One of the most frequent questions we have heard from DSConf attendees (and potential DSConf attendees) in the past weeks has been: “What do we need to bring along?”
As you know from our agenda, DSConf is heavy on practical content, with labs and workshops making up a good half of the schedule. To get the most out of these workshops, you should definitely bring your laptop, and make sure it is capable enough for development work.
Depending on the technologies you are most interested in, your laptop can be a MacBook, a Windows machine, or either (and, of course, on most MacBooks you can nicely run Windows in a VM, giving you the both options for the weight of one). If you own a mobile device for or ore of the platforms we are covering (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch; an Android phone or a Windows Phone 7 phone), we recommend you bring that as well. All the tool chains come with simulators that let you run applications on your laptop, but the experience is not quite the same, and there’s nothing like seeing your app run on an actual device!
Of course, there’s also an Apple store close by to the MGM Grand, from what i see. We’ve certainly heard of other conferences where attendees went out during lunch to buy their first iPad or iPhone during lunch, so they could play along .
Most of the cross-platform and multi-tier development topics will focus on Delphi Prism, which you can run both on Windows (in Visual Studio or MonoDevelop) or natively on the Mac (in MonoDevelop). We’ll also be touching on Objective-C development using Xcode, for iOS devices; to work with that you will need a Mac.
As we get into mobile development, the platform choice becomes a bit less flexible: for iOS development (whether using MonoTouch in Delphi Prism, or using Xcode), a Mac is needed, while Windows Phone 7 development, using Visual Studio and Silverlight, is tied to Windows. For Android development with MonoDroid, either Windows or the Mac OS X will do.
To sum up, you’ll need:
- Laptop: Your best choice is a Mac with a Windows VM, as this allows you to use all the tools we cover; but even with Windows-only or a VM-less Mac, you will be able to follow along large portions of the workshops.
- Mobile device: if you have one, bring it! You’ll have more fun.
Of course, if you absolutely can’t bring a laptop (or don’t have a Mac but are interested in iOS), worry not — i’m sure you will find a fellow attendee to join up with for the workshops and work together.
So, what about software? In general, if you can prepare by installing all the tools we’ll be using on your laptop before the conference, that will of course give you a good head start. If not, that’s not a problem though, as we’ll be providing media with most of the important tools, so you can easily install them (and without long download times over hotel WiFi), if needed. This includes:
- Delphi Prism XE+ Preview* Trial (Delphi Prism XE+ runs on Windows and Mac OS X)
- MonoTouch Trial (runs with Delphi Prism on Mac OS X)
- MonoDroid Trial (runs with Delphi Prism on Windows and Mac OS X)
- Windows Phone 7 Tools (run with Delphi Prism on Windows)
- Data Abstract “Spring 2011” Preview* for .NET Trial (runs with Delphi Prism on Windows or Mac OS X)
- Data Abstract for Xcode Trial (runs with Xcode on Mac OS X)
(*You’ll be the first to get your hands on new preview releases of Delphi Prism XE+ and Data Abstract for .NET, both with new and improved MonoTouch, MonoDroid and Windows Phone 7 support.)
Again, all of these we’ll provide for you at the conference. (RemObjects Software will also have very attractive offers for anyone looking to purchase licenses of Delphi Prism or Data Abstract at the conference.)
I hope this gives you a good idea for what to bring and how to prepare your laptop for DSConf. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment — and i’m looking forward to seeing all of you in Las Vegas next month!