Daqri is a company trying to change the way people work in industrial environments by introducing augumented reality into the workplace. They’re most notable for an AR smart helmet they’ve designed and produced ( This weekend they concentrated on coordinating an event in DCU Innovation Center in Ireland.

While most participants were from Dublin, some people came from Spain, USA, Poland (me!) and even New Zealand. Apart from networking and getting to know each other, the goal was to develop an augmented reality app.

We were encouraged to use technologies like 4D Studio (web based tool created by Daqri), ARToolkit (open source AR library), Melon (dry-electrode EEG reading headband) or even Daqri Smart Helmet SDK.

I paired up with an italian developer Vincenzo F. to work on his idea of an augmented reality book reader. After a day and a half of struggling with Android SDK, OpenGL and ARToolkit, we managed to code a prototype showing the potential of this technology. You can take a look at a short video here:

Overall attending the hackathon was a very pleasant experience – I had tons of fun, met lots of passionate people, learned a lot about augmented reality and current state of technology.

Daqri is planning to organise another hackathon next year, so you can still experience all the above for yourself. Be sure to follow their twitter profile (@DAQRI) to keep up with what they are up to!

Mobile Central Europe 2014

Games are fun, no doubt about it. Turns out not only playing them, but also making can be a source of tons of enjoyment and satisfaction. This is how I got into programming in the first place – I just wanted to learn how to create my own RPG.

So I paid the conference fee (turns out it’s not always beneficial to be an ‚early adopter’, promocodes were easy to obtian later on), paid for the flight ticket to Warsaw, Poland (my home city btw) and joined other fellow programmers listening to the first lecture delivered by Mike Lee (@bmf on Twitter).

And what do I hear? His main point was: Don’t make games, it’s a VERY expensive hobby. Oh, and also: don’t make games. Did I mentioned don’t make games already?

Yeah, right – perfect start of the day – hearing Mike contradicting the whole reason I got into writing software in the first place ;)

Actually it was hardly a shocker for me, but some of his points were very eye-opening. Times when I shared this worldview that professional game development is a dream job are long gone. There’s a reason I’m making a more traditional ‚business’ software.

Anyways, the conference was great. I didn’t expect the first edition of any IT conference to be so well organised and overall so valuable. Great speakers lineup, fenomenal venue (in a cinema!! yay!), lots of really nice peope. To be honest as one of the first people to buy a ticket I didn’t expect much (the website was almost empty when I signed up). But over time (with more and more speakers anounced) it became obvious that the event is going to be huge and very worthwhile.

Unlike most Polish conferences, this one attracted mostly international (and mostly well-known) speakers, which is rather unusual and especially noteworthy considering the event price. To name just a few, we had a chance to listen to Chris Eidhof, Ortha Therox, Jon Reid and Peter Steinberger. Three simoultaneous lecture tracks guaranteed that one wouldn’t end up listening to something he didn’t find interesting.

One talk that got me thinking was Drew Crawford’s ‚UI testing sucks’. This is something I’ve been looking into recently (Calabash in particular). He made an argument that the UI automation tools need to have so many assumptions (which will not always hold true), that where possible we should focus on writing correct unit tests first and only then start thinking about automated UI testing. Or even think about dropping automated UI testing completely in favour of TDD. I’ve got too little direct experience with BDD to comment on that, but that’s a certainly interesting point.

Did I mentioned how cool the venue was? Not only did we have enormous cinema screen sizes and very comfortable chairs, but also we didn’t have to go to a pub for the afterparty. For me that’s a huge benefit – as a non-native english speaker I find it difficult to talk with others in environments having lots of loud background noise.

Oh and during the afterparty the attendees were able to play some games.. on a cinema screen. Pretty cool, huh? ;)

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to join a preceeding event – JITTER hackaton that happened on friday. You can check out the official hackaton video here (includes some footage of the actual conference).

In short: the conference turned out waay better than I anticipated. It could easily compete with similar events that happen abroad, only it beats them with the ticket price ;)

Will I go next year? Sure I will! And you should too, it’s worth it!

If you read my blog from time to time you probably noticed a trend that I attend a technical conference, get excited about it and afterwards describe how awesome it was, encouraging you to join next year. Well, this post will be no different ;)

While usually (at least in Poland) mobile conferences tend to cover whole bunch of platforms (or at least the two most popular ones), iOSDevUK was centered purely around iOS development. Which makes it especially interesting, since it creates a great opportunity to meet lots of people who deal with the same stuff you do professionally and exchange experiences.

The venue



It took place in a picturesque small west coast welsh town of Aberystwyth (prepare for a daily seagull-induced wakeup). Apart from fantastic landscape, the location provided local pubs around every second corner, which inevitably led to socializing over a pint every evening :)

Both the lecture rooms and the default accommodation were on the university campus, which resulted in a really affordable conference fee. Some voices on twitter complained about a claustrophobic dorm rooms (or unfriendly electronic shower user interface), but I don’t think you need any more luxuries for a 3-day stay (wifi worked in the dorm rooms, what else could we possibly need? ;)

Protip: if you travel overseas (like I did), it helps to actually read the travel hints on a conference website. That would have saved me a few hours journey (Birmingham International is the preferred airport of choice, not any of the London ones).

The lectures

As usual, quality of the lectures varied. Some that I expected to be excellent, turned out to be so-so, other ones which I didn’t even want to attend, turned out to be really enjoyable.

Overall – I didn’t experience any epiphany listening to the talks, but I never felt like attending to any of them was a poor use of time.

The only thing I didn’t like about the lectures was that they haven’t been video-recorded. Which means if you were interested in two sessions happening simultaneously, there was no way to benefit from both (we had two tracks of talks most of the time).


Playing with Arduino bluetooth board and pulsating hedgehog app with @miguelquinon

Not all the lectures were full-length. The conference incorporated the idea I’ve heard about, but have never seen ‚implemented’: 5-minutes lightning talks. That turned out very well, I’d love to see more conferences allowing this short speech format.

Apart from the lectures, there have also been a bunch of workshops (including Core Data one conducted by Marcus Zarra) and an Arduino hack (which became way more fun after pizza, beer, nerf gun and hedgehog images came into play).

The people

The attendees are usually the highlight of all conferences, this time it was no different. Momentarily it was just a tiny bit surreal for me to see and/or chat with the iOS tutors known from the internet that I didn’t ever expect to meet in person. And judging by the other people’s reactions and standing ovations after Dave Verwer’s talk (the guy behind iOS Dev Weekly), I presume that at least some other people shared that feeling.

For me as an introvert and non-native English speaker (far from the best one) it was definitely a stretch to have so many conversations with people over such a short period of time, but I absolutely enjoyed it.


Overall I really enjoyed the conference and had a blast! It’s always a little bit inconvenient to attend an event happening in the middle of the week, but this time it was absolutely worth it, no doubt about it.

Big thanks to Chris Price and all the other organizers for their huge effort put into organizing the event and see you all next year!

Btw. if you missed the opportunity to join iOSDevUK this year, there’s another iOS conference happening shortly (17-19 of September), check out NSSpain website!