05-01-2013 03:29 PM
Hello Devs (and hopefully someone from BB with their insight)...
I realize this isn't per say a dev question directly (like how to fix something, get around an issue etc), but it is directly related to Air and an event that will have dev support as part of Black Berry Jam Orlando.
I have been battling between cost effectiveness of going to my second Blackberry Jam versus using the money elsewhere (especially since my slow brain has taken so long and missed the early bird special price). I had a blast last year and I was able to find many useful seminars including many on the business end such as marketing, and the one on one with the air guy was great.
One of the main sticking points, was the lack of Air Sessions in the last one I went too. For someone who is nearly done with a fairly large app project, does it make any sense to go, or is the money better put to use in marketing channels and maybe some last minute design/social spends? Would I be better off saving those approximately 3 days of time and continue to improve my own app? Can I just wait for the info/news to come through normal channels? Make no mistake, I am currently a full time BB air developer though.
I hope this thread can help others who are also considering it, and trying to determine what other benefits are present from an Air Developer point of view (especially since this conference seems to be a linked one instead of just for devs).
If you are a regular attendee of Jam conferences and develop for Air would love to hear from you too.
Thanks everyone for your input!
05-01-2013 05:10 PM
This is one of those questions where the answer will be different for everyone.
In general I think the keynote, conference sessions & networking is well worth it. If there is something you are stuck on... there will be someone there that can help.
The motivation to build apps and the excitement around the platform will be at a very high peak during the week and you'll be amongst a great community of developers and BlackBerry staff that want you to succeed.
Like yourself I had a blast last year and I'm anxious to go this year too. (I think you'll get $150 off the price as an alumni member now too)
Will there be a lot of focus on AIR apps/development? I'm not sure... but like yourself I did and still make AIR apps but I've also accepted that Cascades has a lot to offer too (and its actually not that hard) so I'd recommend going to some Cascades sessions also to get familiar with what it can do - you may find that you'll have interest in doing apps in both.
Finally even though it isn't designed as a place to try and sell your apps... you'll have a captivated market of BlackBerry owners that are interested in what you are developing... and should they like your app you may find yourself getting sales just by being there and spreading the word yourself.
I'm signed up to go, picked all my sessions... now I just have to wait a bit more to go! ;-)
05-02-2013 07:50 AM
It is different for everyone. I'm not going mainly because I just wen to JAM Amsterdam and even though it is a "couple of days", with travel, it kind of takes your week away. They are good to go. I doubt there will be anthing for AIR developers since they are really only pushing Cascased and WebWorks. There might be something to demo AIR 3.5, but I doubt it will be a session. If there is a roadmap session, that is good to go to. AIR 3.5 is suppose to be in BB10 10.2. Might be good to learn something about the future of PlayBook with BB10. Definitily go and learn Cascades. It will be everytone's fallback if AIR gets discontinued in the futuere. If AIR 3.5 with Stage3D has on-par performance with Cascades, probably good to stay with it. Since no one knows what Adobe is doing with AIR, if they suddenly say "no more mobile AIR" (which I doubt right now), BB will drop it as well.
I dont think you will sale any of your apps from just being there, since most of your interactions will be with other developers. You really have to make an effort to market your app at forums like this (e.g. where a bright color shirt with your app logo on it).
The show is worth going if you have the time. Plus you get a free Z10! That along can offset the hotel cost.
For any AIR developers going, please report back any good stuff back onto the forums.
05-02-2013 03:39 PM - edited 05-02-2013 03:40 PM
I really appreciate both of your responses. I was pretty close to changing my mind and going partially because it's not just developers but also IT staff but overall, it's a great market to show something that is in Alpha or Pre-Alpha stages of development and get feedback (and partly because I would meet energetic developers like Steve_Web). Sales never entered into the picture here because it would likely be very minimal.
However, it's not really that good for something that is near a public release and especially when it's going PB first and then BB10 and then cloud services last (if it was bb10 first it would have made much more sense). Also, since I had gone to a previous one, I think I managed to get most of the non-air items in my basket along with the experience and idea of landscape in respect to BB. That coupled in with low number of responses here from Air developers and no BB staff offering their idea of what the experience will bring for us outlanders of the Air world. The Z10 is a nice touch, however I have one, the only benefit of going might have been possibly getting a Q10 dev machine but I'll be buying one as my permanent device soon anyways.
jtegen, I would really like to thank you (and a few other forum dwellers), you guys have been outstanding at responding and helping us Air developers on tough issues. Even though you may have not responded directly to all of my questions (making a little fun of you here especially because honestly I didn't ask very many and you literally have responded to probably half the questions that were ever answered lol), I was able to find numerous answers upon answers to issues I ran into during the development of my app that you provided solutions too. I have a bad feeling that once I launch my app, it won't do well enough and I'll have to return to my consulting side of my business and retire my pure product development side of things. So I just wanted to thank you in case I don't post here again.
As TH said in his recent interview about the direction of BB and what he had to do to manage BB through some tough times. When things are not going really well, sometimes you have to be a dictator (or more controlling and less fun) in costs and how you spend your resources and time and make some hard decisions. With that I will not be attending this year, but I hope like jtegen, someone here like steve_web will maybe relay some nice facts about any air changes!
05-02-2013 08:38 PM
I will be going to BBLive, but have to admit that it doesn't really make financial sense to attend.
Because I feel that the networking (and a few days in Florida) are more valuable than the actual sessions, the lack of actual AIR contact doesn't bother me. (I also don't do too much work in AIR anymore but that is a different story).