August 07, 2018
A few weeks ago I attended, and spoke at, my 10th OSCON conference. I regularly say that OSCON is my favourite big conference, and every time I attend I’m reminded why I love it, and how much I love it: OSCON is a fun, relaxed, and very approachable place where companies and people involved in open source as contributors, consumers, and users, interface, work with, and have fun with each other. It’s unique in perspective, content, and value. And it’s super engaging everywhere from the lunch hall to the hallway to the sessions and in between. You should go, if you get the opportunity (O’Reilly runs a wonderful diversity and inclusion program, which make me able to help you make it along!)
This year was OSCONs 20-year celebration event! If you have a Safari subscription, you can check out the videos from the event here. There’s also a collection of keynotes and interviews from the event on the O’Reilly Media YouTube channel.
On the Monday, Tim, Jon, and I presented a 3 hour session on Open source game development with Godot. Godot is an amazingly polished, and entirely open source, game development engine; Godot is a project of the Software Freedom Conservancy, and is aggressively competitive against the big commercial engines, like Unity and Unreal. I largely led this tutorial, supported by Tim and Jon. We got great feedback from our attendees, and had a full house. I’ll post the material from the workshop in the coming week.
On Tuesday, Tim, Jon, and I presented a 3 hour session on Machine overlord and you: Building AI on iOS with open source tools. We covered everything from CoreML, to Vision, to Apple’s Turi Create Python libraries. Our attendees loved it, and gave us great feedback; it was a fun precursor to our new book, Practical AI with Swift (more on that soon!) You can find the material from this OSCON session right here.
On Tuesday night, I stepped way, way out of my comfort zone and presented a 5 minute Ignite talk on The realities of weightloss. This talk was based on a seed of an idea that Mars had, which I’d taken and run with in a slightly different direction (with her permission). It seemed to resonate with the audience, and I got a lot of thanks, and hugs, from people afterwards.
The next day, Wednesday, saw us doing our traditional book signing (for the latest Learning Swift) in the O’Reilly Media booth of the expo. We had a huge line of people, and signed for about 45 minutes. It was great fun! The O’Reilly staff treat us like royalty, which always makes us feel very special.
On Thursday, in the second-last slot of OSCON 2018, Tim and I teamed up with Mars to deliver an entirely-live coded talk on Learning Swift with Playgrounds. Mars wrote all the examples, designed the flow, and really got thrown in the deep end—and she totally nailed it! Tim provided an excellent narration of proceedings, as Mars live-coded her way through the demos (with Xcode crashing, as is custom!) We got many fabulous reviews, with the talk getting a 4.9/5 average. We were thrilled. You can find some notes here, and the fabulous Playground that Mars wrote here on GitHub.
Our friends, VM, Josh, and Paul, also delivered well-received, and awesome talks.
We really love working O’Reilly, particularly our amazing editor, Rachel Roumeliotis, who has risen the ranks of the company while we’ve been working with her (absolutely no connection to us working with her!) and is now a VP of Content Strategy.
We’re doing a bunch of great projects with O’Reilly over the coming year or two, including finishing up a new edition of our iOS Swift Game Development Cookbook, as well as a new Unity Game Development Cookbook, a Head First Swift book, and a brand new title, Practical AI with Swift. More updates on all of these soon!
Our latest edition of Learning Swift is available, and getting a bunch of great reviews, and our Mobile Game Development with Unity remains a fabulous guide to building games with Unity. Check them out?
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite tweets of the event, which someone sent following our Learning Swift 3rd Edition book signing:I can’t wait for next year’s OSCON: July 15-18, again back in Portland!
August 07, 2018 11:08 AM
July 28, 2018
The conference that I help run, /dev/world/2018, is selling tickets!
We have amazing keynotes from the following people:
- A Software Engineer from Savage Interactive, creators of hit iPad art app, Procreate
- Quentin Zervaas, creator of Apple Design Award winning app, Streaks
- Richard Moss, author of The Secret History of Mac Gaming
And we have workshops!
- Quality assurance and testing fundamentals for small teams
- Refactoring a horrible codebase guided by tests
- Adding AI to your applications with TensorFlow Lite for iOS
- Property Based Testing in Swift
- UX for Developers
- xcodebuild for fun and profit
- Accelerated App Development Using CloudKit: Idea to Featured in a Week
- Ada on an iPad?
- Batteries and Locks: Modern Tech from Ancient Times
- Build your own synthesiser
- Building Frameworks Natively in Swift
- Dancing with Attitude – Building experiences with CoreMotion
- Designing for iOS: Resources You Gotta Know
- Fun with fudge factors: prototyping vague things
- How to go from bad practice to best practice
- How To Make It Look Like You Know What You Are Doing
- Let’s settle this UI/UX thing once and for all
- Machine Learning …without the Machine
- Making a visual novel in HyperCard
- Mis-using Bluetooth wristbands to enhance cognitive accessibility of an app for inpatients with severe brain injuries
- Performance Tips & Tricks with Unity on iOS
- Push Notifications and the Limits of Innovation
- Rewriting Alamofire: Into the Core
- SIL for First Time Learners
- Solving the Massive App Problem: Rearchitecting a 5 year old codebase
- State Machines are your friend
- Structuring Your Code with the Model-View-Presenter pattern
- Swift, for Objective-C OGs
- The State of MVC
- There And Back Again with the Roundtrip App
- Tools for testing, logging, and analytics-ing your code
- VIPER for iOS
We’ll also have a dinner keynote, during our famous quiz, from Paul Fenwick! It’s going to be amazing! Grab a ticket?
