Mobilization is a conference dedicated to mobile technologies. It focuses on the development of mobile solutions for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Mobilization IX, just like the previous editions of the conference, took place at Expo-Łódź exhibition and conference centre.

Because iOS, Android and progressive web apps development is a huge part of our services, we considered the conference a nice opportunity to broaden our knowledge, learn about new trends and mingle with other industry practitioners.

In this post, we offer you a quick retrospective and pick our team members’ brains for impressions on this year’s edition of the conference, its presentations and speakers.

BSG Team

The Venue

While our team agrees that the overall impression from the 2019 conference was very positive, there’s definitely room for improvement. Some of the complaints concerned the venue. The general vibe during some of the lectures was that the organizers underestimated the number of attendees, which was especially evident during coffee breaks – the main conference area got really crowded sometimes.

The level of the presentations

Piotrek, Android Developer: I’ve been to several IT conferences before, but that was my first Mobilization event. In terms of the content of the lectures, I think only some of them were really valuable.

Łukasz, Senior Android Developer: The level of the lectures was varied, some were a bit derivative and basic, but I liked the most about new directions in creating Android applications (Jetpack Compose) and the main Android language itself – Kotlin.

It seems to me that the greatest value in such trips is the opportunity to meet people with different experiences, willing to share them, as well as the opportunity to learn about the latest trends in our field.

Maciek, Senior Android Developer: I found the level of the lectures and the conference itself was a little lower than last year, but there was something for everyone. The talks about iOS / Android / Flutter / Testing will definitely be useful in our everyday work.

The presentations that I found most interesting were Kaushik Gopal’s Architecting Android and iOS app features for 2020 and Building a CI / CD pipeline for your mobile app. The former proposed a universal architecture of a mobile application that can be successfully implemented in both iOS and Android applications.

Patryk, iOS Developer: First of all, the conference allowed us to look at the problems that developers are struggling with and the solutions they used. I think Xcode Project Generation was the most interesting presentation at the conference.

Despite the total lack of novelty and a lower level than last year, it seems to me that it was worth attending. As a new trend, React Native is being replaced by Flutter in the field of cross-platform solutions, which from my point of view and considering my experience in this field, is good news.

The Good:

  • The organization of the conference was at a very good level. Apart from the lectures, it encouraged exchanging experiences of other programmers over a cup of good coffee.

  • Our team members almost unanimously mentioned Architecting Android and iOS app features for 2020 by Kaushik Golal as one of the most interesting and valuable presentations. Kaushik is Senior Staff Mobile Engineer at Instacart and the creator of the Fragmented podcast. He has vast knowledge about Android development and a talent for presenting it to the public. His Github is full of useful examples. We will definitely apply what we learnt from the presentation in our day-to-day work.

Architecting Android and iOS apps in 2020

Link to Kaushik Golal’s presentation
  • In another great lecture, Peter-John Welcome presented a comprehensive Continuous integration and Continuous delivery solution for large mobile applications supporting the automation of the process of delivering applications for testing and to the market.

  • Kotlin Not-to-Do List – What we should avoid doing in Kotlin was a great presentation by Marcin Moskała. It focused on the most common mistakes of Kotlin programmers. The presenter’s charisma and the delivery of the lecture elevated the presentation to one of the best at the conference.

Marcin Moskała’s presentation art SphereIT
  • Paweł, our Senior Android Developer found the conference fun and more interesting than other, foreign conferences.

  • Of course, it is worth mentioning that a trip to conferences is also a good opportunity for the team to integrate and bond.

The Bad:

  • Sometimes, when delving into advanced technologies, speakers forget about the basics, but the level of lectures marked in the agenda: “beginner,” “intermediate” and “advanced” differed radically within their respective categories – in particular, the “intermediate” level was very inconsistent.
  • We expected to hear more about Flutter. Almost a year after the official publication of the stable version of Flutter, presentations could focus more on the ways to solve the challenges we face in our daily work on projects.
  • The information included in these 45-minute presentations could be condensed into a dozen or so minutes of browsing the documentation / a post on the development blog.
  • Although cross-platform solutions enable developing better and better applications, only 3 panels at the conference (out of all 30!) focused on these solutions, and none of them was “advanced”.

