Nexmo at the Swift Summit

Published November 08, 2017 by Eric Giannini

From October 30th-31st, Swift developers from around the world came together at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA, for Swift Summit 2017. The event aims to celebrate the latest developments in the Swift language, iOS, and Xcode ?. The conference hosted 21 technical talk sessions, developer labs, an exhibitor hall with sponsors’ swag, a job portal (where developers meet other developers from top tech companies working with Swift), and face-to-face time with speakers at a fireside chat area.

Speakers

Daniel Steinberg gave the first talk on “How I became a map-maker?” where he discussed his own programmatic experiences with Swift’s .map function, a codified “For-In” transform that iterates over every element in an array. More so paradigmatically than any other functionally programmatic method in Swift, .map exemplifies the usage of “First Class Citizenry” with which a function may be passed as a value, stored, or called; as a higher order function, it accepts closures that drives Swift code to be clean, readable, brief.

Priya Rajagopal, a developer advocate at Couchbase, gave a talk on Swift’s new protocol Codable (i.e., for encoding Swift types into JSON or decoding JSON into Swift types). In her talk, she gave an accelerated tour through the Couchbase iOS SDK with details on how implementing Codable, which is Apple’s major improvement over its antecedent NSCoding, works. It operates by exploiting data containers that perform key-value pairing (i.e., encoding/decoding) behind the scenes.

Other talks, like the one by Michele Titolo from CapitolOne, were about microservices. Michele discussed how O’Reilly’s book entitled “Micro-services” inspired her. Another, by Sommer Panage, on accessibility demonstrated how to create optimal experiences for the hearing impaired with Apple’s Accessibility APIs, powerful assistive technology like VoiceOver.

Florent Vilmart gave a talk on best practices for Swift on the Parse SDK. David Okun, a developer advocate for IBM, gave a presentation on how to become a full stack iOS developer with IBM’s Kitura, a Swift server.

Other speakers included Joe Groff, Xi Ge, Brandon Williams, Andy Matuschak, Ryan Nystrom, Anat Gilboa, Chris Bailey, Garo Hussenjian, Tim Burks, Ontario Britton, Brandon Kase, Steven Hepting, Sam Agnew, Korhan Bircan, and Leah Culver.

Although unannounced in the original speaker lineup, the legendary “Hair Force One” appeared on the last day to discuss the challenges of adopting iOS 11.

Major Announcements for Server-Side Swift, Kitura & IBM

On the first day of the conference IBM made two important announcements: full commercial support for Swift as a server-side language for Kitura and the availability of Kitura 2.0. These are significant advances in terms of both Swift as a language, as well as the software surrounding its capabilities in the backend. Not only are iOS developers able to build apps now, they can build the backend to support their apps on their own with Kitura ?.

Workshops

While developer labs on “Open Sourcing Swift” by Apple engineers, Cocoapods by Ben Asher, and exploring implements for Artificial Intelligence in an iOS app by Marek Sadowski were informative, IBM’s labs on server-side Swift were game-changing.

To on-board prospective Swift backend engineers into their products, the developer advocates leading these labs gave elbow-to-elbow support through each step of their well drafted tutorials. Chris Bailey (@Chris_Bailey) and Ian Partridge (@alfa) led these workshops.

Since the majority of these tutorials are open source, non-attendees are welcome to try them here. Alternatively, there are entire courses dedicated to the subject, such as the course developed within the framework for Udacity’s partnership with IBM: Introducing Server-Side Swift with IBM.

Nexmo & Swift

If you’re an active Swift developer or just getting started with the language, we encourage you to get involved in the Nexmo Developer Community. Check out the projects hosted on the Nexmo GitHub or follow us on Twitter @NexmoDev.

We welcome you to interact with our team of Developer Advocates, check out our code repositories and more. Nexmo plans to open source its own Swift tutorials this quarter. Keep an eye out!

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