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SwiftSummit SF 2015

I’m sitting on a plane on my way back to Prague from San Francisco, where I spent the last three weeks. It was my third visit to the Bay Area in the past 12 months, and I have to say this was the best trip! Though it wasn’t the main purpose of my trip, I managed to attend SwiftSummit 2015 (thank you @strvcom).

Here are a few notes about the talks, and things that left a deep impression on me. They are still resonating inside me very strongly, even though the conference was two weeks ago. I will be adding links to slides and videos of the talks as they are published.

Chris Eidhof (Selfie with Chris Eidhof? Checked)


Daniel Steinberg - Writing Swiftly and Clearly

He gave the last talk of the summit, and in my opinion, the best talk of the conference. He was talking about how to use the advantages of Swift syntax to write declarative and easy readable code. I was so excited I added the » operator to my projects the same night!

Chris Eidhof - Swift Interop

Chris gave a great talk, explaining the differences between structs and classes (aka value types and reference types). I wish my university teachers had been more like Chris! He didn’t have a single slide and used only Xcode with no snippets prepared. He started with the very basics and he was building upon what he’d already explained. Twenty minutes later, everybody in the room – including the camera guys and the catering staff – fully understand the difference between structs and classes. Big thumbs up!

Andy Matuschak - Feet in Both Worlds: from Objective-C to Swift

I’ve heard Andy’s talk on this subject before at another conference. I love this talk, and I love Andy. The talk was great, and I would recommend it for everybody, who’s still thinking if they should start incorporating Swift into an old Obj-C code base. Conclusion: If you want to write Swift in Swift-style with generics, protocol extensions and the new enums, using it in cooperation with Obj-C could be pretty difficult.

Keith Smiley - Tales of a rewrite

Lyft decided to completely rewrite their old Obj-C app to Swift. Keith described how Lyft approached this and if it was worth it (it was). He showed us cool graphs with project class sizes. (Keith, how did you create that?!) He said that they had a lot of legacy code in the app from the past, when nobody anticipated how big the company would become. So the rewriting wasn’t just about converting the code to a new language. It was also a chance to re-think the app’s architecture. I liked this talk, because I had a similar experience with one of my own projects.

Ash Furrow - Discovering best practices in Swift

This talk was a trap! Everybody was expecting that somebody will finally say “here are the best practices for Swift”. Maybe next year. This year, Ash talked about how we all have to figure out these practices together. He was encouraging the audience to try new things and challenge the old ways. Speaking about that, have you tried ProtocolUI yet?

…there were many, many other talks. I remember almost all of them! Watch all the videos when they are available. It was the best conference I’ve ever been to.

Natasha The Robot (Selfie with Natasha The Robot? Checked)

Other things to point out:

  • Natasha the Robot is REALLY short;
  • Andy Matuschak has a super cool bag;
  • That guy who always had a question for every speaker (but usually a very good question!);
  • No plain water was available on the second day of the summit – just cans with sugar-flavored water;
  • There was A LOT of food-and-drink waste – this will always be a thing for me as a European. (I’m not an active ecologist, but my heart was bleeding seeing all that waste and dead koala bears).

Thank you, Ida and Beren! It was great being a part of an event like this!