Have you ever been to one place in particular and realized that you're not the only person like yourself in the world? That's what 360iDev is like.

I got the opportunity to go to 360iDev when a friend of mine named Shane (who I met through my local CocoaHeads group, he help start a company called echo1612. Go throw him a bunch of money because he's a great guy) was able to get me a ticket almost last minute. Getting together with over 250 like-minded developers is one of the best things you can do for your programming career.

If it weren't for 360iDev, this blog wouldn't exist. I listened to two awesome people give two different talks, Soroush Khanlou on finding your place on the internet and Tammy Coron on if you can learn something, you can teach that thing. These two amazing people inspired me to go forth and do something that I've been actively putting off for over 5 years now just because of the thought battles that go on in our heads ("I'm not good enough", "I don't know enough", etc).

Going to 360iDev also taught me things that I needed to know more about such as iOS security principles, building UI in code, how to be an effective part of code reviews and more. I'm going to cover some of what I've learned in future blog posts. Those are topics that I had a lot of questions on because the answers are sometimes hard to find on the internet.

One of the most freeing things I heard there was it's totally OK (and honestly, what you should do) to use a prepackaged solution for authentication in your apps. Whether you use something like Passport.js or Auth0, this is always a better route than building your own authentication solution. It's battle tested and has so many eyes looking at the code you can trust it's more secure. That doesn't mean you're less of programmer. It means you made a good decision to not waste your time on something that you shouldn't focus on. There's no shame in leaving your authentication system to cryptography professionals so you can focus on feature-building code.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg of why you should go to 360iDev next year. Tons of events, there will always be someone in the room who can learn from, FREE SODA, and interesting sessions all four days. And of course, the new friends you make.

I can't wait until next year!

P.S. Photo credit goes to Fuad Kamal who was taking pictures all throughout the event. Thanks, Fuad!