July 28, 2018 07:22 AM
July 13, 2018
I’m super, super, super excited to be back at OSCON, my favourite conference, in Portland. This year you can find me at the following bits of OSCON:
- Monday, 16 July 2018
- Tuesday, 17 July 2018
- Wednesday, 18 July 2018
- Thursday, 19 July 2018
You should also check out the following sessions, from my friends:
July 13, 2018 10:20 PM
May 15, 2018
By popular demand, we’ve extended the /dev/world/2018 call for presenters by one week, to 22 May 2018! Get your talks in! You will be amazing!
May 15, 2018 01:14 AM
April 20, 2018
The iOS, macOS, Swift, and general Apple development conference that I help run, /dev/world is looking for presenters! We’ve opened the CFP for our 11th event (we’ve been going for 11 years! That’s nuts!) and we’re very excited.
If you have a good idea for a talk, please send it our way! I might wear my space suit again.
April 20, 2018 01:23 AM
March 28, 2018
Learning Swift (3rd edition), my latest book on Swift, covering Swift 4 and beyond, is available now. Check it out on Safari, or from your favourite retailer of books.
March 28, 2018 07:23 AM
March 22, 2018
I’m utterly stunned to report that Night in the Woods, a game which we work on in a variety of capacities, has been awarded two incredibly prestigious IGF (Independent Game Festival) awards for 2018:
- Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game
- Excellence in Narrative
This is a truly stunning result for a really cool little game.
Oh, we’re also nominated for some BAFTA awards. No big deal.
March 22, 2018 07:39 AM
February 14, 2018
From Thursday to Sunday I was lucky enough to be up on the relatively remote West Coast of Tasmania, in the Tasmanian-style resort town of Strahan, attending the first residential of the year-long Tasmanian Leaders Program (TLP).
TLP is a annual program (I’m part of TLP12, the twelfth intake for the program) that takes participants on residential retreats and linking sessions around Tasmania, exploring personal and professional development issues and activities. I’m told that it’s quite a competitive/exclusive/prestigious program, and I really wasn’t expecting to be offered a place.
I met 30 interesting and passionate Tasmanians, and had a great weekend doing all sorts of activities. I’ll post more about what we’re up to as the program progresses!
February 14, 2018 01:11 AM
January 16, 2018
I have made a Safari (macOS) extension that helpfully replaces some words in webpages. Download it here: ponzi scheme-to-ponzi-scheme v1.safariextz.
Please enjoy. Source release available on GitHub. Based on classic “Cloud to Butt” technology.
I take no responsibility for anything that may happen to your system from using this. It doesn’t phone home (other than whatever Apple might do with signed Safari extensions), and doesn’t do anything but some JS find-and-replace.
January 16, 2018 04:37 AM
January 09, 2018
December 12, 2017
This survey is now closed to submissions! Thanks!
My partner is doing an undergraduate research project where she’s looking into the Information Behaviours of Cinemagoers. As part of this, she’s conducting a survey exploring how prevalent different cinema related information behaviors are with websites/mobile apps. If you’ve used—or attempted to use—a mobile-based app or website to access cinema information, then you can help by completing a brief survey!
December 12, 2017 01:52 AM
October 24, 2017
September 29, 2017
The registration period for this training has now passed! Follow me on Twitter, or check back here to keep up to date with future training.
Live online at the Australian-friendly time of 2PM to 5PM (Sydney)!
Included with your Safari subscription!
September 29, 2017 01:51 AM
September 20, 2017
I’m really excited to be on a panel at the University of Tasmania in a few weeks on The Future of Work in Tasmania! It’s a free event, and there are refreshments! Come along! You can learn more, and register, on the UTAS website.
September 20, 2017 09:20 AM
September 19, 2017
This is a bit of a bump of an older post, with a few updates to highlight the new stuff we’ve been working on for our publisher, O’Reilly Media.
Our brand new Unity game development book is out! This is one of the most exciting books we’ve ever written, and you can own it now! (Or read it on O’Reilly’s Safari Learning Platform!)
We also have a bunch of awesome video training on game design, game art, game programming, and game promotion, also available on Safari:
We’ve also got some recent “Learning Path” videos, exclusively out on O’Reilly’s Safari platform:
Our newest books are also available now:
One of the best ways to look at all the training and material we create is on O’Reilly’s Safari platform (which has a free trial). It’s like Netflix for technical training and books.
September 19, 2017 04:39 AM
September 05, 2017
The registration period for this training has now passed! Follow me on Twitter, or check back here to keep up to date with future training.
Included with your Safari subscription (or free trial!)i
September 05, 2017 11:15 PM
August 08, 2017
“If you want to build any kind of game for mobile platforms, you’ve got
to take a look at Unity. This book is an excellent, thorough, and
seriously fun guide to putting together gameplay in one of the best game
engines out there for indie developers.”
– Adam Saltsman, Creator of “Canabalt” and “Overland” at Finji
“The best way to learn how to use a game engine is by getting your hands
dirty and building your own projects. In this book, Paris and Jon guide
you through the creation of two radically different games, giving you
invaluable hands-on experience with a wide range of Unity’s features.”
– Alec Holowka, Lead Developer of “Night in the Woods” and “Aquaria” at
“This book changed my life. I now feel inner peace, and I’m pretty sure
I can see through time.”
– Liam Esler, Game Developers’ Association of Australia
Our new book is (almost) out! You can read it on Safari, or buy it on Amazon, or at your favourite bookseller!
August 08, 2017 02:30 AM
July 31, 2017
July 24, 2017
Way back in 2008 I spoke at the first edition of a little conference called /dev/world… it was a great experience, and one that really helped me find my feet in the software development community, and especially in the Apple technology community. It was fabulous.
