AltConf 2017 Fireside Chats: Part 1

Udacity’s iOS Nanodegree program team goes to AltConf 2017 to meet with the most important voices in the field!

For the second consecutive year, Udacity’s iOS team attended AltConf 2017 to conduct fireside chats with an amazing group of speakers. We talked about everything from design to machine learning, and we think you’ll enjoy these candid talks as much as we enjoyed conducting them.

Please enjoy Part 1 of our fireside chats from AltConf 2017!

Greg Raiz

Greg Raiz is CEO at RaizLabs, and a veteran mobile app developer. Our chat was a follow-up to when we met in 2016, and this year, we discuss Greg’s “mystery meat” principle:

“You shouldn’t need to guess what a button is, you should know what the button does.”

Greg also likens software to Lego — one of my favorite analogies of the year:

“For me, Swift and libraries and code and iOS and all this stuff, they’re all different [Lego] bricks, and if you have a cool idea, you can really think about how to assemble those bricks.”

You can learn more about Greg here:

Azam Mohammad

Azam Muhammed is an iOS developer, and an instructor at The Iron Yard. In our chat, Azam and I talk about native vs. non-native development, server-side Swift frameworks, and his popular gardening app Vegetable Tree. Azam’s advice to anyone starting their developer journey is, don’t be afraid to take the wrong path:

“If you never make a wrong turn, then you’ll never end up a new location.”

Azam on the web:

Stuart Hall

Stuart Hall knows how to build successful apps. His 7-Minute Work app, which he built in one day, has been downloaded more than 2 million times! Discovr, a music app he co-founded, has eclipsed 4.5 million downloads. In our discussion, we talk about some of his secrets to success, and why honest, unsolicited feedback is the feedback you should pay the most attention to.

You can find Stuart online here:

James Majors

James Majors is a self-taught developer and multimedia master-of-all-trades— in a former life, he helped produce Outkast’s incredible Stankonia album! These days, James works as an iOS developer at Possible Mobile in Atlanta, Georgia, where he focuses on writing clean and reusable Swift code. One of the key takeaways from our talk is James’ encouragement to live Nike’s slogan of “just do it”:

“You can come up with reasons not to try something; you can come up with things that have to be done before you can get to it; you can convince yourself you will never do it. But you can.”

James on the web:

Meghan Kane

Meghan Kane is an iOS developer at SoundCloud, and a machine learning enthusiast — a timely passion given that Apple’s announcement about Core ML happened just hours before we spoke! An avid cyclist, Megan is now using Core ML to develop a bicycle recommendation app. In our chat, Meghan talks about her journey into tech, the importance of finding a mentor, and why you don’t have to be a mathematician to use machine learning.

You can learn more about Meghan Kane here:

Ed Arenberg

Ed Arenberg is founder of EPage, a company initially focused on classified ads but now specializing in mobile solutions. Ed once worked on computers for the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, and the lessons he learned then—from working on intractable problems like “computers in space”—have helped carry him through his entire career. In our chat, Ed shares about his work on an Uber-like app for non-emergency medical transport, and an AR app for assisting with navigation at large events.

Ed on the web:


We recognize that if you’re an iOS enthusiast, this is a serious gold mine of content! Don’t worry if you can’t digest it all at once. Just bookmark this post, and keep coming back for more!


Are you interested in launching or advancing a career as an iOS Developer? Enroll in our iOS Developer Nanodegree program today!