NSSpain – iOS Conference review

From the 17th of September until the 19th the iOS conference called NSSpain took place for the second time. We – Tobias Baube and Adriano Segalada attended this conference in the beautiful host town Logroño.

Workshop and Hackday

The workshops were already sold out at the time we booked our visit. You really should hurry next year if you would like to take part. If you’re too late you can join the hackday which is at the same time in other rooms and open for a lot (maybe unlimited) developers. Unfortunately, we didn’t knew this fact and booked our flights to attend the later two conference days and missed even the hackday. Curious about this event? At the hackday you can build teams and develop something together. An example: A mini project of this year’s conference is a custom iOS8 keyboard with a color picker.

Conference Day 1 – The Highlights

One of the inspiring presentations was hold by Andrew Yates (@ay8s). He gave us very honest insights into a previous hack at buffer. We’ll – it’s all about transparency and communication at buffer anyway. Andrew told us that we can google for his salary, if we were interested in – something we already knew thanks to a blogpost we once read.
Back to Andrew’s insights: buffer got hacked last fall. Strangers were able to hijack some buffer accounts and spread the word about some „magical fruits“. Andrew explained what they have done to help their users and how buffer furthermore gained their customers trust back. A very short summary for you: most important in such an ‚inconvenient‘ case is transparency and a lot of communication.

The next presentation was hold by Krzysztof Kucharewitz (@mobiosis) about Autolayout. This is a topic that affects all of us developers. Especially now on iOS8 where size classes came up. He could clarify the new kind of Autolayout handling – and presented some layout behaviours live in the simulator. In addition, he introduced some really nice frameworks, which shall empower programmers to easily make use of constraints in their code.

Not only during his talk others could profit from Krzysztof – he was one of the few that were capable to speak both, Spanish and English and acted as a translator outside of the Riojaforum.

Can’t handle my scale was the next speech, from Michele Titolo (@micheletitolo) – she works for reddit and is in the @cocoapods team. If you don’t know her yet, go to her website and start reading or attend one of her talks at a conference. It’s definitely worth the time.

We learned a lot about scaling and that we would better be prepared for a great increase of users in time.

Another great speaker was Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) about the ‚Future of Functional Programming on iOS‚. Along with examples in the Swift playground he talked about functional programming. What we were excited to learn was the fact that if you write unnecessary code, for example if you release a variable before you ever used it, the swift compiler recognizes that and does not even write assembler code for the relating instructions.

Conference Day 1 – Testing

We also listened to different speakers who talked about testing. Well, testing is indeed important, but what we liked most was something attendee Garrit Schaap (@pixelkindcom) said.

„Are you testing because you intend to test or are you testing to have a reliable application?“ (Gerrit Schaap)

The user-testing part aka „users don’t bite“ got covered from Maxim Cramer (@mennenia). She has a lot of experience with user testing and shared her knowledge with us.

Conference Day 1 – Cocoapods

We are all in love with cocoapods at Namics. It was interesting to once meet some people currently developing cocoapods and furthermore to listen to their speeches. One of them was Eloy Durán (@alloy), who explained a lot about how cocoapods can be used.

Conference Day 2 – Our hand picked favorites

A highlight of the second day was the presentation of Sam Davies (@iwantmyrealname) with his topic ‚To drawRect or not to drawRect: an overview of graphics on iOS‚. Great slides and live demonstrated examples let us understand a deep dive technical topic really well. Have a look at the slides if you’re an iOS engineer, it’s worth reading.

After Sam Davies, Jordi Pellat (@jordipellat) went on stage with a quite inspiring speech about well designed architecture. We all know that we have to keep our view controllers as clean as possible, assign them the tasks they are designed for. Jordi Pellat’s thirty minutes we learned how he recommends to achieve this target.

In the afternoon, after many more slots, Marius Rackwitz (@mrackwitz) went on stage (hurrey, another cocoapods dev!) and held a lightning talk about how he is currently getting cocoapods working with Swift.

Speakers on stage

After 21 inspring talks the conference came to an end.

Visiting the winery of Franco-Españolas

Well – socializing is a very important part of a conference. We had a lot of interesting discussions with developers from around the world. A great opportunity herefore was an expedition to the winery of Franco-Española. After an interesting guided tour we were all invited for delicious Spanish food and great tasting wine.

Guided tour in the winery Franco-Españolas

Slide decks

Most of the speakers grant access to their presentations. Here’s the summary:

NSSpain 2015 – preview

Yes, there will be an NSSpain 2015.
About 220 developers attended NSSpain this year, thats almost two times more compared to last year. The organizers will likely going to limit the number of tickets to about 200 units to ensure the quality of the conference. So, if you like to join, make sure to hurry once the selling has began and grab some tickets. Feedback for Logroño as host town was great so Luis Ascorbe expects to hold the conference in Logroño again. The hackday will probably be at the end of the conference next year. This change enables to collect ideas during the conference with other attendees you may have spoken to, discussed and laughed during the event.

Thank you

We are very grateful and would like to thank Luis Ascorbe and Borja Reinares a lot for their great effort in organizing this conference. Well done!
We had great pleasure and learned a lot at NSSpain and recommend others to attend it too.

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