Screenshot of my original blog from when I first attended the first /dev/world, in 2008.
I spoke at every /dev/world from then on, up to and including 2012, and since then I’ve been helping my friend Tony Gray run the conference (along with Tim Nugent, Jon Manning, and a few other ne’er-do-wells). /dev/world/2017 will be the 10th edition of /dev/world, and I couldn’t be more excited.
We’ve got an amazing lineup of presenters, including keynotes from Sal Soghoian (former head of user automation at Apple, including AppleScript and Automator), Marc Edwards, Russell Ivanovic, Jake MacMullin, and Matt Gallagher, and talks on everything from accessibility to ARKit to Swift Promises to Unity 3D. Early bird tickets are available at devworld.com.au for the rest of this week!
/dev/world totally changed my professional life, and we’ve worked hard to create a programme for the 10th /dev/world that’s deserving of the legacy and name! Join us?
July 24, 2017 01:15 AM
June 22, 2017
tl;dr: I’ve recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, received my US Work Authorization, so now I’m looking for somewhere to work. I have a résumé and an e-mail address!
I’ve worked a lot in Free and Open Source Software communities over the last five years, both in Australia and overseas. While much of my focus has been on the Python community, I’ve also worked more broadly in the Open Source world. I’ve been doing this community work entirely as a volunteer, most of the time working in full-time software engineering jobs which haven’t related to my work in the Open Source world.
It’s pretty clear that I want to move into a job where I can use the skills I’ve been volunteering for the last few years, and put them to good use both for my company, and for the communities I serve.
What I’m interested in doing fits best into a developer advocacy or community management sort of role. Working full-time on helping people in tech be better at what they do would be just wonderful. That said, my background is in code, and working in software engineering with a like-minded company would also be pretty exciting (better still if I get to write a lot of Python).
- Something with a strong developer relations element. I enjoy working with other developers, and I love having the opportunity to get them excited about things that I’m excited about. As a conference organiser, I’m very aware of the line between terrible marketing shilling, and genuine advocacy by and for developers: I want to help whoever I work for end up on the right side of that line.
- Either in San Francisco, North of San Francisco, or Remote-Friendly. I live in Petaluma, a lovely town about 50 minutes north of San Francisco, with my wonderful partner, Josh. We’re pretty happy up here, but I’m happy to regularly commute as far as San Francisco. I’ll consider opportunities in other cities, but they’d need to primarily be remote.
- Relevant to Open Source. The Open Source world is where my experience is, it’s where I know people, and it’s the world where I can be most credible. This doesn’t mean I need to be working on open source itself, but I’d love to be able to show up at OSCON or linux.conf.au and be excited to have my company’s name on my badge.
Why would I be good at this? I’ve been working on building and interacting with communities of developers, especially in the Free and Open Source Software world, for the last five years.
You can find a complete list of what I’ve done in my résumé, but here’s a selection of what I think’s notable:
- Co-organised two editions of PyCon Australia, and led the linux.conf.au 2017 team. I’ve led PyCon AU, from inception, to bidding, to the successful execution for two years in a row. As the public face of PyCon AU, I made sure that the conference had the right people interested in speaking, and that we had many from Australian Python community interested in attending. I took what I learned at PyCon AU and applied it to run linux.conf.au 2017, where our CFP attracted its largest ever response (beating the previous record by more than 30%).
- Developed Registrasion, an open source conference ticket system. I designed and developed a ticket sales system that allowed for automation of the most significant time sinks that linux.conf.au and PyCon Australia registration staff had experienced in previous years. Registrasion was Open Sourced, and several other conferences are considering adopting it.
- Given talks at countless open source and developer events, both in Australia, and overseas. I’ve presented at OSCON, PyCons in five countries, and myriad other conferences. I’ve presented on a whole lot of technical topics, and I’ve recently started talking more about the community-level projects I’ve been involved with.
- Designed, ran, and grew PyCon Australia’s outreach and inclusion programmes. Each year, PyCon Australia has offered upwards of $10,000 (around 10% of conference budget) in grants to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend the conference: this is not just speakers, but people whose presence would improve the conference just by being there. I’ve led a team to assess applications for these grants, and lead our outreach efforts to make sure we find the right people to receive these grants.
- Served as a council member for Linux Australia. Linux Australia is the peak body for Open Source communities in Australia, as well as underwriting the region’s more popular Open Source and Developer conferences. In particular, I led a project to design governance policies to help make sure the conferences we underwrite are properly budgeted and planned.
So, if you know of anything going at the moment, I’d love to hear about it. I’m reachable by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) but you can also find me on Twitter (@chrisjrn), or if you really need to, LinkedIn.
June 22, 2017 07:42 PM
April 21, 2017
We’ve been working with some awesome folks to build a great library of training material for game development with Unity.
These videos are designed to accompany and support our upcoming book, Mobile Game Development with Unity (also on Amazon and Safari).
Here’s what we’ve been working on:
If there’s no purchase available yet, there will be soon! Everything is available on Safari right now, though.
We’ve also got some new “Learning Path” videos, exclusively out on O’Reilly’s Safari platform:
Our newest books are also available now:
One of the best ways to look at all the training we write is on O’Reilly’s Safari platform (which has a free trial). It’s like Netflix for technical training and books.
April 21, 2017 02:25 AM
April 03, 2017
This year, Jon gave a talk at GDC called “Making Night in the Woods Better with Open Source”. In it, he talked about how Night in the Woods (which came out last month and you should totally go buy) used the open source process in its development.
