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First iOS international development conference in Spain



First iOS international development conference in Spain
First iOS international development conference in Spain

23 September 2013, 16:23 Webedia Brand Services

Today we go geek tourism with Agbo Training to the international capital of iPhone & iPad development during the past week: Logroño (yes, you read right).

A long time ago in a galaxy far away. well, I’m lying, it was actually June of this year and on Twitter.

As I said before, in June I received a message from a couple of crazy people who wanted to organize an iOS international development conference in Logroño . As it is.

Of course, neither of them had any previous experience in organizing events, nor did they have any sponsors. To top it off, they wanted to do it in September just before the St. Matthew’s Festival. That is, four short months with August in between.

Faced with such a crazy plan, there was only one possible answer: of course I’m in!

I followed from the beginning all the adventures of Luis Ascorbe (@lascorbe) and Borja Reinares (@borjareinares) to make the project of NSSpain go ahead, and I was constantly amazed by the speed at which it was going and how they were getting top-notch sponsors. From the beginning the project was “humble”: all the talks would be in English, with renowned speakers and aimed at an international audience. With a couple.

Against all prognoses and against the most elementary logic, the thing went spectacularly well , due exclusively to the dedication and good work of Luis and Borja.

Practically overnight, we had in Spain, more precisely in the capital of La Rioja, a conference where great names of iOS programming for iPhone and iPad of the world have joined .

I’m honored to know that Agbo was one of the first sponsors of NSSpain.

From Cupertino to Bilbao, I go all over the shore

We arrive at the hotel and in the room I find this gift from one of the sponsors, Bodegas Ontañón:

There is certainly no better way to welcome someone to La Rioja.

I go down to the hotel “hall” to wait for Luis and Borja to go to the sponsors’ welcome party and I meet an unmistakable group: the rest of freaks who have come from halfway around the world (Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Ireland, Austria, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, etc.) to share wisdom in Logroño.

Among the participants were Aral Balkan, Laurent Sansonetti, Chris Eidhof, Daniel Eggert, Marin Usalj, Orta Therox, Fabio Pelosin, Delisa Mason, Luis Solano, Diego Freniche and many more (I don’t want to bore you with the complete list).

We organized ourselves in several cars and set off into the unknown (nobody was very clear about where they were taking us) and ended up in a rural house in the middle of nowhere.

Soon after tasting a “typical product” of the region, we went to the dining room for dinner, where I had to explain to more than one “guiri” what a piquillo pepper or a chistorra is. The atmosphere was fantastic and very relaxed. The only bad thing was that the wine was over… and the Pacharán began. That was our downfall, and from then on the memories become diffuse: “someone” steals Orta’s cap (one of the people responsible for CocoaPods, a tool used by almost all iOS developers) and puts it on as a rapper, shouts of support for Manchester and above all the classic regional chants: “From Cupertino to Bilbao, I’m going all over the shore”.

Day 1: the hard reality

I wake up at 8:00 with a call from Diego Freniche, who was kind enough to give me an ibuprofen for the night, for which I will be eternally grateful. I quickly find out on Twitter if any other speakers have survived, and apparently there are no casualties to be regretted, but we are all quite touched. I leave in a hurry, because my talk is the first one and about augmented reality (for augmented and exaggerated reality, the one from last night).

Starting my talk

At the end of my talk, I was playing a coffee sponsored by Agbo to celebrate the first 300 students of our online course but first we had to enjoy the visit of an Androidero to Sparta:

Between coffees and T-shirts, we present some of the new courses that Agbo Training will release in the coming months: Design for Dummies (developers), Core Graphics & Core Animation, Advanced Core Data and Web Services Consumption, among others.

Augmented reality talk for iOS

Immediately after the coffee, Aral Balkan (one of the most influential developers and designers in the iOS community) left us all overwhelmed with his talk about the increasing loss of control we have over our personal data, as well as his plan to change that. Not only is the topic of interest and very topical after the PRSM scandal, but Aral is one of the best speakers I’ve ever seen. One of the great pleasures of this conference has been to meet him in person.

After a session on accessibility from Sommer Panage and another from from Spotify (another conference sponsor), it was time to go to lunch. So we went to a university residence next to the Rioja Forum and filled its dining room. As we were saying the bad things, we looked like Android programmers in a Cáritas canteen.

