AppForce1: news and info for iOS app developers

This is the AppForce1 conference primer: Do iOS History

June 07, 2023 Season 2 Episode 1
This is the AppForce1 conference primer: Do iOS History
AppForce1: news and info for iOS app developers
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AppForce1: news and info for iOS app developers
This is the AppForce1 conference primer: Do iOS History
Jun 07, 2023 Season 2 Episode 1

Send us a Text Message.

Welcome to my new format. I will mention the occasional news item if it is amazing. But I don't want to add to your burden during WWDC week too much. More on my thoughts on that next time.

This time some history on the biggest thing I am doing this year. A conference. Join me on my journey and learn what it takes to put together a conference for iOS App Developers.

https://do-ios.com

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Welcome to my new format. I will mention the occasional news item if it is amazing. But I don't want to add to your burden during WWDC week too much. More on my thoughts on that next time.

This time some history on the biggest thing I am doing this year. A conference. Join me on my journey and learn what it takes to put together a conference for iOS App Developers.

https://do-ios.com

Runway
Put your mobile releases on autopilot and keep the whole team in sync throughout. More info on runway.team

Lead Software Developer 
Learn best practices for being a great lead software developer.

How to Start a Podcast Guide: The Complete Guide
Learn how to plan, record, and launch your podcast with this illustrated guide.

Support the Show.

Rate me on Apple Podcasts.

Send feedback on SpeakPipe
Or contact me on Mastodon: https://hachyderm.io/@appforce1

Support my podcast with a monthly subscription, it really helps.

My book: Being a Lead Software Developer

Speak:

Hi, and welcome to the AppForce1 podcast. Back in the new season, I'm going to change the format of my podcast in a significant way because I've been doing new style episodes for over 100 episodes, 103 to be exact, and I just wanted to change things up a little. And I'm also doing something really big this year again, which is called DO iOS. That's an iOS developer conference in Amsterdam on November eight and November nine. This year, a workshop the day before on November 7th by Donnie Walls. So my name is Shannon Nuts, and I've been developing software for over 20 years, developing iOS apps for over ten years, and I'm running the Dutch Co-coach for over nine years. And this year I'm running the fifth edition of DO iOS because all five editions I've been involved as the primary organizer in some capacity. So just getting started about do iOS in this new season of my podcast, I want to go over a little bit of the history of the DUOS conference, which has been in existence since 2015, which is quite a while. So that's already eight years ago that we did the first edition of DO iOS, which was quite a while back. So my memory is sometimes a bit vague. So the closer we get to the current day, the more detail I can share. But let's just get started with the first edition of DO iOS in 2015. Then we go to the second edition in 2016, the third edition in 2018, the fourth edition last year, 2022. And then finally this year's edition 2023. So let's get started. 2015. Back in 2015, I was still working at a consulting company called Ziba and at CBI. They always let me and my colleagues do a lot of things that we sort of enjoyed doing, and one of the things that they were exploring was developer events. So in our case a conference and something that we noticed or that I noticed that was missing in the European marketplace for conferences was a really nice iOS developer conference. First of all, in Amsterdam, because there was not a lot happening then and also on the European scale, there was no events in the second half or the fall or winter of the year. So there was like a really empty space after some say September till January for like a European iOS developer conference. So I suggested to my then employee Ziba that we should jump in this space and hopefully get some sort of iOS developer event off the grounds. And we started organizing because it was approved and I was able with somebody from the marketing team and expecting Ziba, Wendy, to be able to start putting together this conference. And in 2015 it actually happens in November. And that was an amazing thing that happens. And we were a team of six people organizing and five of those people were heavily involved and we had a nice number of sponsors, a large bank, some app development shops, TopCoder even, and CocoaHeads, and I was already a community partner back then. I know us because we also helped me set up CocoaHeadsNL as a separate legal entity. And yeah, just now look at what CocoaHeadsNL is, it's amazing and it's been in existence for almost a decade now, at least in the format that that we set up back then. And 2015, we had like a really nice set up a single day conference. Daniel Steinberg doing a university day, which is like a workshop. I think it was the day before a swift 2.0 kickstart introducing the swift programming language. That was back in the day when Swift was still in its early days and it was like changing fast and yeah, a lot of things were still unexplored with Swift and it was not a mature language as it is nowadays. So on November 10th we had the conference de single track, um, with a number of speakers and we were in a location called Pacos. This Viva Bakehouse, that's the Dutch name for sort of like an old storage facility. So back in the day when I went round, Harbours had like these really big blocky buildings that were store all kinds of bags of goods. Parkhouse This vehicle was one of these buildings in the old Amsterdam Harbour, and at some point this space was converted and reconfigured to be like an event space and it has a nice venue with three big screens around the central area, so in front into the site and it was very unique. And what was interesting back then was that it was a really small, intimate setup. So we had like, I don't know, room for something like 60 or 70 people and it was the first edition and it was successful according to its attendees, but financially it was not so successful. It costs about twice as much as compared to what it was bringing in financially. But that's okay because the whole purpose of the entire event was promotion of the exhibitor company and brands. So there was some slack and in the budgets to actually spend money and make it like an awesome event compared to its size because we did a lot of like neat things, good food, things like that to make sure that people really enjoyed the event. So onwards to 2006, in the second edition of Do iOS, and that's also when the colourful colour scheme became a thing for Do iOS. It's really we adopted, it's sort of like the thing that allows people to recognise Do iOS. We again had a at a conference and what was interesting back then was that the we again did a single track conference in Parkhurst, inspired her with a workshop day again the day before, and something very interesting happened in back in 2016 because the image is still available online from both Donny Wals and Antoine van der Lee, and I believe it was one of the first conference presentations by Antoine. And Donny was also basically getting started in his Irish development career mostly. And yeah, I personally like to think that they started a lot of their success, in part with the presentations and the participations that it did with the Do iOS Conference, but that's maybe wishful thinking on my part. I just know that we were happy to have them and they really enjoyed speaking at Do iOS in 2016. And it's it turned out to be like a lasting relationship with these two amazing software developers amongst a lot of other software developers that have presented at Davos. But I just wanted to name these two