Unlike most of our other talks, we did something a little ridiculous with this one – we built an entire presentation system, from scratch, into Night in the Woods. We’re actually pretty proud of this, and so we put together a video showing how it was done. Check it out!
April 03, 2017 03:04 AM
February 26, 2017
Tomorrow I start a Law degree at the University of Tasmania. I’ve wanted study Law for a long time, and originally considered enrolling when I first started University –– instead, I did a BA (in History), a BComp, and then Honours in Computing, and finally my PhD.
Now I’m enrolled in a Bachelor of Laws, a large portion of which I get credit from my preexisting degrees for, and plan to study part-time for the next few years. I’m not sure if I’ll finish the degree, or even whether I’ll stick with the same degree (there’s also a Bachelor of Legal Studies, which is for those who want to study Law but not practice it, and I’m not sure if I would want to practice).
As I’m studying part-time, this doesn’t really impact anything with Secret Lab, or our writing, but it’s a fun new adventure regardless. I’ll post some updates about this, occasionally.
February 26, 2017 06:41 AM
February 15, 2017
Last week, a rather heavy document envelope showed up in the mail.
Inside I found a heavy buff-coloured envelope, along with my passport — now containing a sticker featuring an impressive collection of words, numbers, and imagery of landmarks from the United States of America. I’m reliably informed that sticker is the valid US visa that I’ve spent the last few months applying for.
Having that visa issued has unblocked a fairly important step in my path to moving in with Josh (as well as eventually getting married, but that’s another story). I’m very very excited about making the move, though very sad to be leaving the city I’ve grown up in and come to love, for the time being.
Unrelatedly, I happened to have a trip planned to Montréal to attend ConFoo in March. Since I’ll already be in the area, I’m using that trip as my opportunity to move.
My last day in Hobart will be Thursday 2 March. Following that, I’ll be spending a day in Abu Dhabi (yes, there is a good reason for this), followed by a week in Montréal for ConFoo.
After that, I’ll be moving in with Josh in Petaluma, California on Saturday 11 March.
But until then, I definitely want to enjoy what remaining time I have in Hobart, and catch up with many many people.
Over the next two weeks I’ll be:
- Attending, and presenting a talk at WD42 — my talk will be one of my pieces for ConFoo, and is entirely new material. Get along!
- Having a farewell do, *probably* on Tuesday 28 February (but that’s not confirmed yet). I’ll post details about where and when that’ll be in the near future (once I’ve made plans)
- Madly packing and making sure that that I use up as close to 100% of my luggage allowance as possible
If you want to find some time to catch up over the next couple of weeks, before I disappear for quite some time, do let me know.
February 15, 2017 08:33 PM
January 01, 2017
2016 was, undeniably, a length of time containing 366 days and a leap second.
For me, there were a bunch of highlights that it would be amiss to let pass without recording on this blog, so here goes:
- At linux.conf.au 2016 in Geelong in February, I announced linux.conf.au 2017 in Hobart. Over the last year, the conference team and I ran a wildly successful CFP, found 4 amazing keynotes, and lined up what looks like it should be an excellent conference. The only* thing left to do is actually run the thing.
- At PyCon in Montréal in 2014, I ran a BoF session for regional PyCon organisers. Two people from the Dominican Republic showed up and asked for our help in starting a PyCon in the Caribbean. In February 2016, I got to go to that conference, and it was incredible!
- On that note, I got to continue building on a deeply wonderful relationship with the amazing Josh Simmons that we started in 2015. Over the course of 2016, we got to spend time with each other on no fewer than 6 occasions, both in North America, and here in Australia. We met (and got along quite well with) each others’ friends and families. We spent time living together, and have made big steps towards living together permanently this year. Frankly, I could do a whole post on this and I’m not sure why I haven’t.
- On a slightly related note, I spent 92,000-odd miles in the air this year. Much of that was spent ducking over to the US to spend time with Josh; some of the rest was with Josh, and some of it was alone. I got to see some wonderful places I’ve never seen before, like the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, an actual northern hemisphere winter with snow and everything, and driving up the Californian coast from Los Angeles.
- … and one night in May, on the Steel Bridge in Portland, Josh and I decided that we should get married.
So those are some of the highlights of my year. It’s been entirely not bad, in the grand scheme of things. Hooray!
January 01, 2017 07:52 AM
December 09, 2016
It was an honour to be recognised with a 2016 “Gold Disruptor” award (in the “ICT Professional of the Year” category) at the ACS Digital Disruptor Awards in Sydney last week. It was a fun day of events, and there were amazing nominees in all the categories.
Thanks to the ACS for the photo, and thanks to me for doing a silly face in the photo.
December 09, 2016 04:33 AM
November 27, 2016
Our new book is out! We worked really hard on this amazing book! Learn about space, astrophysics, and Kerbal Space Program, the best realistic space program simulator!
November 27, 2016 01:02 AM
November 22, 2016
Tim, Jon, and I have been working with O’Reilly Media on a free report covering the latest version of Apple’s programming language, Swift 3.
You can download it, for free, over at the O’Reilly website. The report covers:
- a high-level view of Swift 3’s changes and new features, and learn how this version differs from Swift 2
- the Swift Evolution Process and the full list of accepted proposals—including those not yet implemented
- Swift 3’s changes to the language’s syntax, standard library features, and other areas
- Swift 3’s use on the server, and use a simple program to learn about Swift’s use on Linux
- further resources for learning about, working with, and converting projects to Swift 3
November 22, 2016 08:03 AM
October 05, 2016
August 23, 2016
Yesterday I was interviewed for The Tasmanian Entrepreneur Show, a great new podcast run by my friend Nigel Honey. We spoke about how Secret Lab got started, what we do, and how and why we do it. You can listen to my episode over on the website, or subscribe on iTunes.
