Top 10 iOS Conferences in 2016

Check out the top 10 iOS conferences in 2016, including WWDC, AltConf, 360iDev, and more! By Ray Wenderlich.

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If you’re an iOS developer, you should absolutely attend at least one iOS conference a year.

This is important so that you can keep your skills up-to-date, get a fresh burst of energy for your job, and to connect with the rest of the iOS community.

Luckily, there are tons of great iOS conferences to choose from. But which should you choose?

That’s what this post is about – a list of the the Top 10 iOS Conferences in 2016! To come up with this list, I surveyed over 300 developers, reached out to specific individuals to get their input, and merged this with my own opinions.

Please remember that this article is just my own personal opinion based on what I’ve heard from team members and the community. If I miss out on a conference you really like, please add your comments to this post, so everyone else can learn about it too.

The Conferences

Without further ado, let’s dive in to the top 10 iOS conferences of 2016!

Note: These conferences are listed in no particular order.

1) WWDC and AltConf

WWDC and AltConf

By far, the #1 choice among developers is Apple’s official conference – WWDC.

The content at WWDC is great, but to me that’s not the selling point – you can always watch the videos at home. What’s great about WWDC is two things:

  • WWDC Labs: At the WWDC labs, you can meet and ask questions to Apple engineers. Come prepared with questions!
  • Socializing: WWDC is the single largest gathering of iOS developers all year, and has tons of parties and social events all week. This is a great way to connect with old friends, and make new ones.

Getting a WWDC ticket isn’t easy – in recent years there has been a lottery system, with a smaller and smaller chance of getting a “golden ticket.”

However, even if you don’t get a ticket, you should consider coming to San Francisco anyway to socialize, and to attend an independent event that happens the same week – AltConf, which has a lot of great talks by members of the iOS community.

“WWDC – I love it. Highlight of my year – so much so that I’ve already booked flights, and plan to attend AltWWDC if I don’t get a ticket. San Francisco buzzes during one of the best weather-weeks of the year thanks to the influx of tech-visitors. Don’t miss The Bash on Thursday, the Design Review sessions and the lunchtime sessions – which have been increasingly impressive the last few years.”Gemma Barlow

“WWDC is the conference that transcends all other iOS conferences. Developers from around the world make their pilgrimage to the the Moscone Center to not only hear what new devices, frameworks, and other Apple tech they’ll get this year, but to get rare face time with Apple designers and engineers. The conference is only half of the event, as during WWDC week there are countless meetups and parties for both those with and without tickets.”Erik Kerber

“For the first developer conference I’ve attended, WWDC smashed all my expectations and turned me into a blob of hype and excitement. Apple engineers in the labs are both friendly and helpful so I would highly recommend you go talk to them if you get a chance. AltConf, which takes place across the street from WWDC, featured some extremely high quality talks from several well known individuals. If you don’t win the WWDC lottery, you can attend AltConf and still catch some Apple engineers in coffee shops all around the city.”Jack Wu

“Dub-dub is amazing, exhausting, expensive, and a wonderful way to meet people. . . .However if you’re financially constrained, it may not be worth the price. The ticket alone is expensive, as are getting to and around SF. Hotels in San Francisco can be stupid expensive, kind of sketchtastic, or even both. If you’re watching your budget, it’s probably a lot more cost-efficient to buy an Apple TV, take the week off work, and watch videos as Apple puts them up to stream. You lose a lot of opportunities to talk to other people in person, but depending on your financial situation or personality type, that sacrifice may well be worth the several thousand dollars you get to hang on to instead of spending it on WWDC.”Ellen Shapiro

2) 360iDev


Other than WWDC, 360iDev is the oldest – and biggest – iOS conference on this list.

I’ve been to 360iDev many times over the years, and always have a blast. John Wilker does a great job organizing the event, with a nice mix of technical, design, and non-technical talks – it has a little bit of everything for everyone.

“360iDev is the biggest independent iOS developer conference in the United States. If WWDC and AltConf are too spendy for you but you want a chance to reconnect with your colleagues, this is your next best bet. There are always a large variety of different talk topics. They accept a lot of first time speakers, so it’s always possible to discover someone you haven’t seen before. Plus, it’s the last remaining place for you to be able to participate in Stump the Experts.”Janie Clayton

“A fantastic conference that mixes technical talks with discussions on working as an indie. The conference is located in downtown Denver, and the hosts work hard to integrate with the local area. The workshops and keynotes are definitely worth a mention, since they alone are worth attending for. The organizers have done a huge amount for the community, and really know how to put on a fantastic conference.”Sam Davies

“360iDev is the biggest conference I go to every year. Its packed with indies and those that make up the community I love being a part of. Every year its a great chance to see old friends and make new ones while enjoying the Apple Community at large.”Ryan Poolos