UIKonf 2019 - All female speaker line-up
We’re very excited to announce that UIKonf 2019 will have an all-female* speaker line up on stage!
It is a fact that diversity in the tech industry is a problem. Even though there has been progress in recent years with more women joining and thriving in our industry, they are still facing many challenges and the only way to accelerate progress is to actively support it.
While we realize that diversity involves more than gender, gender is a large part of the problem. As one of the bigger iOS conferences globally, we want to do our part in supporting women in our industry and showcase some of the great women speakers out there. This is our way of raising awareness for the diversity problem while at the same time a celebration of all the women who follow their passion, muster up the courage to go on stage, and hold great talks despite the headwind they’re facing in our industry.
Diversity is not a new topic at UIKonf. Together with inclusiveness it has been one of our focus points since the beginning. We have invested a lot of effort and energy in putting together a diverse conference every year. Not only did we try to have speakers from all parts of the globe but also strive to achieve a balanced gender representation on the stage, each year. Beyond that we also had a scholarship program every year to support people from underrepresented groups or people for whom attending UIKonf would be a financial hardship.
Since we are inviting all speakers ourselves, this year we have to put our traditional anonymous CfP on hold. However, we still want to give an opportunity to speakers we might have missed during our research. If you think you or somebody you know should be on stage, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you were looking forward to submit a talk for the CfP, it will be back next year. You’re also very welcome to join the UnKonference on Wednesday, May 29th and hold a talk there.
This will be a UIKonf to remember and we are very excited to see you all there!
[*] We use an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people who are significantly female-identified. (Inspired by adacamp.org)
About endings and new beginnings
Our beloved co-organiser and your favorite MC Maxim has decided to dedicate more time building apps. After organising 4 editions of UIKonf together, we understand and respect this decision. All of us organisers are juggling a fulltime job, family / friends and UIKonf organisation which can be quite stressful at times.
We are super proud of how UIKonf has developed and continuously improved in these past years. And this journey would not have been possible without Maxim. So thank you, Maxim! We are grateful to have had you in our team and will miss you dearly. 💙
At the same time we are happy to welcome two new organizers in our team: Our long-term volunteer Julia Kallenberg has decided to join us as a "fulltime" organiser and will take over communication and website management while Sabine (that's me 👋) is escaping the cold Berlin winter for a short sabbatical. Julia is an iOS Developer at nebenan.de. She is also an avid traveler and a former project manager for renewable energies.
Also joining us as an organizer is Bianca Walterspiel Stromlund who will be supporting us with sponsor relationships. During the day, Bianca is managing Global Engineering Relations at Delivery Hero.
And we have three constants: Supporting the team as a professional event manager will again be Christine Braun (who is also happy to help organizing your professional event). And last but not least, Engin and Sabine will still be rocking UIKonf for you. We are looking forward to seeing you again!
Check out the full team here.
Mercedes-Benz.io sponsors 30 diversity tickets
We are very happy to announce that Mercedes-Benz.io is supporting UIKonf’s diversity program and helps us bring 30 members of underrepresented groups in tech to UIKonf 2018. This includes but isn’t limited to: women, people of colour, LGBTQIA+ people, and disabled people and generally people who are unable to attend without financial assistance.
We want to thank Mercedes-Benz.io for their generous support.
Mercedes-Benz.io is Daimler’s digital delivery hub working on products for the Sales and Marketing efforts of Mercedes-Benz and has offices in Berlin, Lisbon, and Stuttgart.
Announcing UIKonf 2017
Sabine, Maxim and I took over the responsibility of organizing UIKonf from Chris, Peter and Matt late 2014. 2015 was the first UIKonf we organized and it was an amazing learning experience for all of us. Being first time organizers, we tried to stick to the original team’s playbook as much as we could. The only significant change we did was the introduction of the social events on the sunday before the conference. We can’t thank the UIKonf community enough for the trust you placed in us and made UIKonf 2015 a success.
UIKonf 2015 went by in an adrenaline induced blur and 2016 was the first time we had the slightest idea what we were doing. We took the feedback we received from the previous year to heart and revamped our double blind talk proposal system, doubled down on social events, tried to use them to raise some money for charity and last but not the least added live streaming and live captioning. To be honest, we were slightly worried if we’d sell any tickets at all if we live stream all talks but the UIKonf community proved our worries completely unfounded by buying all the tickets: UIKonf 2016 sold out about 2 months before the conference.
