Swift Thoughts on try!Swift NYC 2018

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 coroporate 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 hot 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 Topics…

Other Swift topics which were of interest to me included:


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.

iPhreaks podcast logo

iPhreaks Guest – Microconf and Writing Health Apps

Leo Dion from BrightDigit was recently a guest on the podcast iPhreaks discussing MicroConf, customer discovery, info products, meetups, and building an exercise app for the Apple Watch.

In today’s episode, the iPhreaks panel talk to Leo Dion about MicroConf and writing apps for Apple Watch. Leo has been a developer for almost two decades and six years ago he created his own company called BrightDigit. He mostly focuses his time and energy to the Apple space and enjoys developing apps for the iPhone, iPad, and the Apple Watch. They talk about what happens at MicroConf, what he is working on now, tips for starting a meetup, and more!

You can check out the episode here.


HealthKit – Getting Started – HKObjectType and Authorization

HealthKit is the most important API when it comes to building health, fitness and workout apps. HealthKit also has many intricacies and details which need introduction when getting started.

The data structures encourage precision while having the flexibility to store a variety of values. The way it asks users give app access HealthKit will probably be similar with many iOS developers. HealthKit follows many patterns in other iOS APIs such as Core Location or Core Data. At the same time it uses newer programming techniques and newer technology.

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Understanding Optionals in Swift

Optionals are a fairly unique concept in Swift. While Objective-C used pointers which could be nil and C# had a Nullable generics type for value types, Swift has an inherent syntax for optionals as well as wrapping and unwrapping them.

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