It was great fun, and the whole series is excellent! Go listen!
August 23, 2016 01:40 AM
August 01, 2016
Over the last weekend I took place in GovHack 2016 at the Hobart site. This was the 4th time that I’ve participated in GovHack, and – as usual – it was an excellent event! I formed (what is now becoming the usual) team with Jon, Tim, Josh, Rex, Seb, Matthew, and Arabella, and we built a game out of the data-sets.
The game we built involves players taking control of news readers on flying news desks, grabbing images and matching them to headlines. It’s called Beat the Press and you can learn more about it on the project website, and through the video we made:
Thanks to my awesome team members for working so hard on art, music, data-wrangling, copy editing, video production, programming, design, and game design over the weekend! Thanks also to Craig Clark for hosting a fabulous event, as well as the other volunteers in Hobart, and everywhere else!
August 01, 2016 07:14 AM
July 13, 2016
This is what a computer linux hacker looks like.
I’ve been working with Swift for Linux, as part of a bunch of teaching material, as well as some conference talks that we’re working on. It’s not super easy to figure out, from searching, the best way to install Swift and Linux, if you’re a Mac user who wants to have a go with it. Here’s what I’ve found.
As it turns out, after extensive research, my feeling is that the best way to run Swift on Linux (on a Mac) is using Vagrant and VirtualBox. I’ve looked at a variety of options, including setting it up manually in a VM, using Docker for Mac, and so on, but this turned out to be the easiest way to do it, and maintain it.
To get Swift on Linux running, on your Mac:
- Download and install VirtualBox.
- Download and install Vagrant.
- Make sure you have Git installed, and clone the following repository: https://github.com/IBM-Swift/vagrant-ubuntu-swift-dev.git
- Once you’ve cloned the repository, change directory into it: vagrant-ubuntu-swift-dev
- Run the command: vagrant up
- Wait. The vagrantfile included in the repository you cloned, which tells Vagrant what to do, downloads Ubuntu 15.10, the Swift prerequisites, the prerequisites for libdispatch, the Swift concurrency library, the Sphinx documentation system, and then clones the Swift repository and creates a script that allows you to build Swift. (This might take a while, and will download a few gigabytes of stuff.)
- Once Vagrant is done, you can run the following command to connect to the Linux installation: vagrant ssh
- Then, once in Linux, run the following script to build Swift: /vagrant/swift-dev/swift/utils/build-script (This might also take a while, depending on the speed/capabilities of your computer.)
- You can then run the following command to verify Swift is up and running: swift –version
- You can then create some .swift files, and compile them with the swiftc command.
Easy! Hope that was helpful to someone.
July 13, 2016 04:32 AM
July 07, 2016
We’re running online Swift programming training with our publisher, O’Reilly Media, in a week or two (July 20 and 21, US West Coast time). You can learn more and register over on the O’Reilly website. We’re really excited! Attendees will all receive an electronic copy of our new Swift programming book, Learning Swift.
July 07, 2016 02:32 AM
July 06, 2016
You might have noticed earlier this week that linux.conf.au 2017, which is happening in Hobart, Tasmania (and indeed, which I’m running!) has opened its call for proposals.
Hobart’s a wonderful place to visit in January – within a couple of hours drive, there’s wonderful undisturbed wilderness to go bushwalking in, historic sites from Tasmania’s colonial past, and countless wineries, distilleries, and other producers. Not to mention, the MONA Festival of Music and Arts will probably be taking place around the time of the conference. Coupled with temperate weather, and longer daylight hours than anywhere else in Australia, so there’s plenty of time to make the most of your visit.
linux.conf.au is – despite the name – one of the world’s best generalist Free and Open Source Software conferences. It’s been running annually since 1999, and this year, we’re inviting people to talk abut the Future of Open Source.
That’s a really big topic area, so here’s how our CFP announcement breaks it down:
THE FUTURE OF YOUR PROJECT
linux.conf.au is well-known for deeply technical talks, and lca2017 will be no exception. Our attendees want to be the first to know about new and upcoming developments in the tools they already use every day, and they want to know about new open source technology that they’ll be using daily in two years time.
OPENNESS FOR EVERYONE
Many of the techniques that have made Open Source so successful in the software and hardware world are now being applied to fields as disparate as science, data, government, and the law. We want to know how Open Thinking will help to shape your field in the future, and more importantly, we want to know how the rest of the world can help shape the future of Open Source.
THREATS FROM THE FUTURE
It’s easy to think that Open Source has won, but for every success we achieve, a new challenge pops up. Are we missing opportunities in desktop and mobile computing? Why is the world suddenly running away from open and federated communications? Why don’t the new generation of developers care about licensing? Let’s talk about how Software Freedom and Open Source can better meet the needs of our users and developers for years to come.
WHATEVER YOU WANT!
It’s hard for us to predict the future, but we know that you should be a part of it. If you think you have something to say about Free and Open Source Software, then we want to hear from you, even if it doesn’t fit any of the categories above.
My friend, and former linux.conf.au director, Donna Benjamin blogged about the CFP on medium and tweeted the following yesterday:
At @linuxconfau in Hobart, I’d like to hear how people are USING free & open source software, and what they do to help tend the commons.
Our CFP closes on Friday 5 August – and we’re not planning on extending that deadline – so put your thinking caps on. If you have an idea for the conference, feel free to e-mail me for advice, or you can always ask for help on IRC – we’re in #linux.conf.au on freenode – or you can find us on Facebook or Twitter.
