Droidcon 2015

BitWink’s Android team had the exciting opportunity to attend Droidcon 2015 in London. As this was my very first foray into big conference territory, I didn’t know what to expect! Turns out a conference like this has a very familiar university-like feel to it, I felt like I was on campus again. There were lectures and workshops to attend, food in the cafeteria, like-minded techies to talk to and even a big party afterward!

The talks were inspiring and informative, some reaffirmed and expanded my knowledge others introduced me to completely new concepts, at first mystifying, but encouraging me to learn.

One of my favourites was the RxJava talk. I had only read very little about it before, but I think Pascal Welsch and Wolfram Rittmeyer did a great job of explaining the concept and some of the workings concisely and laying out possibilities. I highly recommend watching the talk on Skillsmatter:
https://skillsmatter.com/skillscasts/6904-rxjava

Here is also a great repo by kaushikgopal with some great samples to get you thinking:
https://github.com/kaushikgopal/RxJava-Android-Samples

I was really excited to try some of Corey Latislaw’s “Android Katas” during her workshop- quite an interesting concept to train TDD muscle memory with a martial art mentality- repeat thoughtfully until it becomes second nature! Unfortunately, WiFi tanked during the workshop and I couldn’t get anything done (most people had trouble downloading the repo). While this is something Droidcon should definitely be careful of next time, I recommend checking the Katas out on Corey’s website:
http://coreylatislaw.com/

Another inspiring talk with a lot of pizzaz was “Meaningful Motion” by Nick Butcher and Benjamin Weiss. This got me super excited about working with the latest animations and VectorDrawables. They gave a great overview of the tools available and cool ways to use them:
https://skillsmatter.com/skillscasts/6798-meaningful-motion

One more talk I’ll mention was Erik Hellman’s “Staying alive, online and offline”. This was quite common sense, but quite an important issue to discuss! It’s amazing how many apps get this wrong across design and implementation. Erik is very concise and gives good advice, check it out:
https://skillsmatter.com/skillscasts/6609-staying-alive-online-and-offline

Chet Haase did a charismatic sarcastic talk at the end of the first day, roasting management consultants. I have been told this is a traditional feature of Droidcon! Everyone had lots of fun jumping on the joke and asking silly questions, afterward- drinking!

All in all, I’d highly recommend Droidcon to anyone who even dabbles in Android. Next year I’m thinking maybe join it up with some travel and make it a holiday- this year Droidcon was also established in Cracow. Who knows where they’ll go next!