UIKonf 2019

Last week I attended UIKonf 2019 at Berlin.

This year conference had an all-female speaker line up, and I think this was an excellent idea to help increase gender diversity on our profession. A lot of female attendees commented they felt inspired to have the opportunity to see so many great presentations delivered by female speakers, and that it will help to attract more people to the mobile development space.

The videos will all be available online soon; bellow is just a quick review of the presentations I saw.

Day 1

Kaya Thomas – Inclusive and Accessible App Development

Kaya talked about why we should make our applications more accessible and inclusive. The accessibility part was detailed and offered some excellent insights, but I think the inclusivity part was lacking, there was only a brief reference about the subject.

Shannon Hughes – Detangling Gesture Recognizers

Shanon works for the Omni on the OmniGraffle project. Her presentation gave excellent insight on how to debug and make sense of gesture recognizers. Their application has more than 18 custom gestures!!!

Glenna Buford – Rolling your own Network Stack

A solid presentation on how to implement a network stack using only URLSession and enums.

Natalya – Declarative Presentations

A concise presentation about how to use an MVVM architecture on their app

Sensor – How to develop apps with a state of art architecture

A workshop brought by My Taxi developers ( an Uber kind of company) presenting their app architecture called Sensor. It’s a mix of MVVM, RXSwift and Dispatch/Redux. It looked reliable and easy to use, but if you don’t have previous knowledge of the concepts, it can be tricky to get a grasp on how things work together.

Julie Yaunches – Consistency Principle

Good advice from Julie on how apps architecture can degrade over time and how to avoid that.
The principle runs down that it’s better to have an older architecture but consistent over the app than having lots of new trends of architecture doing the same task on the app.

Lisa Dziuba – How to Market Your App

Lisa is one of the creators of the Flawless App. She gave great recommendations on how to market your app in all different channels available.

Day 2

Erica Sadun – String Interpolations

A legend of the Swift world showing us how to use the new String Interpolation feature in Swift 5.1

Ellen Shapiro – Kotlin Native

High-speed presentation from Ellen, showing all the challenges she encountered when trying to use Kotlin Native for a cross-platform app in iOS, Android and Arduino using Kotlin.
On its current status, I don’t think Kotlin native is ready for prime time, still a lot of problems to make it work.

Alaina Kafkes – A11y-oop Adding new Accessibility Features to not-so-new app

Alaina talked about adding accessibility features to the Medium app. The app was in a pretty bad state A11y wise a year ago, and she spoke on how they add VoiceOver and Dynamic Fonts to it.
This presentation went in way too much code detail, with almost naming all the classes and protocols they used on the project.

Neha Kulkarni – Advance Colors in iOS

Neha showed all the new ways to define colours in the latest version of Xcode and iOS. She also provided great advice on how to organise colours and create a semantic colour library.

Anne Calahan – Promises in iOS

Enjoyed the way Anne did this presentation, instead of declaring Promises was the next great thing, she did a proper analysis of it:

  • investigated the history of Promises ( first time presented in 1979),
  • found out the current implementations available on iOS/Swift
  • the tradeoffs of each one
  • shows us an example of how to refactor an application to use it.

Julia Roggatz – Muse Prototype Challenges

A fantastic presentation about the challenges of developing an app with an innovative infinite zoom interface.
The app interface looks fantastic, and for a prototype, it’s already looking pretty solid.
A lot of attendees asked where they could sign up for the beta.

Kate Castellano – Backend Driven UI

I was a bit disappointed about this presentation; I was expecting a more generic way of deploying a generic UI using a backend technology. But in the end, it was something more similar to what we do with notifications on WPIOS.

Lea Marolt – Mobile && Me == It’s Complicated

Lea tells her story since she was a young developer, and how she grew from being a big fan of mobile, to get utterly disappointed with it because of some unethical practices in the industry.
The story ends with a positive spin after she takes some time off and works on other crafts and starts to realize the advantages of digital when used correctly.


The majority of presentations were of high quality and targetted to different experience levels. The only downside was that there was anything completely new, maybe because of the conference dates are just before WWDC.

The organizers were excellent and helped you out with any request. The venue was terrific, with lots of seating all with high visibility, the sound was great, and there was live transcribing. We also an outside space on the bank of the river with a boat where we could relax in the deck.

Lunch was of excellent quality and 100% vegetarian. Coffee was amazing; the blend changed every two hours!!

People attending the conference were friendly and always ready to change some ideas. The organization had an excellent idea of organizing different touring activities on the Sunday before the conference; this helped to meet other people attending and break the ice before the conference.

I highly recommend attending UIKonf!






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