specifically because, yeah, they're they're like part of the they're like very visual visible parts of the Dutch iOS developer community and they always have been advocating for iris development in some form or shape. And they each in their own way, made a very successful career out of being an iOS software developer. Um, we also had a number of other interesting people like Jorge Ortiz, Steve Scott, Iacono, Naka and Natalie about this and Rob Napier. So some some interesting names from the Irish community back in the day and it was a successful conference again. But again the income was significantly lower than the spend on the events. But again, Xebia was sponsoring this event as its main organizer, as a company. I just got to get approval for spending budgets on specific things, but it did learn a teach a lot of things to me, to what it takes to actually run the conference, what the financial risks are, what makes a conference successful, but what makes a sponsors interested, especially. And just to see where we would end up with this event was a very worthwhile exercise for me. And then something interesting happened because what was interesting about the 2016 Do iOS conference was that at that time I was not working at Isibaya anymore, but they did hire me as an external consultant to help organize the event. And I did leave CBA for a specific reason because TBA was slowly but gradually moving out of iOS development as one of their core competencies in their company. And yeah, that resulted in 2017 not having a do iOS conference. So it was a quiet year for the conference. We thought long and hard because I was of course involved with CocoaHeadsNL and was doing my own things as a separate, as a different job and with AppForce1 and all those things. But what was interesting then was that in 2018 we basically got on the phone with CBA. We noticed that they were not doing any iOS development anymore, at least that we know of, that we were aware of, and we just outright asked them, Would you be willing to transfer all assets and all IP related to do iOS? So the non-profit CocoaHeadsNL, and they happily agreed to that because they did see the value in Do iOS continuing and just being a part of one more do I iOS conference as somewhat of a sponsor in a sponsor in the sense of that they basically allowed us to continue the event in a way that we thought was suitable, and we did it under the stewardship of CocoaHeadsNL, though. So it was a community effort with the organising team of Do. I was a sort of CocoaHeadsNL and we were able to put on another edition of Do Iris in 2018. Something that was interesting is that we did move the event from podcast to survive to what was then called the Student Hotel in Amsterdam because of the unique feature that the student hotel had was that they had like a room downstairs that would fit 120 people, which was just about the perfect size for dual use and the additional spaces and the hotel was attached to this venue. So very convenient if you were attending to iOS and also very convenient for us because we just had to make sure that everybody was in a single building. And then once we had everybody in the same building, it would sort of be okay to, to make sure that everybody was like getting to where they needed to be. So in 2018, because we had like an existing network with CocoaHeadsNL, we were able to sign up six sponsors and we were able to sell all tickets. And that was in part possible by some amazing speakers that we had. Daniel Steinberg, for example, but also on the helicopter from Agenda Dotcom, which is an Apple Design Award winner. And we had Boss Brook as one of our speakers and he was back then he was doing the Swift Weekly newsletter. Then he at some point moved into Apple and he's I think now out of, um, out of Apple again, doing his own thing again. But it was really amazing to have him as a speaker as well. So we were with six, uh, six sponsors. We had good ticket sales and this was the first edition of DO iOS that was in some way financially successful. So some way financially successful. What I mean is that at least we did not spend more than that. We spent sort of time that we got into the company. So and that was amazing. S with that now happening, we were like confirmed in that we were onto something with do iOS, Google. We were able to execute something that at least did not cost us any money And we were basically able to build up some reserves for CocoaHeadsNL, and we had the benefits of this financial reserve. Ever since with CocoaHeadsNL, which was a good thing to have. So that was 2018 and we wanted to do another edition. At least we were considering it in 2019. But then, uh, there were like these rumors coming from China. There was some, some, some flu type thing going on. And fortunately we decided not to execute on do, I guess, in 2019, which was a good call. So just for context, during the summer of 2019, I was putting together a workshop with John Read about unit testing on on iOS and Xcode. And right about when we had that going, we had plane tickets booked for for John. He was already in Amsterdam actually, and we had a lot of tickets sold. Then lockdown started to happen and we had to transfer the event from an in-person event to an online event. Had to do with a lot of ticket cancellations by attendees. And in the end we were able to execute on the unit testing workshop at John Reed, um, without it costing us any money. But we were not left with a lot of money and it was a scary thing for a few weeks whether or not it would actually still, uh, whether or not it would not cost us money in the end. So that basically withheld me from doing do I was in 2019 and we were not able to do it for two years. So not in 2019, not in 2020, 2021. It felt just a little bit too tense, really, because we were like coming out of the lockdowns and it was, um, it was still I think we still had like lockdowns going in the winter of 2021 and then 2022 started and basically the world started opening up again. And I went to Swift Heroes in Turin. And it was amazing to to meet people