Some were not convinced by the food and went to a student bar, where two types of sandwiches were served:

  • The light: battered ear, bacon and pate
  • The professional: loin, peppers, Saint Jacob and pate

In the afternoon, we continue with sessions on the Objective C runtime (what’s under the hood of Objective C and what makes it so different from other programming languages), Core Animation (the framework used to create the animations that are so common in iOS), a fun CocoaPods story by the dynamic duo Orta & Fabio and an introduction to git for iOS developers by Alfonso Alba. However, the hardest part was yet to come: 2 hours of workshop by me and Diego Freniche (both survivors of the dreaded party). With courage, each one went to his room: he to impart wisdom about Core Data (tool to persist the data of your program) and a server about TDD (productivity technique that also ensures that the program works properly).

That night we all went to visit Bodegas Ontañón, which, by the way, has its own app, as the guide kept reminding us. He tried to explain that they also had it available for Android but was immediately interrupted by a general booing and shouting (and that nobody had drunk). The visit was quite interesting and the guide really shone with his sympathy and his Shakespearean English, with which he explained “de jistory of de güain”. We had a great time.

With Aral and Ofelia, one of the volunteers who helped make NSSpain possible

Day 2: Taste of goodbye

For some of us, this would be the last day, as Thursday would be devoted to more hackatons and other activities more appropriate for young people.

I was hoping to be able to sleep until a little later and thus recover my body a little, but my joy was in a well: one of the sessions that interested me the most was early in the morning. So I left at dawn to listen to Delisa Mason about the differences between iOS and Mac programming (although very similar, it’s not the same to make Apps for iOS and for OSX). In order to see it, unfortunately I had to do without another one that interested me a lot: Daniel Eggert (former Apple employee who has worked on Core Image, a tool to apply filters to photos and videos, as Instagram does).

Throughout the day there were many interesting talks, such as ReactiveCocoa, the TDD talk by my new old friend Luis Solano or the low-level sound talk by Javier Sánchez. Javier and I share a common interest in audio and it was a pleasant surprise to know that during his stay at Stanford University he worked on a project as geeky and fun as the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra : an orchestra that replaces traditional instruments with Macs and iPhones.

In the evening, we all met in the centre of Logroño for a tapas dinner in Laurel Street. We were divided into three groups, each one guided by a native. I was guided by Borja Reinares and under his guidance we went out to discover the local cuisine. First stop, the “Zorropitos”, some bacon and aioli sandwiches that were in vice. From then on we stopped at several bars, where we had to explain the tapas and other more exotic concepts to the guiris. Here you have Borja trying to explain to Aral the concept of “chupinazo” (incredible):

Borja explaining to Aral the meaning of the chupinazo

Summary of NSSpain 2013

Turismo Geek (y II): Cupertino, la casa de Steve Jobs y mucho más

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Compartir NSSpain: Primera conferencia internacional de desarrollo iOS en España



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There are developer communities that are problematic, clearly not the case with iOS, where collaboration and friendly treatment is the norm.

Conventions like NSSpain , and also Spain.js, organized by members of their respective communities and not big companies, are putting Spain on the map of the big development conventions. This is something invaluable, in a world where one of the most demanded professions worldwide and with a greater perspective of growth in the next years are softwareapps developers and more in the current circumstances, where events like these not only bring business tourism, but also stimulate more people to dedicate themselves to a profession -apps developers- that currently there is practically no unemployment . Let’s hope that the other communities of programmers will join the challenge.

Another great advantage of NSSpain has been to be able to put a face to several students of the Online Course, with whom for obvious reasons I don’t have much contact.

I’ve also learned a lot about programming and other things. However, no other teaching is as important as Borja Reinares’: The Gintonic, always with Seagram’s.

Keeping up the good vibes of the iOS programmer community I want to end with a very special message for our android brothers:

“Bullshit we don’t innovate anymore!” , a phrase pronounced by Phil Schiller during the last WWDC.

Now, also in Spain, we have a top geek destination: a big international event for iOS developers .


At AGBO you can see a gallery of photos published on Twitter by the participants during these days in Logroño. See you next year for NSSpain 2014!

In Learn iOS Online

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