OSCON 2018 Recap

Photo by O'Reilly Media: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oreillyconf/43498186701/

A few weeks ago I attended, and spoke at, my 10th OSCON conference. I regularly say that OSCON is my favourite big conference, and every time I attend I’m reminded why I love it, and how much I love it: OSCON is a fun, relaxed, and very approachable place where companies and people involved in open source as contributors, consumers, and users, interface, work with, and have fun with each other. It’s unique in perspective, content, and value. And it’s super engaging everywhere from the lunch hall to the hallway to the sessions and in between. You should go, if you get the opportunity (O’Reilly runs a wonderful diversity and inclusion program, which make me able to help you make it along!)

This year was OSCONs 20-year celebration event! 🎉 If you have a Safari subscription, you can check out the videos from the event here. There’s also a collection of keynotes and interviews from the event on the O’Reilly Media YouTube channel.

On the Monday, Tim, Jon, and I presented a 3 hour session on Open source game development with Godot. Godot is an amazingly polished, and entirely open source, game development engine; Godot is a project of the Software Freedom Conservancy, and is aggressively competitive against the big commercial engines, like Unity and Unreal. I largely led this tutorial, supported by Tim and Jon. We got great feedback from our attendees, and had a full house. I’ll post the material from the workshop in the coming week.

On Tuesday, Tim, Jon, and I presented a 3 hour session on Machine overlord and you: Building AI on iOS with open source tools. We covered everything from CoreML, to Vision, to Apple’s Turi Create Python libraries. Our attendees loved it, and gave us great feedback; it was a fun precursor to our new book, Practical AI with Swift (more on that soon!) You can find the material from this OSCON session right here.

On Tuesday night, I stepped way, way out of my comfort zone and presented a 5 minute Ignite talk on The realities of weightloss. This talk was based on a seed of an idea that Mars had, which I’d taken and run with in a slightly different direction (with her permission). It seemed to resonate with the audience, and I got a lot of thanks, and hugs, from people afterwards. ❤️

The next day, Wednesday, saw us doing our traditional book signing (for the latest Learning Swift) in the O’Reilly Media booth of the expo. We had a huge line of people, and signed for about 45 minutes. It was great fun! The O’Reilly staff treat us like royalty, which always makes us feel very special.

On Thursday, in the second-last slot of OSCON 2018, Tim and I teamed up with Mars to deliver an entirely-live coded talk on Learning Swift with Playgrounds. Mars wrote all the examples, designed the flow, and really got thrown in the deep end—and she totally nailed it! Tim provided an excellent narration of proceedings, as Mars live-coded her way through the demos (with Xcode crashing, as is custom!) We got many fabulous reviews, with the talk getting a 4.9/5 ⭐️ average. We were thrilled. You can find some notes here, and the fabulous Playground that Mars wrote here on GitHub.

Our friends, VM, Josh, and Paul, also delivered well-received, and awesome talks.

We really love working O’Reilly, particularly our amazing editor, Rachel Roumeliotis, who has risen the ranks of the company while we’ve been working with her (absolutely no connection to us working with her!) and is now a VP of Content Strategy.

We’re doing a bunch of great projects with O’Reilly over the coming year or two, including finishing up a new edition of our iOS Swift Game Development Cookbookas well as a new Unity Game Development Cookbook, a Head First Swift book, and a brand new title, Practical AI with Swift. More updates on all of these soon!

Our latest edition of Learning Swift is available, and getting a bunch of great reviews, and our Mobile Game Development with Unity remains a fabulous guide to building games with Unity. Check them out?

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite tweets of the event, which someone sent following our Learning Swift 3rd Edition book signing:I can’t wait for next year’s OSCON: July 15-18, again back in Portland!

/dev/world/2018

The conference that I help run, /dev/world/2018, is selling tickets!

We have amazing keynotes from the following people:

  • A Software Engineer from Savage Interactive, creators of hit iPad art app, Procreate
  • Quentin Zervaas, creator of Apple Design Award winning app, Streaks
  • Richard Moss, author of The Secret History of Mac Gaming

And we have workshops!

