More information on the world class speakers presenting at the AltConf 2014



Aaron Hillegass

Aaron founded the Ranch in 2001, just one highlight in a glowing career that began in childhood. He began programming at the ripe old age of 10 in the basement of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. At 19, he started doing it professionally, in the Advanced Signal Processing Lab at the Mitre Corporation. There he wrote the data structures library for Tower Eiffel, before leaving to work on Wall Street to help create mortgage-backed securities (a device that would, fifteen years later, bring our entire economy to its knees). 

But Aaron is no stranger to having such a huge impact. He wrote the book widely regarded to be the bible of Mac development: "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X." It is now in its fourth edition and has been translated into French, German, Korean, Japanese and Chinese. 

In November 2012, Aaron, who had been CEO, decided to merge the Ranch with Highgroove Studios, a web service firm headed by our current CEO, Charles Brian Quinn. He has now returned his focus to doing what he loves—coding, teaching, mentoring and writing—while the Ranch he created is run by someone equally as visionary. 

Andrew Stone

Andrew Stone

Andrew Stone is an American computer programmer best known for his iOS app Twittelator, which to date has sold over a million units for the iPhone and the iPad. The founder, director, and principal programmer for Stone Design Corporation, Albuquerque, New Mexico. In his 25 plus year career as a programmer, he has published over 35 software titles for Hypercard, the NeXT Computer, Mac OS X, and currently for iOS iPhones and iPads.

Brianna Wu


Brianna Wu is head of development at Giant Spacekat, an all-female gamedev company making cinematic experiences with Unreal. She’s frequent speaker on women-in-tech issues, and has worked as a politico, and an investigate journalist.

Jonathan Rhyne

Jonathan is an attorney that advises iOS development companies and indie developers on a wide range of issues directly affecting the iOS and mobile spheres to help build and protect their business interests.  Jonathan guides a number of larger consulting shops as well as individual developers through the proverbial jungle of business and legal so they can focus on developing cool stuff.  Jonathan’s blog is and can be reached by twitter @jdrhyne or by email at

Josh Michaels

Josh Michaels is an independent app developer and photographer whose greatest accomplishment has been getting by for over 4 years without a job. Josh created the artistic apps Magic Window, Earthlapse, and Tahoe Blue for iOS and Mac as well as the deviant 4X platinum hit Ow My Balls! In addition to taking pictures and making apps Josh applies his passion for software art to the pop-up iPad art show “Future/Canvas.” You can find Josh on twitter @joshjet.


Michael Lopp


Michael Lopp is a Silicon Valley-based engineering leader who builds both people and software at companies such as Borland, Netscape, and Apple. While he's not worrying about staying relevant, he writes about pens, bridges, people, poker, and werewolves at the popular weblog, Rands in Repose. He currently works as a Director at Palantir in downtown Palo Alto with the most important institutions on the world's hardest problems. 

Michael has written two books. His first book "Managing Humans, 2nd Edition" is a popular guide to the art of engineering leadership and clearly explains that while you be rewarded for what you build, you will only be successful because of your people. His second book "Being Geek" is a career handbook for geeks and nerds alike.
Michael surfs, plays hockey, and drinks red wine in the redwoods of Northern California whenever he can because staying sane is more important than staying busy.

Mike Lee

Mike Lee

Before he was known as the Mayor of Appsterdam, legendary product engineer and world's toughest programmer Mike Lee worked on apps for Alaska Airlines, Delicious Monster, Tapulous, United Lemur, Apple, and Nextive, producing such hits as Delicious Library, Tap Tap Revenge, Obama '08, and Apple's Mobile Store. 

Mike lives in a 17th century canal house in Amsterdam with his partner Judy and their cats, Wiebel and Wobbel. Mike enjoys racing cars, flying airplanes, and playing guitar, but he's also content sitting beside the canal, sharing a single-cask whisky with friends. 

Saul Mora

Saul Mora is the host of NSBrief, a podcast for Cocoa developers, and an iOS Developer. Saul is an active member in the greater Cocoa developer community. Saul wrote the popular open source library MagicalRecord for iOS and Mac. He has also taught programming to elementary school children. Saul lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and daughters.

Saul Mora

Orta Therox

Orta is an iOS developer at Artsy, empowering anyone with an iOS device to explore the art world, as well as making the portfolio app for galleries around the world.
He’s most known for CocoaPods, the objective-c dependency manager – where he claims the title of design dictator. This involves redesigning web properties, re-thinking documentation and dealing with people.


Peter Cohen


A 20-year veteran of the Mac blogosphere, Peter Cohen is managing editor of, your source for everything iPhone, iPad, and Apple. He's worked as a freelance tech journalist, executive editor at The Loop and was a senior editor at Macworld for a decade. Peter's also done tech support and IT management, all with a Mac bent. A Mac user since 1985, Peter owes at least three careers to Apple at this point and is functionally unemployable in any other line of work. You can find him on twitter at @flargh.