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UIKonf – What to expect?

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UIKonf logo

Since last time I posted an update here on UIKonf – our independent conference of iOS developers and Berlin’s first English-language iOS dev conference – plenty has happened. We’ve really come along way. And by we I mean our small crew of just four people: My two friends, office coworkers and developers Matt Patterson and Chris Eidhof, our event manager Max Krüger, and I. That’s really all there is. There’s no backers, no investors, hardly any sponsors (we’re really, really picky there and want it to be financially self-sufficient).

And as is normal for independent conferences, it’s a lot of hustle and a lot of tearing our hair and a lot of fun. And boy, is it different from the bigger, more established events I’ve been involved in, in lots of interesting ways. But I digress, as I’m writing this post to give you an update on UIKonf and what’s happening there.

The big picture

We build UIKonf for serious iOS developers. So it’s all about in-depth talks, an intimate setting, and plenty of time to connect and talk and make.

And we put a particular focus on getting all the details right to make it the best event possible.

What does that mean concretely?

We also have a student discount & volunteer program, about half of our talks were vetted in an anonymous peer review process to foster diversity and help unknown speakers get the attention they deserve, we set up the first NSHipster pub quiz, and we’ll of course record the talks somehow to make them shareable.

The program in detail

We’re super psyched about the speaker line-up (and equally bummed that we actually had to turn away some kickass speakers, which is one of the hardest things to do as an organizer). Instead of embedding the full program here, let me just link to the program page that we’ll update along the way.

So what’s next?

It’s just a few more weeks to UIKonf, and oh my, it’s going to be some hectic weeks for me – before UIKonf, NEXT Berlin is at the top of my agenda as I’m program director there, and I’m also trying to find the time to get Makers Make up and running. But multi tasking under pressure is something I very much enjoy in some twisted way, so this isn’t a complaint. I’m excited for the next few weeks.

Help spread the word

If there’s one thing I’d ask you to do, it’d be great if you could help spread the word about UIKonf to people you think it’s relevant for. Any tweet, message or conversation helps. Thanks!

The best way to follow updates on UIKonf is by the way Twitter or, of course, UIKonf.com.

UIKonf: Some updates

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UIKonf logo

Slowly, the pieces for UIKonf are falling into place. (Check UIKonf.com for updates.) As we’re just three people organizing it with support from our fantastic event manager Max, it’s very much a part time and low-budget project. It is, in other words, as indie as it gets, and that’s a good thing.

That explains why we haven’t communicated quite as much as we would have liked to. However, we haven’t been lazy – far from it:

  1. Tickets are up for grabs as of a few days ago. Supply is limited as we want to keep it intimate. Get yours here.
  2. As we got asked daily about the target audience for UIKonf, we sat down to phrase it as clearly as we could: UIKonf is for serious iOS developers: Great people, top-notch talks, an intimate setting, and space to think & hack. In other words, we’re building the conference with advanced iOS developers in mind. No intro-level talks; our speakers dive right into technical topics, and dive deep. We also have a small number of speakers to bring in an outside perspective, meaning they come from a design, strategy or service design context. We expect participants from all over Europe, and all talks will be in English.”
  3. We’re starting to announce the first speakers. We’ll go with roughly a 50/50 mix of curated speakers we invited, and of those qualified and voted in through our anonymous call for proposals (help to refine and vote). Why anonymous? Because as we learned from the good folks over at JSConf, it helps foster diversity.
  4. Speaking of diversity, we’re trying to set smart defaults and just, y’know, do the right thing. This includes things ranging from adopting the ADA Initiative’s anti-harassment policy to conscious choices for great coffee and all-vegetarian catering.
  5. We’re also trying to build UIKonf to be self-sustainable. That’s an important, big choice as it means we won’t chase any sponsors. If we happen to find a perfect match for a sponsor to contribute to the event without compromising the content, we’ll work it out, otherwise UIKonf will simply stay free of sponsoring. The idea is simple: We are convinced our very limited time is better spent on making the event as awesome as it can be for the participants than on cold-calling potential sponsors.
  6. The program beyond the main conference day is coming together, too: As things stand today, we’ll have a kick-off event the night before, with some short talks, drinks and pre-registration, we’ll have a party after the main conference and there’s going to be a hackday the day after where we’ll try to bring in some designers as well. So altogether we’re looking at somewhere near two and a half days of programming.

So that’s where we are right now. Let me know if there’s anything we’ve missed (I’m sure there is) or that we should be considering. Thanks!