in-person again at an event, talk about software development, just having a good time together. And it really reinforced the belief within me that it was a good time again to start thinking about putting together another do iOS. And over the summer, we started organizing. I think it was right before or right after I came back from 360. Edith and 360. I def unfortunately had its last edition in 2022 due to financial reasons, but we started organizing and onboarded sponsors. We had Firebase from Google and we had Stream, my now employer and we had Jeremy Swift Developer Academy, which was great sponsorship to have, and we had an amazing speaker lineup. We had Antoine finally we had we had Donny Walls again. We had popular Leah Fogel, Daniella for some Frank and Tim and Ben and Heather. Stephane you can see all the faces on the old page on on do I was on the 22,022 page. We also had Daniel Steinberg back Maxim so we had like an amazing speaker lineup cost a lot of money to put this together and to get everybody flown out to to Amsterdam. But it was worth it because do I was was financially successful in 2022. Again it did not have too big financial windfall that 2018 had, but enough to be able to say that it was successful. But there was something limiting do. I was back in 2022 and that was the due to the reason that CocoaHeadsNL is a Dutch registered nonprofits and we have an agreement with the Dutch tech service that if we do not participate in economic traffic beyond a certain value, then we are not, uh, we are not burdened with doing any tax reporting and keeping a very detailed administration and making sure that we report everything But with do. I was 2022 and the other activities that CocoaHeadsNL has been doing in 2022, we were really bumping against this financial ceiling and we don't want to put the nonprofit across the ceiling because then all of a sudden the burden on US organizing go get snubbed because I'm not doing coke. That's now alone. We're doing it. But four, people now with the four of us, it basically would put a lot of burden on us, making sure that we are able to to to do this thing because all of a sudden we had to have to do tax reporting and all kinds of things that we don't want to be bothered with because Coke that's now is about the community and just getting people together at a at a grassroots type of way. So after long thinking, long consideration and some discussions internally within the Coke itself team, we decided that I would take on do I was on my legal entity and we still have pretty much the same team behind do I was in 2023. The only difference is the legal entity running it, and this frees up to finance as from the financial ceiling for do I was because we can now sign on sponsorships sell more tickets because that's the main focus and just make do. I was a bigger and more elaborate events compared to the 2022 edition because biggest difference between 2023 and 2022 is that instead of 120 tickets, we have 200 tickets available. And that caused us to have to switch up the venue yet again because 2015 and 2016 were in podcast despite her 2018 and 2022 were in the Portal Theater of the student hotel student hotel now called the Social Hub. Amazing place to go if you have smaller events up to 120 people. And we had to move to a bigger venue now in 2023 and I'm in, I'm finalizing the negotiation with the venue, and the venue will actually be the Nemo Science Museum right near the Amsterdam train station, the Central Station. So if you ever been to Amsterdam, you've probably seen this sort of green looking building like that's like right in the middle of the water and that's the Nemo Science Museum. And we will be like at the top two floors. And if the weather is somewhat okay, we also have two roof terrace available. If the water is not okay, we have two roof restaurant available, which is basically a big glass box so that you can enjoy two views but not get too cold because we are in November in the Netherlands. Right. And I think this venue is really amazing and is very central in Amsterdam. And no matter where you are lodging in Amsterdam, you have an easy time just getting to the venue because you just go to to the central station and then it's a short walk from the station to the venue. So that's going to happen in this year. And what I want to do with my podcast now is to just share my journey organizing. Do I was 20 or 23, you now know a little bit of the history of Do I was I really hope that you are considering joining me in November at I was we have a lot of tickets available we just started selling them and just a little bit of detail that is interesting to to know we had Super Earlybird tickets available for €200. And if you people that have like the Super Earlybird ticket of €200, that's like selling them tickets at cost. We that we're probably even losing a little bit of money on these €200 tickets. So that's why if you buy a regular ticket, if you want to spend money, you can spend money. Please do. Bec then other people with less means, with smaller means, they can get like two two Earlybird tickets, which are still available. That's that's the tickets that's gives a little bit of revenue. And with this revenue we can start putting together interesting things. And what is interesting to know is that within the next couple of weeks, I'm expecting to sign up the first two sponsors. Hopefully more will follow because the more sponsors we have, the more budget we have. And also once a sign my first sponsor, I can also start confirming the first speakers for do I was because of course I have a call for paper open but that's always a few headline speakers that you want to announce somewhat early so that it helps convince attendees to actually join Do Iris. There's already one thing confirmed for do ICOs and that's the amazing workshop by Daniel de before to do a press conference on November 7th because the conference itself will be on November eight and nine. So and I'm working on getting some more feature speakers for the remainder of the events because for a two day SINGLETRACK