Why do we attend conferences? #dotSwift 🇫🇷

Intro

As a developer you know that technology is continually evolving. So, in order to succeed you too need to continually evolve.

You can use books, courses, forums, etc. but today I am going to talk about conferences and one conference in particular, dotSwift (for iOS and Mac developers).

The aim of this article is to help you to understand if a developer conference is for you. You can then judge if it’s worth your while to go to such a conference.

Conference

dotSwift 2019 was on 28th of January in Paris. The doors opened at 12pm for registration and networking.

The first talk was at 1pm so we had plenty of time to meet new people and to pick up some freebies like dotSwift balls and lighting chargers.

DamienIanDani and Alberto in their seats

Here I am with Damien, a work colleague at Future PlatformsDani from the BBC, and Alberto who is ex Moonpig.

Speakers

There were many speakers throughout the whole of the conference. dotSwift had talks for all levels of developers that were in the audience. There was something for everyone.

It’s not every day that I get to talk to someone who works at Apple, so it was great being able to listen to Johannes, who presented some low level tricks to increase performance.

Johannes Weiß at Théâtre de Paris

Or others like Lea, going to a higher level perspective explaining how to deal with cell identifiers.

Who has ever used the identifiers to reuse a UITableViewCellsubclass?

Lea Marolt Sonnenschein talking with Daniel Steinberg

I took the license of using a code example from Lea’s talk about generics. It allows the developer to remove unnecessary identifiers and infer them through the cell class.

There are many other useful tricks to be found on the dotSwfit webpage, like videos from previous dotSwift conferences.

Therefore, even if Grégoire Lhotellier wasn’t speaking this year it’s worth mentioning the small talk of 2016 about the direction Swift was taking as a protocol oriented programming language and how he compared it to other programming paradigms comparing with a story about three little princesses.

Grégoire Lhotellier speaking at dotSwift 2016

Overall there was a good variety of topics. Long talks which took 20 minutes, Lightning talks which were 4 minutes in length, and holding it all together was the host, Daniel Steinberg who interviewed each speaker after their talk.

Paris

My friends and I took advantage of the fact the conference was in Paris and we arrived early to do some sight-seeing.

Monuments

Notre-Dame

Plenty of places to visit like the medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame, the Arc de Triomphe and many others.

Louvre

Night-time is the right timein Paris to visit some of it’s attractions. That most famous Leonardo da Vinci picture is on show at the Louvre Museum whose exterior is just gorgeous.

La Tour Eiffel

Next day, on Sunday we walked to the Eiffel tower. A little bit of trolling is always good, although if I have to be honest, this is the small umbrella I always carry with me since it fits in my backpack. Luckily French people seemed to have more important problems to worry about.

Uber Pooling

Regarding to the nightlife of the city, what’s life without music? I’ve created a playlist with a couple of “trendy” songs I heard in Paris. These are songs that some local parisians were listening to when I jumped in the back of their Uber!

dowSwift & Paris – Playlist

As a bonus there’re also three extra songs from Mr.Dumpsey (read the article until the end to know about him).

Food

Lastly but very importantly: Food is one of France’s pleasures. If this was not the biggest sandwich (as they call it) that I ever ate, then it was definitely the biggest one I’ve been capable of finishing! This was in “Marché des Enfants Rouges”, a market with a large variety of fresh local products where you can interact with local sellers for an immersive parisian experience. So, instead of using your phone just go and ask the locals (like Eurostar recommend).

Marché des Enfants Rouges

What we’ve seen?

So far so good, we’ve talked bouth about the conference as well as the city where it is held.

Evaluating the key points to see if it’s worth it to go these would be some key pros and cons.

Pros ✅

  • Learn and Improve
  • Networking
  • Discovery
  • Tourism

Cons 👎🏼

  • Weather (Weather in UK isn’t good till you visit Paris 🌧🥶)
  • A one day conference is quite short and the associated training is expensive.

Conclusion 

I could say I was fortunate to meet Dani previously at the AltConf (conference ran it in parallel next to the WWDC also in San Jose) this summer, where he spoke about Accessibility. So I already knew someone who was going to be at dotSwift.

Close to AltConf each year, James Dumpsey performs with his group called “The Breakpoints”. They play some “geek/nerd/apple believer” songs (it’s the best I can do to describe it), but it is definitely an experience to go to the concert. It will change you forever.

Me, James Dumpsey and Dani Devesa

It is so important that you to talk to people you meet in these events and establish new connections. After all I only heard about dotSwift from Dani who I met at AltConf in San Jose.

Hopefully this article will give you a good idea of what’s going on in at conferences and introduce you some popular speakers in current iOS and Mac development.

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