and unparalleled access to some of the smartest people in the industry – Gartner Analysts. Companies pay a lot of money for Gartner analysis and you get access to over 60 analysts in one location. The 2014 event was held in December in Las Vegas; look for a similar date in 2015.

If you know of an event I have missed, please feel free to let me know in the comments section here. 
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