What does the future of Open Source look like? Tell us by submitting a talk, tutorial, or miniconf proposal now! We can’t wait to hear what you have to say.
July 06, 2016 01:21 AM
June 05, 2016
/dev/world/2016 tickets are now on sale! /dev/world is a fabulous iOS and OS X (and associated ecosystem) developer conference that played no small part in kickstarting many parts of my career, and for the last few years I’ve been helping to organise the event.
/dev/world/2016 runs in Melbourne on August 29-31, 2016. The conference covers developing on and for iOS and OS X, using Swift to Objective-C, and everything in between. We’re selling our best-priced early bird tickets right now over at devworld.com.au
We’ll be announcing more and more sessions, workshops, and feature presentations over the coming week. I’d love to see you in Melbourne! Let me know if you have any questions, or would like to sponsor the event.
June 05, 2016 09:00 PM
June 03, 2016
We’re running iOS Development with Swift (programming) training online for O’Reilly Media in July. Registration is now open, and we’d love to have you aboard! Over two days, we’ll take you from no Swift to enough Swift for iOS apps, and an understanding of how to use the iOS frameworks. You can learn more, or register on the O’Reilly website. Attendees of the online training also receive a copy of new book, Learning Swift.
If you just want a discounted copy of our latest book, Learning Swift, you can currently buy the ebook at 50% off through O’Reilly’s Swift sale! Use the code WKLSWFT (works until 5 AM San Francisco time, on June 11).
June 03, 2016 11:27 PM
May 15, 2016
At the beginning of May, Jon and I visited Atlanta, Georgia, for IA Summit 2016. This is the second time we’ve attended at the IA Summit: last time was in 2012, in New Orleans. This year, we presented the latest iteration of our game design talk, “How Do I Game Design?”.
As promised during our talk, here’s links to a couple of the things we talked about:
A video of an earlier version of this talk was captured at OSCON 2015, and you can find it on YouTube. You can also find the slides from the IA Summit 2016 version on Speaker Deck.
I really enjoyed our second visit to the IA Summit, and definitely hope to come back next year! A particular highlight of the conference was the games night, which is quite unique to the IA Summit –– I love it! Highlights from the talks include:
- Léonie Watson’s keynote about accessibility and inclusion, which featured a slide deck composed of movie quotes.
- Lisa Welshman’s keynote on how design can impact real human beings.
- Jesse James Garrett’s 7-in-1 closing keynote on… well, everything the IA industry needs to know?
- Dan Ramadan’s talk on “Taxonomies, Tags, and Trajectories at the BBC”
- Jorge Arango’s talk on “Placemaking Lessons from the Magic Kingdom”
- Stephen Anderson’s talk on “How To Design A Concept Model”
… but everything I attended was amazing. There’s lots of great photos of the event, not taken by me, online here. Thanks to the organisers, volunteers, speakers, and attendees for putting on an amazing event!
IA Summit 2016 was one of the most diverse-feeling, inclusive conferences I’ve ever been to, and the community –– while, as game designers, we only really sit on the intersection of it and many other communities –– is incredibly welcoming and friendly.
Atlanta was also an amazingly friendly city, with a lot of interesting attracting (oh my, go and visit the Georgia Aquarium!) I’m looking forward to getting an opportunity to revisit it in the future! I’m also really looking forward to venturing to Vancouver, for IA Summit 2017.
May 15, 2016 01:23 AM
May 12, 2016
Once again we are on the run, today was a brilliant ride up the coast. Nice speed limit and winding roads with good (dry) weather. After picking up some food in a local town we pulled up short of our desired campsite due to running out of daylight. This was the first time we have […]
May 12, 2016 11:12 PM
After been kicked off the boat at what the heck time is this o’clock we sat down at a cafe to fill our stomachs before venturing into the heart of Melbourne for camping supplies. Got what we were after and promptly high taled it out of Melbourne central before anything could halm us. For most […]
May 12, 2016 10:52 PM
Today we left the warmth of Longford and headed out to Beaconsfield. Here we checked out the mining museum, there are plenty to see if your into history. The museum is filled with history of the mining site but also has lots of interactive displays with industrial equipment and other information about life in the […]
May 12, 2016 10:32 PM
Today we packed up our gear from the rocky hard but very flat campground that the parks allowed us to camp on. I really wanted to go for a walk up to the lookout over wineglass bay, so we did! We wanted to get closer to Devonport but not stay in Launceston. After searching for […]
May 12, 2016 01:21 AM
May 09, 2016
Greeted the morning and setup my GoPro for a time lapse of the sunrise over the Bay, here are some teaser photos I took from my phone until I proccess the images (no computer with me). After packing up camp we headed over to freycinet with the intent on camping the night here. Camping in […]
May 09, 2016 11:09 PM
April 26, 2016
Time for me to fill you all in on some work I’ve been doing in preparation for linux.conf.au 2017. I’ve been looking into how we can better run the conference website, and reduce the workload of our volunteers into the leadup to the conference.
linux.conf.au has, for the last 10 conferences, used a home-grown conference management system called Zookeepr. I got administration experience in Zookeepr after being involved in running PyCon Australia for a couple of years, and continued to help manage registrations for the years following. While Zookeepr is a venerable piece of software, my 4 years of experience with it has helped me become familiar with a bunch of its shortcomings. Most of these shortcomings are in the area of registration handling.
A problem with conference management software is that the people who come to develop on it are often highly transient — they’re conference organisers. They show up, they make their modifications, and then they get as far away from developing it as possible. Zookeepr’s been affected by this, and it’s meant that difficulties with workarounds are usually overlooked when fixing things.
