App Builders 2019

Short conference report on the talks I heard and one I gave.

This is the second time I have attended App Builders conference. In 2018, fell in love with Lugano and Ticino; the entire experience had me aching to go back again. Thus late last year, when team published the dates of Apr 29/30, I could not believe my luck: it was in the middle of school Spring break in Serbia. Which meant my wife Ana, the other half of Radiant Tap, would agree to go since we could take our kids with us as well. We had a great time last year at UIKonf in Berlin; it was no-brainer to take this chance and visit one of the nicest area in Europe.

Plans were hatched, road trip through Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Ticino was eagerly awaited all Winter and Spring. That my talk (Onion-like iOS app architecture) was later accepted through community voting was a bonus.

At the conference itself, we followed the iOS track (while kids were patiently waiting for us in the hallway). I believe that variety of topics was diverse enough that anyone attending could find at least 2-4 inspiring ones. It depends on the person, what one finds appealing and/or challenging. My favorite talks that I will revisit (or have already put to good use) are:

The intro and outro keynotes by Scott Chacon and Adrian Kosmaczewski were interesting and fun in their own way. Do go through the schedule and then look up the talks on YouTube to listen. Conference progressed really well, John did a great job keeping everything on track and on time.

My talk went rather well until the last bit; despite numerous practicing runs, I still managed to derail my pace just enough (when speaking about data storage and middleware) that I did not have 5 mins at the end to properly explain coordinatingResponder methods. I had to finish up rather abruptly, which left quite a few people wondering how Coordinators weave their magic around other layers. Thus I spent good few hours in the later part of the day explaining that to various groups of people. Even though I should have delivered a much tighter presentation on stage, it was interesting enough that attendees chased me up for extra info. Which is heartwarming, really — thanks to all that followed up.

One particular feedback is worth pointing up: several people commented that my architecture approach does not really offer anything new, it’s just a re-hash of the MVC with some additional extensions. Which is great to hear because that’s exactly what I’m promoting. :) Core tenet of Keep It Layered & Simple architecture is that in iOS and UIKit there is no need for any grand and novel architecture solution. Few simple extensions are enough to build any kind of app, of any complexity.

If you agree with me or are simply intrigued, keep watching Spotifier repo on GitHub, as I’ll continue expanding it in the future.

I wish I had more time to attend conferences. I love the vibe I get, each visit re-kindles my love for the iOS app development. There are quite a few I would love to visit again; even more where I would love to go for the first time.

Fingers crossed, little things in life will align properly more often.