Kaushik Golal’s Fragmented podcast

Kaushik Golal’s Fragmented podcast

Where’s React Native?

By analyzing the agenda of this year’s Mobilization, you could immediately see that there was not a single talk about React Native. React Native’s notorious absence was caused by the fact that an increasing number of companies are starting to abandon this technology. This made us wonder: Is React Native dying?

Axel (iOS Developer): I have mixed impressions about this year’s Mobilization conference.

For me, the event started poorly. It could be partly because of my bad choices, but I didn’t like the first two lectures I attended. They were boring, and the speakers did not offer a fresh perspective on the problem. It was just the same thing repeated for the hundredth time.

Fortunately, after lunch, the presentations were getting better. I particularly liked the presentation by Kaushik Gopal. He showed a very interesting concept of architecture that harmonizes well with functional programming. I will definitely use some of this in my code.

To sum up, I have positive overall feelings, I have broadened my knowledge and I will gladly see what next year’s edition will bring.

The key takeaways

  • You can reasonably expand the development team by creating modules.

  • Native solutions facilitate the work on the project and make it easier to onboard new people in the long run.
  • Extensive modularization and a larger team, you need a person or team responsible for the project infrastructure and Continuous integration.
  • There is a clear trend inspired by microservices when it comes to mobile architectures.
  • Technically Flutter is a more future-proof tool for creating cross-platform solutions.
  • Producers have noticed the benefits of a declarative approach to creating graphic interfaces. Next year we can expect a huge increase in interest in creating a graphic layer using the latest tools (such as SwiftUI and Jetpack Compose).
  • Thinking about the scalability of projects – despite the higher initial cost – usually pays back in the long run.

Mobilization IX as seen by the BSG team

Kuba, Android Developer: Mobilization IX was the first conference I attended as an employee of Better Software Group. The event was a nice opportunity to participate in many interesting presentations, including Flutter, Kotlin-Native and Kotlin and some of them were very high level.

Michał, iOS Developer: I enjoyed the event, although I got the impression that most of the content was directed to junior and mid-level programmers. Still, it was also an opportunity to refresh my knowledge a bit. I was most impressed by the presentation Xcode Project Generation in which Kassem Wridan discussed a problem at his company and the way they solved it. The talk covered some of the key insights and learnings from the team’s experience with Xcode projects and the available tools.

Tomek, Android Developer: It was my first time at Mobilization. Looking at the agenda, I liked the names and topics at the conference. The conference day began with a lecture on Android Auto. The speaker led us through the process of creating and certifying the application which, due to the high interface requirements, can take up to several weeks.

Another interesting topic was multiplatform programming using Kotlin Native. This technology allows programming of applications on various platforms with sharing of logic written in Kotlin.

Kamil, .NET Developer: I went to the conference as a stand-in for a colleague who couldn’t go due to injury. On a daily basis, I do not create solutions dedicated to mobile systems, so I was skeptical about going to a conference that does not concern me. I decided to go to the conference at the last moment and I do not regret my decision.

The Deep Dive

Some of our developers went the extra mile to share their thoughts about the conference. Wojtek, our own Android Developer goes into the nitty-gritty:

First, the things I didn’t like.

Inconsistent level

Sometimes, when talking about advanced technologies, we forget about the basics. I found the level of presentations in the agenda a little inconsistent: “beginner,” “intermediate” and “advanced” levels differed significantly within their respective categories – in particular, the “intermediate” level.

Flutter was missing

I expected to hear more about Flutter. It’s been almost a year since the official release of the stable version of Flutter, and I expected the presentations to include ways to solve the challenges we face in our daily work on projects.

The development of cross-platform solutions allows providing better applications. However, only 3 panels (out of 30!) were devoted to these solutions and none of them was “advanced”.

On the good side:

Great international speakers

The level at the conference was significantly increased by well-known speakers and native developers – Kaushik Gopal and Marcin Moskala were certainly the highlights of the conference. Both speakers were characterized by excellent delivery and competence in their respective domains.

Last Words

Overall, Mobilization IX was a great opportunity for some of our team members to get to know each other – especially when they mostly work remotely.

We are really glad that we could attend Mobilization this year and I hope that in the future we will see more panels about cross-platform solutions.

Stay mobilized!

BSG Team