MacTech 25 Nominees

October 26th, 2009

Speaking of awards, MacTech magazine is currently accepting votes for the MacTech 25, bestowing recognition upon 25 people who are voted by the public as having the most influence on the Mac technical world “through their work, writing, or any other effort they make.”

I am considering the technical realm of the iPhone as part of the community that is being acknowledged. Here are some names that come to mind as excellent nominees for this honor:

Craig Hockenberry. As an extremely early adopter of the iPhone platform, Craig has gone to the trouble of sharing his knowledge about and criticisms of the iPhone development and distribution process, on his blog I feel that his efforts to draw attention to problems, while providing realistic workarounds, have probably had a huge positive impact on iPhone developers and those who are considering whether to dive in.

Jonathan (Wolf) Rentzsch. As the organizer of the annual C4 Conference in Chicago, Wolf provides a superb context for developers to socialize and exchange ideas with other Mac and iPhone developers, outside the realm of Apple’s well-produced but technically one-sided WWDC Conference. In the years since Wolf started organizing the conference, it has filled a serious void in the technical social scene.

Steve (Scotty) Scott. On the other side of the Atlantic, and soon to move state-side, Scotty has also been working his butt off on a unique developer conference, NSConference. While I haven’t yet had the pleasure of attending, the word I hear from countless developers who have is that it’s a remarkable event and very much worth the cost. In addition to conferences, Scotty is also responsible for producing and distributing a number of podcasts dedicated to Cocoa development, all part of his ambitious Mac Developer Network.

Erica Sadun. Erica has driven a lot of technical inquiry into iPhone development, since the early days before an SDK was available, through the present day when programming for the device is a much less nefarious endeavor. Her role as an authority on many iPhone technical issues was celebrated this Fall when she served as the conference chair for Pearson’s iPhone Developer Conference in Boston.

Jeff Atwood. I think it’s important to recognize that sometimes the most influential people on a community are not even part of that community. Jeff started the extremely popular developer answer-sharing site, Stack Overflow, along with Joel Spolsky and Fog Creek Software. In the past year or so Stack Overflow has become an important starting point for many Cocoa developers, old and new, in search of answers to their vexing problems. Jeff’s technical blog, Coding Horror, has long been considered by Mac developers as a source for thought-provoking questions about software development, regardless of whether they pertain specifically to the Mac or iPhone.

There are dozens of other qualified people whose names could be thrown into this hat. I came up with these 5 after a few minutes of thought and feel that they are all completely entitled to receiving this honor. So if you are stuck for a choice, you might as well pick a random one from above!