Year in review: 2019

Published by donnywals on

It’s the end of the year, and that means that we should all take a little bit of time to reflect on the past year. Some people like to reflect on their past year in a very statistical manner, they set measurable goals and they decide whether they met their goals at the end of the year. Personally, I don’t really set goals per year. I simply strive to do the best I can every year. In this post, I would like to reflect on how 2019 has been for me, and I will share some of my plans for 2020 with you.

Recapping 2019

Right of the bat, 2019 was an interesting year for me. In January, I first attended dotSwift in Paris which was an amazing experience. I went to the city a day early with my girlfriend, Dorien, and we caught a concert by one of my favorite bands of all time called Architects. Paris is a beautiful city and since the conference only lasts half a day, we had plenty of time to walk around the city. After the conference, I met up with Dorien and we ran into several other people who we ended up having an amazing dinner with.

Shortly after attending dotSwift I went to Romania to speak about designing frameworks that work on multiple platforms at MobOS. The conference was amazing and I got to meet several amazing people, including Benedikt Terchete, Dave Verwer, Paul Hudson and others. When the conference was over, we went to a salt mine which was a beautiful experience and tons of fun!

A couple of weeks after delivering my framework design talk at AppDevCon in my (almost) hometown Amsterdam. At the pre-conference dinner, I met Kaya Thomas, which was really cool.

A couple of days after I spoke at AppDevCon, I got on my first ever intercontinental plane ride to Tokyo because I was invited to speak at try! Swift in Tokyo where I finally met my friend Jon-Tait after we’d been hanging out online for years! I also met a new friend at try! Swift, Nic Laughter. And of course, I met many other wonderful people too, like Natasha, Mayuko and Kristina. If you ever want to visit a conference that will blow your mind, I can recommend try! Swift Tokyo. The city is beautiful and the conference is put together so well. It’s truly awesome.

After returning from Tokyo, I went to New York for the first time in my life for a couple of days in April. I went there to work for a couple of days, so, unfortunately, I didn’t see much of the city. And I left my wallet on the airplane when I arrived so that wasn’t great. Luckily, I came back to the United States a month later for WWDC so I got a retry in experiencing what the US is like, with the added benefit of it being at WWDC.

If you ever get a chance to visit San Jose during WWDC week, I recommend you do. I had a ticket for the conference this year which made the experience even better but I’m sure I would’ve had an amazing time without a ticket too. There are so many amazing people in the area during the week of WWDC, and the parties and gatherings of people are so much fun. The best part is that AltConf is right next door, so you can even attend a conference while you’re there. Speaking of AltConf, I snuck out of WWDC for a moment to attend a talk my friend Nic gave called The Hidden Potential of People with ASD. I really enjoyed and you should definitely check it out if you want to learn more about autism in the workplace.

About a month after returning from WWDC I was lucky enough to attend Swift Island which, according to the Hacking with Swift community awards was the best conference of the year this year! So I was truly lucky indeed. I had a great time there and if you’re ever looking for a conference that has a vacation-vibe going on, make sure to go to Swift Island.

After Swift Island, I was a guest on the iPhreaks podcast where we discussed Core Data. After that, I didn’t do much until September. In September I started blogging again and I wrote a couple of posts about testing. Coincidentally, I had the opportunity to speak about testing at MobiConf in Krakow, Poland in October. Going to Poland was tons of fun, especially when I found out my friend Antoine was speaking too! At MobiConf I met several old friends, but I also made new friends and wanted to mention Aleksandra, Vadim and John in particular. Aleksandra and Vadmin, it was awesome to spend a couple of hours exploring Krakow with you before I went to the airport. And John, thanks for showing me and the gang around in Krakow’s food and cocktail scene. It was a blast!

Days after I got home from Modbiconf I was invited to speak at GDG Coimbra in Coimbra, Portugal. This was another fun conference where even though I was pretty much the only iOS developer, I met awesome people. I wanted to give a special shoutout to Ivan, your talk was super funny and it was fun sitting with you at the speaker’s dinner. It was also a ton of fun to meet Eugenio and I met up with Fernando who I had first met at MobiConf. Small world, right?

In December I didn’t do any speaking. Instead, I worked on a project called Advent of Swift where I published one article on this blog every day. The project was a ton of fun and it brought me some very cool side-effects. For example, I was a guest on both Contravariance and Swift by Sundell. And I was chosen as the winner of the Rising Star category in the Hacking with Swift community awards. To wrap up the month of December I launched the Advent of Swift bundle which contains all Advent of Swift articles and several sample projects. It’s available on Gumroad for just $1,99.

Wow. Summing my year up like this really confirms what I have been saying all along. It’s been a wild year! Not just for the iOS community with SwiftUI, Combine, Xcode 11 and iOS 13, also for me personally! And a lot of this wouldn’t be possible without the iOS community, all the amazing conference organizers and the amazing speakers that travel the world to talk at all the conferences.

In addition to all these people, it’s also not possible without you specifically. Yes, you, the person reading this. If you wouldn’t visit my website and read my articles, the last three months of this year wouldn’t have been as exciting as they were, and all I can do is thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Looking ahead: 2020

No year in review is complete without at least mentioning the year after. I already mentioned that I don’t do goals for the new year. But I can tell you that I plan to speak at conferences again in 2020, and I have already submitted several papers to CFPs. I can also tell you that I’m going to continue to bring you content in 2020 and for the foreseeable future I’m going to keep going with my two posts a week schedule. I enjoy that schedule and I hope you do too. And of course, I’m already thinking about what kinds of cool extra projects I can do for my blog in 2020.

I hope to see you again in 2020, and I wish you all the best and a Happy New Year!

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