  • Quality assurance and testing fundamentals for small teams
  • Refactoring a horrible codebase guided by tests
  • Adding AI to your applications with TensorFlow Lite for iOS
  • Property Based Testing in Swift
  • UX for Developers

And sessions!

  • xcodebuild for fun and profit
  • Accelerated App Development Using CloudKit: Idea to Featured in a Week
  • Ada on an iPad?
  • Batteries and Locks: Modern Tech from Ancient Times
  • Build your own synthesiser
  • Building Frameworks Natively in Swift
  • Dancing with Attitude – Building experiences with CoreMotion
  • Designing for iOS: Resources You Gotta Know
  • Fun with fudge factors: prototyping vague things
  • How to go from bad practice to best practice
  • How To Make It Look Like You Know What You Are Doing
  • Let’s settle this UI/UX thing once and for all
  • Machine Learning …without the Machine
  • Making a visual novel in HyperCard
  • Mis-using Bluetooth wristbands to enhance cognitive accessibility of an app for inpatients with severe brain injuries
  • Performance Tips & Tricks with Unity on iOS
  • Push Notifications and the Limits of Innovation
  • Rewriting Alamofire: Into the Core
  • SIL for First Time Learners
  • Solving the Massive App Problem: Rearchitecting a 5 year old codebase
  • State Machines are your friend
  • Structuring Your Code with the Model-View-Presenter pattern
  • Swift, for Objective-C OGs
  • The State of MVC
  • There And Back Again with the Roundtrip App
  • Tools for testing, logging, and analytics-ing your code
  • VIPER for iOS

We’ll also have a dinner keynote, during our famous quiz, from Paul Fenwick! It’s going to be amazing! Grab a ticket?

OSCON 2018

I’m super, super, super excited to be back at OSCON, my favourite conference, in Portland. This year you can find me at the following bits of OSCON:

You should also check out the following sessions, from my friends:

/dev/world/2018

The iOS, macOS, Swift, and general Apple development conference that I help run, /dev/world is looking for presenters! We’ve opened the CFP for our 11th event (we’ve been going for 11 years! That’s nuts!) and we’re very excited.

If you have a good idea for a talk, please send it our way! I might wear my space suit again.

Award! 😮

I’m utterly stunned to report that Night in the Woods, a game which we work on in a variety of capacities, has been awarded two incredibly prestigious IGF (Independent Game Festival) awards for 2018:

  • Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game
  • Excellence in Narrative

This is a truly stunning result for a really cool little game.

Oh, we’re also nominated for some BAFTA awards. No big deal.

Tasmanian Leaders Program

From Thursday to Sunday I was lucky enough to be up on the relatively remote West Coast of Tasmania, in the Tasmanian-style resort town of Strahan, attending the first residential of the year-long Tasmanian Leaders Program (TLP).

TLP is a annual program (I’m part of TLP12, the twelfth intake for the program) that takes participants on residential retreats and linking sessions around Tasmania, exploring personal and professional development issues and activities. I’m told that it’s quite a competitive/exclusive/prestigious program, and I really wasn’t expecting to be offered a place.

I met 30 interesting and passionate Tasmanians, and had a great weekend doing all sorts of activities. I’ll post more about what we’re up to as the program progresses!

Blockchain-to-Ponzi Safari Extension

I have made a Safari (macOS) extension that helpfully replaces some words in webpages. Download it here: ponzi scheme-to-ponzi-scheme v1.safariextz.

Please enjoy. Source release available on GitHub. Based on classic “Cloud to Butt” technology.

I take no responsibility for anything that may happen to your system from using this. It doesn’t phone home (other than whatever Apple might do with signed Safari extensions), and doesn’t do anything but some JS find-and-replace.

Learn Unity game development

We’re excited to be teaching Unity game development live online next week, through O’Reilly Media’s Safari platform! It’s free for Safari members. Learn to build video games with one of the most popular engines around. January 17 and 18, 6PM to 9PM, AEDT.
We’re also running the same workshop again, at the end of February, if that date suits you better! Check it out.