Which brings me to our biggest problem in the last two years: capacity. UIKonf called Heimathafen home since the beginning in 2013. Heimathafen is a great venue with its unique charm which contributed to UIKonf’s character but unfortunately it has very limited space surrounding the main conference hall, which was the limiting factor on how many people we could accommodate for UIKonf. We are fully aware that increasing the capacity of a conference like UIKonf runs the risk of diluting the friendly, open and inclusive spirit but we believe it is also important to make the event accessible to more people in order to increase diversity.
That’s why we have been talking to various venues in Berlin to get more space for new ideas and a more diverse group of great people. We quickly found out that as the event venues get bigger they tend become standard issue corporate event locations with the expected lack of charm and the very unreasonable increase in costs. However, we are extremely happy to report that our new location Kosmos Berlin hits a sweet spot: we are going to be able to realize new ideas and have more great people and hold UIKonf in a special location originally built in the 60’ies as a movie theater in the communist East Berlin.
We are very excited for UIKonf 2017, which also happens to be the fifth time UIKonf takes place, and all fired up to make UIKonf more open, more friendly, more accessible, more inclusive and more diverse.
The tickets are already available and include three upgrades for the social events, the welcome party and the unconference day for free. We also added a new option of spouse tickets: It is a 99€ upgrade to your ticket which entitles your significant other to have access to all UIKonf activities.
We’ll be announcing the details of our first speakers, the call for proposals process and further details soon…
Sky is Sponsoring UIKonf
One of the sponsors contributing to this year’s UIKonf is the media company Sky. As one of Europe’s biggest entertainment companies, Sky might not seem like the obvious candidate to be interested in a grass-roots, artisan iOS dev-fest like UIKonf. But unsurprisingly, technology is right at the heart of Sky’s business and mobile is at the front and center of how the company wishes to offer content, services and interact with its customers.
In fact, over the last 18 months Sky has been growing a brand new technology base in Leeds. It’s currently home to around 350 Developers, Designers, Analysts and Testers. Sky@LeedsDock has a strong Mobile Developer team of 40 plus engineers split roughly 50/50 across iOS and Android, working on a wide range of apps for exploring Sky’s Sports, Movies, News and Kids content as well as apps for managing your account and remote recording.
Entertainment and TV is a fast changing, competitive business and this makes for an exciting and diverse project landscape with new campaigns and products driving the need for constant innovation and new features.
As an iOS developer at Sky this translates into opportunities to work on greenfield app projects completely written in Swift (or Kotlin for Android) as well as contributing to established Objective-C products, many of which are incorporating Swift for new features and testing. Frequent change also means there is an ongoing need to experiment, explore and spike new features or APIs. Sky@LeedsDock is striving to nurture an environment for engineers that values community, collaboration, constant learning and sharing via internal and external open source.
Developing agile ways of working focused on learning is a key part of the culture that Sky@LeedsDock aims to build. Taking inspiration from the Spotify Tribe model, iOS developers work in largely autonomous, cross-functional, self-organising teams of 6-10 people including Analysts, Designers, Testers and Product Owners with end-to-end responsibility for the design and build of our apps. This team-level autonomy gives plenty of scope for selecting our own tech stack and dev tools, whilst a cross-team mobile engineering guild provides a broader forum in which to discuss and agree on best practice and alignment across multiple teams.
The Sky@LeedsDock model offers a lot of flexibility and this is reflected in our tech stack of Objective-C, Swift, ReactNative, Ruby, node, Elixir, Scala, Go, GraphQL, Calabash & CloudFoundry and in the range of dev tools teams use including GitHub, CircleCI, AppCode, RubyMine, Dash, Sketch and Slack.
Underpinning the flexibility and autonomy enjoyed by our iOS developers, Sky@LeedsDock offers a great location with exciting new working spaces, an inclusive and international team of colleagues and plenty of challenging projects. Please feel free to take a quick look at our current roles & opportunities to learn more.