So I decided to look elsewhere.
Back in 2012, the Python Software Foundation funded a conference management suite called Symposion.
Symposion solves a bunch of problems that Zookeepr solves, and more importantly, it doesn’t suffer from the lack of continuous contributions that Zookeepr has: It’s an actively-maintained app, built on Django, and it has a community of developers supporting it in the form of the Pinax project. In the Python world, it’s used for a very large number of conferences, from PyCon US (a big conference, getting some 1000 talk submissions yearly), down to local regional conferences like PyOhio. It’s well known, and improvements to the system aren’t contingent on conference organisers maintaining interest in the system after they stop running conferences.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, Symposion doesn’t handle conference registration.
So after OSDC2015 in Hobart successfully ran their conference website with Symposion, I decided to plug the gap. In January this year, I jotted down all of the things that I thought was good about Zookeepr’s registration system, and thought about how I could go about objectively improving upon it.
I threw together a data model, and wrote a test suite, and liked what I saw. I asked the Python Software Foundation for a grant to let me do some concerted work on the project for a month or so, and they accepted.
The result is Registrasion (that’s Registration for Symposion (sorry)). I’ve just put out a 0.1 release, which I believe is suitable for running a conference if you’re happy to pull data out of the system with SQL queries, and take payments with bank transfers.
Registrasion was designed with a few key goals in mind, all of which came from observing how Zookeepr struggled around some frequent edge cases that, incidentally, come up late in the process of running a conference. Those late-occurring edge cases are invariably the ones that don’t get fixed, because volunteer conference staff all need to go and run their conference.
In particular, I focused on:
- Eliminating manual work for registration managers (Zookeepr has a lot of that)
- More flexibility in how we automatically offer certain items to end-users (selling flexible accommodation dates was a difficulty one conference year had)
- Handling money properly, so that it’s possible to easily reconcile inventory and what’s in the invoicing system
Many of these goals solidified after talking to past conference organisers, who’d all used Zookeepr.
I’m quite proud of a few things in Registrasion. The first is that Registrasion makes it really easy for attendees to add extra things to their registration as they decide they need to. We also take care of automatically giving out freebies that attendees forgot to select during initial registration. In PyCon AU’s case, that’s a lot of manual work we can avert.
Another is a really flexible way in managing what parts of the inventory are available to our users, and at what time. We can show and hide items based on voucher codes, or based on whether they have other products selected. This averts a whole pile of manual work that a past linux.conf.au reported, and I’m glad that our year won’t have to
Finally, I’ve made sure that Registrasion has a lot of documentation. It was a key goal to make sure that new conference organisers can understand vaguely how the system fits together. Python’s tools, and Read The Docs, has made this very very easy.
There’s a pile more work to be done, but there’s also plenty of time before lca2017 opens its registration (in October, probably?). But so far, it’s been super-fun to dive back into Django development, given it’s something I haven’t played with in a few years, and to solve a problem that I’ve been dwelling on for a couple of years now.
Hopefully, in Registrasion, we’ve got a piece of software that can serve the community well, will find use outside of LCA, but will still serve LCA’s needs well for years to come.
If you’re interested, please come along and contribute! I’d love to have you on board!
April 26, 2016 11:41 PM
April 04, 2016
We’ll be running our fantastic 2-day iOS developer training in Melbourne next month! Join us on the 2nd and 3rd of May, and learn all you need to know for iOS development. Only a few tickets left! Everyone gets an electronic copy of our new book, Learning Swift. Email me if you have any questions.
April 04, 2016 05:09 AM
March 01, 2016
I don’t often make a point of blogging about the conferences I end up at, but sometimes there are exceptions to be made.
A couple of weekends ago, a happy set of coincidences meant that I was able to attend the first PyCaribbean, in Santo Domingo, capital city of the Dominican Republic. I was lucky enough to give a couple of talks there, too.
This was a superbly well-organised conference. Leonardo and Vivian were truly excellent hosts, and it showed that they were passionate about welcoming the world to their city. They made sure breakfast and lunch at the venue were well catered. We weren’t left wanting in the evenings either, thanks to organised outings to some great local bars and restaurants over each of the evenings.
Better still, the organisers were properly attentive to issues that came up: when the westerners (including me) went up to Leo asking where the coffee was at breakfast (“we don’t drink much of that here”), the situation was resolved within hours. This attitude of resolving mismatches in the expectations of locals vs visitors was truly exceptional, and regional conference organisers can learn a lot from it.
The programme was, in my opinion, better than by rights any first-run conference should be. Most of the speakers were from countries further afield than the Caribbean (though I don’t believe anyone travelled further than me), and the keynotes were all of a standard that I’d expect from much more established conferences. Given that the audience was mostly from the DR – or Central America, at a stretch – the organisers showed that they truly understood the importance of bringing the world’s Python community to their local community. This is a value that it took us at PyCon Australia several years to grok, and PyCaribbean was doing it during their first year.
A wonderful side-effect of this focus on quality is, the programme was also of a standard high enough that someone could visit from nearby parts of the US and still enjoy a programme of a standard matching some of the best US regional Python conferences.
A bit about the city and venue: Even though the DR has a reputation as a touristy island, Santo Domingo is by no means a tourist town. It’s a working city in a developing nation: the harbour laps up very close to the waterfront roads (no beaches here), the traffic patterns help make crossing the road an extreme sport (skilled jaywalking ftw), and toilet paper and soap at the venue was mostly a BYO affair (sigh). Through learning and planning ahead, most of this culture shock subsided beyond my first day at the event, but it’s very clear that PyCaribbean was no beachside junket.
