If iOS had never existed, “What would an Android device look like today?” A pause. “Who had a Blackberry?”
Todd Brannam, a buttoned-up developer with slicked-back hair, was not just trying to make a point to his programmer friends.
He was trying to win the first TekFeuds debate, pitting Team iOS against Team Android.
Sparring over a range of qualities, including security, enterprise-friendliness and accessibility, four developers took 1776’s stage Wednesday night to defend their platform of choice.
But Brannam had his work cut out for him in Nathaniel Waggoner, who retorted with a vision of a world where Apple had no competition: “Hey, it’s a new year! We’ve added a new button. Please update.”
Over the two-hour debate, both sides held their own. Despite some occasional jerky delivery, the two teams never ran out of sensible points to make — or competitive energy.
That was the result of months of debate training, said Murshed Chowdhury, a former IT recruiter who founded the debate series out of a conviction that developers should hone their social skills.
“They’re so brilliant but they just need a little encouragement,” he said.
The organization’s next debate, slated for November, will be on the topic of cloud security. Chowdhury also hopes to expand to other cities, like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
What will they debate next?
“Tech is tech, we can just keep going,” he said.
In this particular instance, Team Android (younger and more casually dressed than their rivals, so take that, ageist Apple ads) — won, taking home $1,000 in gift cards. Team Apple received a $500 consolation prize.
The first TekFeuds was organized in partnership with General Assembly, Capital One and Fifth Tribe.
Waggoner, the Android development lead at audio marketing agency XAPPmedia, won a drone and the title of “Most Valuable Debater” by popular vote.
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