conference, I'm going to need about 15 speakers, I think. And so once I have two budgets available and the CFP ends in August, then I can also promise any lodging and flights that people might need. Speakers I will always ask, Does your company or is your company able to pay for your travel and lodging? If they do, your company will get a mention on the on the conference and a thank you. Of course. If not, then I'll need to work with the budgets that we have available to see what we can do, because I don't like doing it, but it has happened in the past that we had an amazing speaker willing to come, but we just didn't have the budgets available. And then we had to pick another speaker who was living closer to the conference so that the burden of travelling this person to the event was a lot less, which does then allowed us to actually have a full roster with speakers that is still interesting to attendees. But yeah, you had to decline to speak speaker just because they were just living away too far away from, from Amsterdam. So that's, that's always a very hard balance that you need to strike with, with a conference and organizing it. Of course I'm not picking these, these papers on my own. We have to see if be open till August 31st. It's an anonymous CFP, so I and my team get to see what the contents of the talks are supposed to be. We make a first selection based on that and then we start. Then we will rank them and then we will start reaching out to people to to, to work with them and to come to an agreement on their participation on do. I was of course, if you work at a company and they're looking to sponsor an amazing event in Amsterdam, please let them reach out to me or tell me who I should talk to because I'm always looking for sponsors at this point in time and I just hope to share my journey organizing. Do I wash with you to just see what you guys think of it, but also that you get some insights and what it takes to organize and put together a developer event. And uh, because I love conferences and I love developer events because there's so many great conferences happening in Europe, just to name a few, and it's not a complete list. You have an A Spain PL Swift Swift leads Swift Heroes app DEFCON in Amsterdam as well. And then just like a whole bunch more around the world like Bay Swift and Buenos Aires. Yeah. If I was in Singapore and I think Tri Swift is doing another, another edition in uh, in Tokyo and already what has happened was delicious deep dish swift in Chicago. Unfortunately, I couldn't go there. But what I'm told it was an amazing event as well. And I think conferences is not a zero sum game. I think there's always room for one more conference. I think because there's so many iOS developers and so many software developers around the world that it's always great to have an event near you. And what was interesting with Do ICOs is that the at the point in time that we started expanding the events into a day thing, we immediately saw a change in the make up of the attendees because on the single day editions it was a lot of Dutch Irish developers, some from Europe, but still very near to the Netherlands. When we started expanding into multiple days, all of a sudden we were getting a lot of people from all over Europe and all of a sudden also a large contingent of iOS software developers from other parts of the world, which was amazing because just having a small insight in what iOS development is to these people in their parts of the world and how they approached offer developments because they have different cultural backgrounds. We do use the same tools, but we do tend to think a little bit different about how we approach problems and it's just just seeing these these nuance detail in how people solve problems was it's always very amazing to to see. And I really love going to conferences because what I've noticed is that you meet people at conferences and at some conference somewhere in the world. I don't know, it's probably serendipity, but you meet the same person again and you just get to catch up. What they've been doing for like the past year or the past two years and what their life has been like and what they enjoyed most since the last time you spoke and and things like that. Just catching up and just feeling that you're actually part of a large global community of iOS software developers and just the welcoming nature of the iOS developer ecosystem, which surprises me every time, is it's just great to be a part of and I hope you will be part of this Irish developer community in Amsterdam in November. Add to iOS links to find more information or in the show notes. If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to reach out on Twitter or Mastodon. Just a DM or a message away. If you have any questions, feel free. If you want a sponsor, do address. Please reach out and yeah, just get your tickets because get your tickets early if you want to support your local conference because the earlier you get your tickets, the more budgets the organizers have available right then and there so they can actually start putting things together earlier, which takes a lot of the burden away in the final six weeks before an event. Beca for some reason, most tickets are sold in the final six weeks before an event and any tickets that we can get sold earlier, it just it just brings down the stress factor by a lot, really. Trust me. It's it's amazing how many tickets are always sold in the final few weeks before a conference. But if you can put it together, make sure you get your tickets early because especially now in our case, do we ask? But I think for any other conference out there, if for some reason something comes up, the conference organizers will always work with you in the Irish developer ecosystem to just get you get you saw and make sure that in worst case, you get your money back so somebody else can pick up the ticket. Thank you for listening and I hope to talk to you again soon. And if you have any feedback, you know where to find me.

(Cont.) This is the AppForce1 conference primer: Do iOS History