What's love got to do with it? CocoaLove 2015

October 13, 2015 / Ben DiFrancesco

Love is a funny word. We use it to describe the deepest, most passionate of human relationships, but also how we feel about cheese fries.

“I love you.”

“I love cheese fries.”

What then, do you make of a “tech conference” that has love in the name and declares itself “A conference about people, not tech.”

The best definition of love I’ve heard is: “To will the good of the other for the sake of the other.” This describes well what I saw on display at the CocoaLove conference here in Philly.

It started with Dave Wiskus’ keynote. It was a raw, real story of the people who had helped him, most especially his dear friend Alex King, who passed away in September. Alex and others had helped Dave with no expectation of being repaid. In fact, they helped him knowing he’d likely never be able to pay them back. They willed what was best for him, simply for his own sake. That’s love.

I felt that same kind of love upon entering the Cocoa community a few years back when I began attending Philly CocoaHeads. People helped me simply for the sake of helping me. If they hadn’t, there’s no way I could have gone from the hobbyist I was at the time to the full time iOS developer I am today. To all of you: thanks.

I don’t think this quality is unique to our community, but I am proud it seems present in such generous proportions.

I attend a few technical conferences each year and I try to come away with resolutions from each. These usually involve new frameworks, languages, or techniques I want to commit to learning more about— to make myself a better programmer.

Coming out of CocoaLove, I have one resolution for the next year: find opportunities to pay forward the love the Cocoa community has shown me— to make myself a better human.