Big Android BBQ — A newbie explanation

It’s been a little more than a month ever since that rainy October weekend in Hurst, Texas, where I attended my first Big Android BBQ. I would like to share my experience along these following lines and, maybe, convince some of you to go with me next year!

But wait… What’s the Big Android BBQ?

In the organisers’ words:

So much more than a Developer Conference, The Big Android BBQ is a grassroots, community-driven celebration of Android that is equal parts education, entertainment and altruism.

In order to understand it even better, let me try and explain it. Luckily a picture is worth a thousand words, so we may have a pretty long read. I can describe it this way:

Entertainment? Check.
Developers? Check.
Conferences? Check.
BBQ? Check.
Android? Ultracheck.

Entertainment

Remember that October 21st was the famous Back to the Future Day? Well, turns out that that same day was the early registration for the BBQ. That’s why, for the welcome party, we had nothing less than a DeLorean.

Of course it wasn’t the original or any of the ones used in the movies, but as a replica… it was just astounding. And you could even jump inside!

Sphero was also taking part of the event, so they brought a couple of BB8s…there was celebration, photos and a small party. Everyone was happy and the conference hadn’t even started!

Beep beep beereep.

Developers and Conference

Android has a highly active and engaged developer community all around the globe and when they meet, a lot of genius happens anytime. The Big Android BBQ was no different. Besides, there was a lot of ways to learn.

  • Code Labs
    Here you could calmly and at your own pace take on exercises related to what was explained in the conference. There were computers already set and available testing devices so that you could focus on learning. These are available online.
  • Code Kitchen
    If coding on your own was not your thing, you could check out the Code Kitchen, where creators of Code Labs would walk you through the sample and give you pointers on how to tackle these on.
  • Sessions
    And of course, how could we leave the sessions out? Here you could hear about what was new on the ecosystem, as well as techniques and tools to make your apps better performant. Most of these sessions have been published on a YouTube Playlist.
The Big Android BBQ Sessions

BBQ!

Texas is known because of its cowboys, meat and BBQ. The event doesn’t have BBQ on its name only for marketing reasons. So, surprise, surprise, the event closing is quite literally a Big [Android] BBQ, with games included. As part of the volunteering team of the event, some of us even had to take care of the cooking.

Android

The BABBQ started as an informal meeting at the house of one of the current organisers. This meeting was intended to talk about Android Development and what was new then. It’s been more than three years ever since and this edition was no different than that.

The main theme of the conference was the Performance Patters (#perfmatters, people!) and a lot of members from the Android Team at Google were there as well.

Colt McAnlis closed the keynote with a really fun and Texan participation.

Experiences

There are a lot of details that I’m leaving out on this post, but more than the sessions, speakers, gifts, people and networking, I can attest that one of the best experiences I had was from participating as a volunteer at the event. This way you are pretty much forced to meet more people, as well as help them and make the event a great experience for everyone else.

Unfortunately I couldn’t take as many photos as I would’ve liked, but here you can have a picture of the awesome volunteering team from this past event~ (we even had kids!)

Now, let’s wait for the next Big Android BBQ!

En Español.