Fireside Cocoa ‘19

Last weekend I reached outside of my comfort zone a bit.

Curtis Hurbert, Indie Dev and maker of Slopes, hosts a yearly retreat for Apple platform developers and friends. I’d never met Curtis before, I only knew him through Twitter, I’m generally socially anxious around new people, and I’ve only been snowboarding twice before, most recently in 2012, so there were plenty of reasons for me to ignore this event.

Despite those concerns, I was still interested when Curtis tweeted about opening up Fireside Cocoa 2019. I’ve always enjoyed opportunities to come together with members of the iOS Developer community, either at WWDC adjacent events or smaller conferences like SwiftFest, and this seemed like not only would this allow me to spend time with, get to know, and ask questions of developers much smarter and more successful than myself.

Since this event was distinctively not a conference though I was pretty nervous about taking this leap without the safety net of talks or sessions that would provide an easy conversation topic, and also about my lack of snowboarding expertise. In the weeks leading up I was getting more and more anxious, wondering if I should just bow out, email Curtis saying something else came up and offer my place to someone else who wanted to join. It would have been a very silly, cowardly thing to do, but I’ve been known to give in to that anxiety in the past when it comes to events like this. I couldn’t be happier that I resisted that urge.

The event was a blast. I made some great new friends, talked a lot about code habits, testing, and I got to offer up my knowledge when I had answers to a question. I got to spend time in Vermont, which is just lovely this time of year, play around with Slopes (thanks for the Day Pass Curtis!), and fall down a mountain a lot. Not to mention the evening hot tub sessions, complete with the occasional snow bath to keep the blood pumping.

It was great to feel like I became a deeper part of this community I love so much, and to get the opportunity to meet, chat with, and learn from people I really respect.

And I’m glad everyone got to see me make a fool of myself playing Just Dance on Switch :)

Among other things the weekend really made me realize that I should take part in more meetups around Boston. Most of the crew knew eachother from CocoaHeads Philly, and while I’ve got to a couple iOS Dev focused meetup events I’ve never become a regular presence, preferring to maintain my own social circle of developers through Coffee & Code type gatherings. I think once I go full remote (another goal of 2019), it’d be a good way to get out of the house and maintain a presence in the Boston area. If you go to SwiftCoders or CocoaHeads Boston, reach out! I’d love to meet you and chat about these events. I’ll be heading to the next sessions of both (skipping Feburary CocoaHeads because V-Day, but I’ll be there in March.)

So thanks again to Curtis and the whole Fireside Cocoa 2019 crew for putting together such a fun, educational, somewhat relaxing weekend. Can’t wait to do it again in 2020!