Friday, September 13, 2013


Did you know how I got started in iOS development? At a iOS workshop at Devoxx, a java conference. I have always wanted to learn about iOS, so I went to the workshop, and from there I went on to publish my first iOS app, Heart Collage.

A few months after I published Heart Collage, I saw the call for speakers for 360|iDev, an iOS conference. Thinking about my experience at Devoxx, I decided to submit an introduction to Android session. And it was accepted!

Intro to Android for iOS developers

It was quite challenging to condense the vast sea of Android knowledge into a 50-minute talk, so I focussed on providing a framework for people to explore further. I mapped parallel concepts between iOS and Android to quickly get people up to speed, and then went on to explain two aspects that are rather different on Android: layouts and intents.

I was a little bit worried to be an Android developer among an iOS crowd, but people were super friendly, and my session was very well attended. For the rest of the conference I kept sitting next to people who were at my session, and they said they enjoyed it a lot, gaining an appreciation for the Android platform. This makes me very happy, to help break down the artificial segregation of technologies.

iOS talks

I went to many different talks, soaking up as much iOS knowledge as I can. I learned about custom controls, computer vision, auto layout, UIKit Dynamics, the Objective-C runtime etc etc. Some of it totally went over my head (method swizzling I'm looking at you), but I walked away with lots of concrete knowledge, and got so excited that I played with it right away, at Game Jam.

Game Jam

On Tuesday night there was Game Jam, for people to get together and write games. Initially I wasn't going to participate, but after going to the computer vision talk, I decided to see if I can implement the prototype of a game idea that I had for a while: Color Hunt.

Color Hunt randomly generates a color for you to find it with the camera. For the longest time I thought I needed some complex algorithm to compare colors, and then I saw the Rubik's Cube solver example from the computer vision talk, which uses hue for color detection. So I took the camera code from Heart Collage, grabbed the pixels in the middle of the screen, extracted the hue value and compared it to the target color. It worked!


I had a great time at 360|iDev. The organizers, John and Nicole Wilker, put in a lot of effects to foster the community. The quality of the talks were very high, but more importantly there was a lot of opportunities to mingle with everybody, at lunch, at the evening receptions, at game jam. I have met many people that I know I will keep in touch with, and that is the best part of conferences. On top of that I also came home with a prototype for my game! How awesome is that?

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