CodeMobile 2017 - the lowdown

Niamh Power develops iOS and Android apps from Novoda's Liverpool office. In her spare time she loves to do anything outdoors, from white water kayaking to downhill mountain biking.

Here’s what I learnt from CodeMobile, Chester’s very own mobile developer conference.

Last month I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural CodeMobile conference for mobile developers in Chester, UK.

Having lived in the north west of England for most of my life, it was brilliant to see a conference located outside London that was attracting speakers from such high profile companies as Google, Facebook and Instagram.

Here’s a summary of the topics covered and a few of my thoughts on the three-day conference.

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Laurence Moroney - Google

One of the more high profile talks, ‘Firebase 2017: Build, Grow and Learn’, came from Laurence Moroney, a developer advocate at Google, specialising in Firebase and Google Maps.

The talk focused on Firebase, a tool I am relatively new to. I’ve recently completed the Udacity course in Firebase for both Android and iOS, so it was inspiring to hear from the course leader in person.

One of the more startling statistics that was presented was the number of developers earning below the ‘poverty line’ from their apps - 39% are earning less than US$100 a month. It was interesting to see how they tackled this with Firebase, how this influenced their strategy and how that evolved after Google's acquisition of Firebase in 2015.

By providing more detailed insights into user behaviours, as well as advertising revenue and being able to target this to certain audiences, developers can now have a better understanding of how their app is performing, and better target areas for improvement.

Find out more about the latest Firebase features and how to get started here.

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Heather Burns - Web Matters

A stand-out talk for me was from Heather Burns, ‘Mobile Development and the Law’.

Understanding data protection and relevant international laws is vital when developing large scale applications. I found it interesting to learn that in the US 'free speech' is considered a right, however 'data protection' is a commodity. Privacy is ‘seen as an impediment to free speech’ which seems like an alien concept on this side of the Atlantic.

The main topic of the talk covered the new EU Data Protection Act, GDPR. This will replace the Data Protection Act and will come into force on 25 May 2018. 'What about Brexit?' you may be wondering, but Heather advised us that the UK government have committed to go into GDPR regardless of Brexit.

However, the uncertainty of the next few years does pose some questions. What if the UK government decide to ditch GDPR? This would invalidate any business with European users, as the law requires any third party country to have an equal standard of data protection law in place. Heather's recommendation was to stick with the requirements of GDPR, no matter what, as this would guarantee your ability to have EU users use your app with all its intended functionality.

Lightning Talks

One of the great features of the conference was the lightning talks. These were five-minute talks given by a range of speakers over an hour period. It was a great way to keep the audience interested and involved - and also posed a challenge to the speakers as the time-keeping was very strict. A highlight for me was Michael May's talk 'Cats and Dogs', which focused on the similarities and differences between Swift and Kotlin. This is even more relevant now that Google has adopted Kotlin as an official language for Android.

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Overall, I felt the conference was a great success, as the first of its kind in the area. I’m hopeful that more events like this start appearing and I’m already looking forward to CodeMobile 2018.


Images sourced from Code Mobile

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