Try! Swift Tokyo: Android development in Swift

Try! Swift Tokyo: Android development in Swift

Have you ever seen more than 730 Swift developers together? Me neither! Until I visited try! Swift Tokyo last month.

How to develop Android applications in Swift

The first day of the conference was a bit tough: an eight hour time difference after a 14-hour flight and only a few hours of sleep. Jetlag level: extreme. But it was worth it!

We were presented with a varied program that gave everyone the chance to learn something new. I could write about all the talks I’ve seen, but that would lead to a website rather than a blog post, so I’ve chosen to highlight some of them.

As an iOS developer, with some experience in Android, it was very interesting to hear Eric Wing talk about the possibilities when you want to develop Android applications in Swift. By bridging your Android project into an iOS project through C/C++, you can write Android apps in your favourite language: Swift.

Another highlight was Meghan Kane. She talked about the opportunities and best practices of 3D Touch, which is available since iOS 9 on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. This is definitely a great feature that could bring many apps to a higher level. Something to look into!

And then it was time for some well-deserved dinner! Tokyo is packed with good restaurants, so if you ever visit the city, you definitely won’t starve. After diner, we discovered some of the Tokyo entertainment scene: the Taito Station. A seven stories high arcade that was filled with hard working (playing) Japanese people. A must see when you visit Tokyo!

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Inclusive design: taking UI & UX to the next level

The second day of the conference started as quite a challenge because some of the talks were given in Japanese. Fortunately I was one of the lucky ones with a translation receiver. Problem solved! 

Mo @KUDEKI from VINA gave a very inspiring talk about how she built a minimum viable product (MVP) using Swift and how she grew as a Swift developer while the language itself was also evolving. It was cool to see the similarities with my own history as an iOS developer in Swift. She talked about the struggles migrating away from Parse, writing clean code and how to grow as a developer while your startup grows.

Color Me surprised! by Laura Ragone was indeed a surprise! She discussed the use of a color system within your app, but the most interesting part of Laura’s talk was about inclusive design. This is a design approach that aims atintegral design for all people, including people with permanent, temporary and/or situational impairments.

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As a developer I must admit I have never thought about people with an impairment when writing my code. But indeed: what about people with a bad sight or people that see different colours than the ones that are there? At iCapps we have a great focus on user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), but inclusive design is definitely worth looking into, so that everyone can enjoy the apps we build.

Minimizing decision fatigue to improve team productivity

Derek Lee is the last speaker whose talk I want to say something about: Minimizing decision fatigue, to improve team productivity. The name says it all: he shared with us some ideas on how to improve the team’s productivity, and I’m happy to share them with you as well:

  • Set up an organised project folder. Nothing is more irritating than an unorganised project structure.
  • Start pair programming. Keep focus when working together and become a better developer as a team. It might even be a good idea to pair with someone from another team. Like a developer and a designer, to docross-functional pairing. It might not always be clear to developers whether their work is fully ‘functional’. A close collaboration with a designer can ensure that the app works the way the designer/customer wants it to.
  • Host tech talks during lunch. Talk about new topics, and keep everyone engaged in technology innovation. Way to go team iCapps, because this is exactly what we are doing!
  • Watch over your code organisation, use // MARK: —  for organised code.

Try!Swift is the place to be for iOS & Swift enthusiasts

I could write tons of blog posts about everything I’ve heard and learned at try! Swift, but there just one piece of advice I want to give you. If you’re an iOS or Swift enthusiast like me, make sure to visit Try!Swift. The experience is incredible and you’ll take home a whole lot of new insights and ideas.

Also, don’t just go there for the conference. Take the time to visit this beautiful city. After the conference highlights, here’s some travel highlights as well:

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