A new association of app developers is growing rapidly, with 10,000 members after 8 months. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to join.
We have written about the growth possibilities inherent for developers in participating in local hackathons and startup weekends. Now let's consider what you might get out of hooking up with a national organization.
The non-profit Application Developers Alliance, in its short existence, has made a good start on its intention to provide resources, education, and advocacy for individual developers. Its members work for large and small companies and on their own as independent developers. Membership is free to individuals; corporations pay to become Partner Members. Corporate members number 82 at this writing and include Google and AT&T (sponsor of Develop in the Cloud), as well as dozens of small development firms.
The founders of the Alliance saw an unmet need in the lack of any organization representing the point of view of application developers, especially to governments at the federal and state levels. Political activism has been one of the goals from the beginning -- educating policymakers about the issues facing developers. The group has sent technically savvy members to brief consumer privacy advocates about how mobile apps work, at a meeting on mobile app privacy convened by the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. And the Alliance has sent letters to members of Congress and the FDA on the regulation of mobile medical apps. It shouldn't be long before Alliance representatives are asked to testify before Congress.
The Alliance sponsors or co-sponsors meetups, summits, hackathons, and other events for developers across the US. For example, in an ongoing series of app developer privacy summits held around the country, developers are invited into conversations with local privacy experts -- lawyers, technologists, policy wonks, and government representatives. The Website, which sports a clean and responsive design, has resources for members (some in early stages of development) -- forums, listings of events, jobs, and co-working spaces.
On the conference front, the Alliance is sponsoring Distributed Intelligence 2.0 in Washington next month, and is working with Variety to co-sponsor the Entertainment Apps Conference in Los Angeles later this year.
The organization underwrites research on topics touching on the app economy, such as this recent study (PDF) on the growing market for apps.
Give the Application Developers Alliance a look and consider signing up and taking advantage of all that is on offer.