I have to say I had a great time at try!Swift New York this year. I have been to many developer conferences over the years but lately I have been attending mostly business and startup conferences (i.e. MicroConf and Release Notes).
Additionally, this is the first Apple developer conference I have ever attended as opposed to hosting, attending, and speaking at a Cocoaheads groups. This was a new environment.
I wanted to get a feel of where the winds are blowing in Swift and there were some interesting trends to the topics presented:
ARKit and CoreML
Big surprise right! 🙃
Apple has been showcasing and backing these technologies for a while. Except for my occasional attempts at creating models, I haven't been doing enough in this area and these talks reinforce my need to do so. Aileen Nielsen really broke down how Machine Learning works. Berta Devant explained how ARKit does face tracking and can be used. Audrey Tam explained how to build your own model using Apple's new tools. Kentaro Matsumae showed a great application using his Super Resolution technique. Overall the need to invest time in Machine Learning technology will continue to grow.
Swift on the Server
Swift on the server is real and there is real corporate backing to it. I happen to attend the workshop by IBM on Kitura and got a glimpse of how to develop and deploy with Docker and Kubernetes. Gopal Sharma spoke about the challenges he's faced with Swift on the server. Johannes Weiss spoke about SwiftNIO which is the future of client and server side communication. Chris Bailey & Ian Partridge went into detail of Kitura's deployment process and its future and Logan Wright spoke about Vapor.
If companies continue to adopt Vapor and Kitura, we'll continue to see growth in that space. It's something Swift developers should seriously spend some time understanding.
Podcasts continue to be a growing area. I am the host of two podcasts: OkProductive and EmpowerApps.Show. I have followed podcast networks like Relay Fm and Gimlet, as well as software creators like Marco Arment and Justin Jackson. So it was really interesting to see Leah Culver from Breaker talk about their story and what she's learned about growing a software company. It'll be interesting to see what other startups flourish in this new industry.
Other Swift topics which were of interest to me included:
- Christina Moulton talking about Siri Shortcuts
- Tom Harrington on Core Data in Swift
- Felix Krause from Fastlane on trusting 3rd-party SDKs
- Peter Steinberger on hacking Marzipan (i.e. using UIKit to build Mac Apps)
- Kaya Thomas on building advanced notifications
- Sebastiaan de With on building delightful user interfaces at Apple and now with Halide
try!Swift was a great conference and a great opportunity to meet a lot of great people in the Swift space. If you are in the Swift space, especially a beginner, I would definitely recommend checking it out.