In Santo Domingo, the language barrier was a lot more confronting than I’d expected, too. Whilst I lucked out on getting a cabbie at the airport who could speak a tiny bit of English, and a receptionist with fluent English at the hotel, that was about the extent of being able to communicate. Especially funny was showing up at the venue, and not being allowed in, until I realised that the problem was not being allowed to wear shorts inside government buildings (it took a while to realise that was what the pointing at my legs meant).
You need at least some Spanish to function in Santo Domingo, and whilst I wasn’t the only speaker who was caught out by this, I’m still extremely grateful for the organisers for helping bridge the language barrier when we were all out and about during the evening events. This made the conference all the more enjoyable.
Will I be back for another PyCaribbean? Absolutely. This was one of the best regional Python conferences I’ve ever been to. The organisers had a solid vision for the event, far earlier than most conferences I’ve been to; the local community was grateful, eager to learn, and were rewarded by talks of a very high standard for a regional conferences; finally, everyone who flew into Santo Domingo got what felt like a truly authentic introduction to Dominican Culture, thanks to the solid efforts of the organisers.
Should you go to the next PyCaribbean? Yes. Should your company sponsor it? Yes. It’s a truly legitimate Python conference that in a couple of years time will be amongst the best in the world.
In PyCaribbean, the Python community’s gained a wonderful conference, and the Caribbean has gained a link with the global Python community, and one that it can be truly proud of at that. If you’re anywhere near the area, PyCaribbean is worthy of serious consideration.
March 01, 2016 07:50 PM
February 13, 2016
February 12, 2016
I spoke at linux.conf.au 2016 in Geelong! Once during the main conference, and once during the conference close.
My main conference talk, Welcoming Everyone: Five Years of Outreach and Inclusion Programmes at PyCon Australia, a five-year retrospective of how we’ve done outreach and financial assistance at PyCon Australia. It’s important that we share knowledge about how we run programmes that increase the diversity of our communities, and PyCon AU’s example shows how to build and grow such a program.
lca2017 handover talk
During the conference close, I gave our handover talk for linux.conf.au 2017, sharing what we think Hobart has to offer for the conference, and our vision for the conference. If you want to find out, in 6 minutes, what we’re planning on doing next year, this video is a good way to do just that.
February 12, 2016 10:26 AM
February 06, 2016
Yesterday at linux.conf.au 2016 in Geelong, I had the privilege of being able to introduce our plans for linux.conf.au 2017, which my team and I are bringing to Hobart next year. We’ll be sharing more with you over the coming weeks and months, but until then, here’s some stuff you might like to know:
16–20 January 2017.
We’re hosting at the Wrest Point Convention Centre. I was involved in the organisation of PyCon Australia 2012 and 2013, which used Wrest Point, and I’m very confident that they deeply understand the needs of our community. Working out of a Convention Centre will reduce the amount of work we need to do as a team to organise the main part of the conference, and will let us focus on delivering an even better social programme for you.
We’ll have preferred rates at the adjoining hotels, which we’ll make available to attendees closer to the conference. We will also have the University of Tasmania apartments available, if you’d rather stay at somewhere more affordable. The apartments are modern, have great common spaces, and were super-popular back when lca2009 was in Hobart.
Our theme for linux.conf.au 2017 is The Future of Open Source. LCA has a long history as a place where people come to learn from people who actually build the world of Free and Open Source Software. We want to encourage presenters to share with us where we think their projects are heading over the coming years. These thoughts could be deeply technical: presenting emerging Open Source technology, or features of existing projects that are about to become part of every sysadmin’s toolbox.
Thinking about the future, though, also means thinking about where our community is going. Open Source has become massively successful in much of the world, but is this success making us become complacent in other areas? Are we working to meet the needs of end-users? How can we make sure we don’t completely miss the boat on Mobile platforms? LCA gets the best minds in Free Software to gather every year. Next year, we’ll be using that opportunity to help see where our world is heading.
So, that’s where our team has got so far. Hopefully you’re as excited to attend our conference as we are to put it on. We’ll be telling you more about it real soon now. In the meantime, why not visit lca2017.org and find out more about the city, or sign up to the linux.conf.au announcements list, so that you can find out more about the conference as we announce it!
February 06, 2016 03:45 AM
January 11, 2016
Hello! We’re running our famous iOS Developer Training again in Melbourne, on May 2 and May 3 this year. We’ll be teaching the latest iOS app development techniques, with Swift. We’re taking expressions of interest, which require no commitment, and will get you a discount code for when registrations actually open! If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Check it, and register your interest, over at the Secret Lab site: http://www.secretlab.com.au/training/ios-mel-2016
January 11, 2016 04:30 AM
January 08, 2016
In February, I’m presenting my first-ever solo presentation at linux.conf.au, my favourite Free and Open Source Software Conference. This year, the conference is in Geelong (just out of Melbourne). I’ve been attending linux.conf.au since 2008 in Melbourne, and am running the conference next year in Hobart.
I’m presenting Welcoming Everyone: Five Years of Outreach and Inclusion Programmes at PyCon Australia, a five-year retrospective on how we’ve handled running financial assistance and related programmes at PyCon Australia.
Doling out financial assistance money to people often looks like it should be an easy thing to do right, but targetting and assessing grants so that the right people are interested, want to attend, and receive assistance is quite a difficult task. This talk shares our successes, our mistakes, and what we’ve learned along the way.
Registration for linux.conf.au 2016 is still open, so if you’re not yet planning on attending, there’s still time to get a ticket!
January 08, 2016 10:10 AM