Conferences are always a great way to discover new techniques, be inspired by great talks, and meet like-minded developers. Fortunately, there are some amazing conferences taking place around the world this year, so no matter where you are you should be able to go along and learn something new.
Full disclosure: I’m speaking at several of these, including dotSwift, iOSCon, AppDevCon, and iOSDevUK. If you’d like me to speak at your conference just get in touch.
January 29th, Paris, France (Link)
dotSwift has a strikingly unusual structure: everyone closes their laptops, the lights are dimmed, and all the focus is on the speaker. Plus, talks are kept to just 18 minutes, and not announced in advance – when you sit down you have no idea what’s coming next.
February 15th-16th, Cluj Napoca, Romania (Link)
Taking place in Transylvania (known for being one of the most beautiful places in Europe as well as at least one other thing…), MobOS is now in its fifth year. The theme this year is “mobile community building and sharing,” and it has attracted speakers from as far away as Japan!
March 1st-3rd, Tokyo, Japan (Link)
try! Swift Tokyo runs across three action-packed days, with the third day being entirely devoted to labs and workshops. This year’s speaker list is as good as always, featuring well-known faces such as Wendy Lu, Samuel Goodwin, and Javier Soto, alongside homegrown talent like Katsumi Kishikawa and Shuichi Tsutsumi.
March 12th-14th, Atlanta, USA (Link)
This is a new entry into the iOS conference space, and they are starting with a bang: an epic conference space, hands-on labs, and a fantastic speaker line up. How fantastic? Well, there’s Peter Steinberger, Soroush Khanlou, and Sommer Panage just to name a few – it’s great to see such a strong new addition to the world of iOS conferences.
March 15th-16th, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Link)
AppDevCon is a multi-platform conference in the spectacular (and huge) Pathé Arena in Amsterdam, and their goal is always to be “by app developers, for app developers.” This means almost every talk comes packed with battle-tested code from someone who is solving real problems, and I can’t think of a better way to learn.
March 22nd-23rd, London, England (Link)
iOSCon takes place in the fantastic Skills Matter building in central London, and does a great job of blending talks with chance to mingle with other attendees. The main stage is large, but there’s usually a second track running downstairs for alternative topics.
April 16th-17th, Lugano, Switzerland (Link)
App Builders 2018 takes place in the beautiful lake-side town of Lugano, in the south of Switzerland. They always boast a great speaker line up, and this year is no different: Daniel Steinberg, Dave DeLong, Carola Nitz, and Graham Lee are already confirmed, among many others. With over 300 attendees, this is definitely one to attend if you can.
May 13th-16th, Berlin, Germany (Link)
UIKonf is frequently cited as Europe’s most respected iOS conference, and with good reason: not only do they pack in great speakers every year, but they also work extremely hard to get everyone involved and having fun. They allocate a whole day for social events, and you really don’t want to miss out!
May 16th-18th, Vienna, Austria (Link)
The largest developers conference in Europe takes place pretty much smack in the middle of the continent, and attracts over 8000 attendees – it’s huge. Unsurprisingly it also attracts world-class speakers, with this year’s line up including Ellen Shapiro, Kristina Fox, and Woz. Yes, that Woz. We Are Developers runs a free, multilingual child-care scheme, a co-working space, an expo, and more – there’s something for everyone.
June, Somewhere In California, USA (Link)
No iOS conference list could miss off WWDC: it’s the most well-known by far, and of course you get to be there when they reveal [iOS 12/UXKit/Apple Watch: Notch Edition]. Although the usefulness of attending WWDC has declined a little since they started live streaming the sessions, the labs are still the part everyone loves the most.
July 4th-6th, Barcelona, Spain (Link)
ADDC is one of the few conferences designed to bring designers and developers together to see what sparks fly, so you get a real mix of talks that will keep your brain buzzing for months afterwards. This year they are promising to add a boat party(!) to the mix, so if the idea of meeting new friends on a boat in sunny Barcelona sounds good to you this might be right up your street.
August 26th-29th, Denver, USA (Link)
With four days of topics on iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, this has been a popular independent conference since 2009. The speaker line up is always strong, with last year including Rob Napier, Janie Clayton, Aijaz Ansari and more, and your ticket even includes pre-conference training session.
September 3rd-6th, Aberystwyth, Wales (Link)
iOSDevUK takes place in the furthest tip of Wales, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming Britain’s most successful iOS conference – this year will be its eighth. The conference blends general sessions with more in-depth workshops, and last year’s event included an ARKit hacking event after hours.
October 18th-20th, Portland, USA (Link)
Launched last year, Swift by Northwest is the new venture by the Klein family who organized CocoaConf for years before. No one outside of Cupertino is more experienced at running Apple conferences than these folks, so if you’re looking for a slick, well-run event then this should be top of your list. (Also it’s in Portland, which is – in my opinion – the finest, weirdest city in the US. Powell’s FTW!)
October, Italy (Link)
Pragma has been running since 2013, and is now Italy’s biggest iOS conference. Last year’s event was in Verona, but they’ve also hosted in Florence and Milan – let’s face it, Italy has no shortage of beautiful cities. I can tell you from experience that the Pragma parties are legendary, but you’ll also be impressed by the range of speakers they invite.
Those are just the top conferences that have already announced 2018 editions – I look forward to seeing NSSpain, FrenchKit, and more being announced in coming months!
Paul Hudson is the creator of Hacking with Swift, the most comprehensive series of Swift books in the world. He's also the editor of Swift Developer News, the maintainer of the Swift Knowledge Base, and Mario Kart world champion. OK, so that last part isn't true. If you're curious you can learn more here.