360AnDev: A Great Experience

It was almost two months ago. Now I can say for sure what stuck with me.

TL;DR? It was great.

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The conference itself was a helpful mix of very accessible surveys and deep dives. The conference had an app with not only the schedule/descriptions but also a place to rate the sessions. I love giving feedback (this isn’t sarcasm) because I love being part of iterative processes. I feel confident that as good as everything was this year, it’ll be even better next year.

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Haha. Me trying VR. If you look closely, you can see Chet Haase and Romain Guy in the background. Fun fact: in VR, looking off the edge of a building can still give vertigo.

Of course I learned a lot of things.  But you can do that at home.  It’s 2016 and you can learn anything online.  So that’s not what made attending the event important.  By far my biggest takeaway from the conference is the feeling that there is an Android community. It exists and it’s not a monoculture. As insane as it sounds, I never really thought about the people at Google writing and maintaining APIs. They’re real people and they’re not willfully obtuse. (I now doubt my original conjecture that Google devs lurk on SO waiting to write dismissive comments. That never really made sense anyway.)

With Ana Baotic at the end of the first day.

Since the conference I’ve finally started listening to the ADB podcast. It’s informative and fun but it’s largely dudes. The conference had a serious proportion of lady speakers. If it weren’t for 360 AnDev, I’d have the mistaken impression that there just aren’t many well-informed women in Android. This fact, the knowledge that the Android dev community isn’t just a bunch of brogrammers, means something.

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Fetching Denver skyline at the end of second/final day of conference.

Some things:

  • During the conference I was working on my third submission for the Android Nanodegree and finally started really reading the documentation. This wasn’t related to the conference but concurrent. (Well, maybe it was because of the conference…because I was embarrassed to have 20 browser windows all open to SO.) Now, the documentation is the first place I look (unless there’s an official Google training page).
  • I now know many Android devs from all over! Also, they’re a diverse bunch. Of course it was good running into Yash.
  • I’ve started a little side project using Firebase.
  • I went on a hike with other devs. Android devs–they’re just like US.

 

(Photo: James Pearson) Post-conference hike organized by Chiu-Ki Chan. I don’t yet know about my nascent sunburn…