The first annual MobCon, a conference for mobile application development, met in Minneapolis on Nov. 13-14 at the Minneapolis Hilton hotel. Students, faculty, and staff from Minnesota School of Business campuses in Blaine, St. Cloud, Lakeville, and Woodbury participated. MSB was the only college or university that was a sponsor of the conference, demonstrating its leadership in the mobile application development field.
Through a partnership with MobCon, select MSB and Globe students were permitted to attend without having to pay the conference fee, which averaged around $600. In addition to attending sessions on mobile application development techniques, marketing strategy, and best practice implementation techniques, our students were able to network with many professionals currently in the field.
Many vendors and participants remarked that MSB and Globe are on the right track, leading in mobile application development education. The demand for developers experienced in developing apps for both Java-based (Android) and Objective-C based (iOS) devices is extremely high.
One conference attendee connected with Eric Slette, Director of Career Services for the Minnesota School of Business-Blaine campus, and said he could hire two students for an 80-hour contract job “immediately”.
Although the conference had a goal of 250 attendees, over 400 people registered for the conference, and others were turned away. Representatives from both small and large companies participated, including the Nerdery, Mentormate, Fusion Room, Code 42 Software, as well as more familiar companies such as Medtronic, Target, and Robert Half International.
As described on the conference web site, MobCon is a “long overdue” conference, and was established to provide a framework and collaborative setting for executive, IT, and mobile strategy business professionals to learn from industry leaders how to successfully design, develop, and implement successful mobile strategies and solutions.
As Tim McLaughlin, Founder of Siteworx, recently said, “Someone who doesn’t think mobile is here is living in a bubble”.
The opening keynote, “The Day My Parents Went Mobile and the World Went Crazy”, was given by Wade Beavers, CEO at DoApp, Mobile Syndicator of 500 Newspapers. Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak also spoke on the role of U.S. cities in fostering mobile application use and proliferation.
A reception at the end of the first day featured “sushi and cocktails, along with some of the best networking I’ve ever experienced”, said John Daley. Both John and Tom Polinceusz, the Minnesota and South Dakota executive program chairs for the information technology degree program, attended and participated in the entire conference.
The conference culminated in an “after” party hosted by Oracle at a nearby restaurant, where Oracle discussed the release of their new mobile application development environment. Details will be released at an upcoming Oracle “Technology Day” in Edina, MN on November 28.
One lucky lady who stopped by the Minnesota School of Business table and left their business card won the grand prize drawing. Mary Goad-Olson, VP and Managing Partner of Technology Project Group, was the lucky winner of a Kindle Fire tablet.