KotlinConf 2019 Recap

Posted on by Andras Kindler

It is a tradition at Makery to visit KotlinConf every year. We were there in San Francisco where it all started, and we visited KotlinConf Amsterdam as well last year. This year three of us were lucky enough to visit Copenhagen: Gyula Voros, Gergely Hegedus, and myself, Andras Kindler. While Gyula is a KotlinConf veteran, having attended both in San Francisco and in Amsterdam, this was the first KC for Gergely and me.

The main hall, from above.

Before we dive into the talks, I wanted to write a bit about the venue itself. This year's conference was held in Copenhagen, in the Bella Center. A modern and highly practical venue with huge open spaces, fast wifi, spacious and comfortable rooms, not to mention the rather tall trees indoors. Catering was also spot on, delicious dishes for breakfast and lunch including vegetarian and vegan options as well, and snacks throughout the day (Superfood Bar <3).

Last, but not least: the talks were of very high quality. I felt just a little overlap (because I was attending almost all of the MP and Native talks), but overall: stellar performances and highly interesting topics. And with 4 talks in parallel at any given time, there's a lot to watch after as well. Before day 1, we sat together and synced our schedules. The goal was to try to not sit together, but to attend as many different talks as possible. Here are our top picks:

Gyula's picks

  1. State of Kotlin/JS by Sebastian Aigner is the talk if you're interested in what's new in the world of Kotlin/JS.
  2. Kotlin Mullets by James Ward and Chet Haase. This talk is about building multiple aspects of an application with a shared Kotlin codebase: the mobile apps, web frontend, and the backend.
  3. Kotlin in Space. Maxim Mazim shows you how Kotlin was used in the brand new product Space, announced the day before.

Gergely's picks

  1. The Shuttle Case by Stephen Carver. Even though it wasn't Kotlin related at all it was the most inspiring and interesting presentation in the whole conference.
  2. Building microservices with Kotlin and gRPC by Marharyta Nedzelska. gRPC is rarely used now, but for me they are a great alternative for REST & JSON APIs. This talk was a really well structured and entertaining way to show us how to get the most out of it in Kotlin.
  3. Compose Yourself: designing a Kotlin first UI Toolkit by Anna-Chiara Bellini & Clara Bayarri. There were multiple presentations about Compose but this one was the winner for me as it focused on the design decisions behind the API instead of the ways to use it.

Andras' picks

  1. Opening Keynote. Andrey Breslav knows how to get a conference started.
  2. A tie between Shipping a mobile Multiplatform project on iOS & Android by Alec Strong and Ben Asher, and I walk the line by Ellen Shapiro. Two awesome talks about using Kotlin on both iOS and Android, with real-life insights.
  3. The Shuttle Case by Stephen Carver. Although not related to Kotlin, this was one of my favourite talks - the tale of space exploration's past few decades, with focus on company culture, told in a very inspiring manner.
Three happy Kotliners.

Also, we had a mysterious new product announcement as well, one that nobody new anything about, but everybody kept guessing anyways. Space is an integrated team environment from JetBrains that aims to break down barriers for collaboration. The EAP is already available for the attendees, and we are trying it out as I'm writing this, very promising so far.

All in all, KotlinConf 2019 was an amazing experience, and not just because of the talks. It was great to meet old friends and make new ones - see you again next year! Also, if you want to feel the vibe, dive into our Instagram stories!