droidcon San Francisco 2017: As you’d imagine a great tech event in the hottest tech city would be
800+ people gathered for 2 days to make an awesome event in San Francisco. And of course everything starts with a great organization! Arriving at the venue, all the hard work put to make this event possible was obvious. To someone that doesn’t give talks in conferences, it’s hard to explain how relieving a first impression like this is and how it helps the speakers to focus on what it matters.
It was held at the Mission Bay Conference Hall and there were 3 parallel tracks. The sandbox was divided to both the ground floor and the first floor which I found very thoughtful as it prevented large gatherings and huge lines for coffee/ tea etc. As you would expect all big companies were present; Google, Slack, Uber, Lift, Facebook/ WhatsApp/ Instagram, Square Guard just to name a few.
I attended a talk for almost all the slots besides the ones right before and right after my talk, so that I have more time for a final check and to take a break. The selection of them was amazing! Every single one of them had so much to offer and there were so many different topics! I can’t wait to see also the ones I missed.
The highlight for me was the keynote. In my opinion, it was the best keynote you can have for Android. Come one let’s face it; if you’re at a droidcon it’s because you love Android. And what’s better than listening to how it started from the people that were there, with a humorous and refreshing way, and find out all the “inside” jokes by Chet Haase and Romain Guy. :)
In parallel with all the talks there were 2 more things happening. First one was a workshop on Android Things by Wayne Piekarski. I was so happy to be able to attend; I learnt so many things with Wayne’s valuable help, while he was guiding as through 3 different codelabs! All of them are online and can be found here, if you want to check them out — highly recommended! And a nice surprise; every participant got an Android things kit home with him/her. :) The other parallel event was a ZTE hackathon, which in unfortunatelly I couldn’t participate as I wanted to attend the talks. I did get my hands on with their new phone with the double screen and it’s reaaaally cool. The second screen folds at the back of the phone and you can use either only the main screen, mirror it or extend it (to something that’s closer to a tablet). To my surpise it’s neither very heavy nor to big. And your first question is probably what I asked as well; it does come with a specially design case :P
Last but not least, the parties!!! The day before the conference there was a VIP speakers/ sponsors party that was held at a brewery. As a fan of beers, I really loved that place! A nice touch were the different board games that were at each table. I ended up playing Jenga — so what if it was loud? We all had fun! :) The day after (first day of event) there was the most unique, unconventional conference party I’ve seen so far! :D There were car tracks were you could choose from a wide variety of food and drinks, swings were you can sit around the fire, games and even marshmallows with crackers that you could grill at the fire!
TL;DR: It has been one of the best, fun, interesting and unique droidcons I’ve so far.
Besides droidcon, my personal small milestone is this tweet. :) Silly enough for some, but this still puts a wide smile on my face. Not only because someone found my presentation valuable, which is more than enough to make me smile by its own, but also who that person is. An “insider”, a person that I admire, a person that knows so much about presentations, a Developer Advocate at Google. (link to post, Doug Stevenson)