Steve took an adventure to the nordics to visit Stockholm, which, on the 9th and 10th of September, was home to the first year of the Swift & Fika conference. Here's a low down of what he took away from the conference apart from a slightly larger waistline.
Not your normal developer conference
At Airbyte, we've attended our fair share of mobile conferences over the years, and this event changed the game. The conference ran over a two day period, the first was for socialising and meeting fellow attendees and the second was for the talks, fika and an after party (at Spotify!). Having this first day to meet and greet was a fantastic idea, with a choice of activities to break the ice ahead of the second day, meaning everyone had already done their fair share of networking and could relax and enjoy the talks ahead.
As an attendee you had many choices of activities to do (hosted by volunteers), such as a Stockholm City Bike Tour 🚴, Bouldering 🧗, Arcade & VR games 🤓 and many others - there was an activity for everyone. Once the activities were finished and after a quick freshen up, Dinner With Strangers started. This was a way to mingle in a closer environment and have deeper conversations with other attendees. Qvik then hosted drinks at a nearby pub where free drink tokens slipped down nicely.
The next day, fresh faced (😴) and ready for learning, the talks began. However not before the MC Jack Nutting stepped on stage and gave a ukulele performance (yes this happened, and it's as great as it sounds). Talks shortly followed and amongst a couple of Fika breaks a total of 9 talks were hosted. There were a wide variety of talks, from Cryptography by Anastasiia Vixentael to How Not to Write Swift by Paul Hudson and everything in-between. A couple of favourites that you should checkout was JP Simard discussing Swift Static Analysis with the use of the popular SwiftLint tool, Adventures in API Design by Daniel Kennett and The Lost Art of System Design by John Sundell. All of the talks are available on the live stream and well worth checking out.
Having been to a variety of conferences in Europe and the US, Swift & Fika stood out and will be remembered. Stockholm is a beautiful city to host a conference in and it felt the "mysa" vibe rubbed off onto the community. Everyone was open to share stories about their experience in Swift, any side projects they worked on and what technologies they're most excited by for the future.
There's no doubt we'll be back again next year, our only wish is that there's an extra day added to increase the number of talks, with the hope that this doesn't eat into the fika time. A huge well done to the organisers Alek Åström and Reda Lemeden for putting this together.
Go ahead and check out our conference episode on our podcast. Discussing our experiences at conferences and pitch events and tips for finding the best events for you.