Perks of being an Associate Android Developer

Note: This is not a guide explaining the format of the exam or how to crack it and become a Google certified Associate Android Developer. Its just me blabbering about my experience and the impact this certification has had on me. This is my first ever attempt at writing a blog. I hope you guys will go easy on me.

Let’s get started

Background

Google Developers Certification Program was announced.

New Year Transition

I have nothing to lose. This exam would have 0 negative effects and maybe 1 or more positive ones.

It was New Year’s eve when I registered for the exam exactly at 6:00 PM IST. I looked at the documentation and the code and dived head first into it. I sat in one corner engrossed in the project. I transitioned from 2016 to 2017 while CODING 😎. I completed the project and submitted it for review on the 1st of Jan. I cleared the coding round as well as the exit interview and received my badge within 2 weeks.

Congratulatory email

Call from a Googler

Surprise

After that, they gave me another surprise probably the biggest one I have ever received in my entire life.

Invitation to Google I/O 2017. All expenses paid. 😍

Surprise Visit

AAD Summit

  • Attending a developer summit.
  • Boarding a flight.
  • Visiting Bengaluru.
  • Visiting Google’s office.

It was a two day event. I met Akash & John again and we got to see Google’s Bengaluru office and I met a lot of other Android Developers. I had a great time meeting others with the same interests as me and talking to them was fun because everyone understood the Android lingo.

AAD Summit ‘17 at Bengaluru, India

Google I/O 2017

  • Travelling alone.
  • Travelling outside of India.
  • Boarding an international flight.
  • Visiting Silicon Valley || California || USA.
  • Visiting Googleplex. (The far fetched dream I mentioned earlier)
  • Attending I/O in person.
  • Seeing Sundar Pichai in real life. (Not up close, but still)
  • Interacting with different people from around the globe.

Attending Google I/O was a lifetime experience for me. I hope every developer attends this Developer Conference at least once. Currently, I couldn’t think of attending Google I/O or visiting USA in general because of financial restrictions. Surely sometime in the future, but not any time soon. I was flabbergasted when they invited me to I/O. I was there for a week and that was one of the best experiences of my life. I met Akash & John on the day I landed and they gave us a tour of the Googleplex (which is orders of magnitude better than what I had imagined). I had a great time at the conference talking to Googlers, developers from other parts of the world, meeting people whom I admired and looked up to, running around Sandboxes witnessing fantastic things created by Developers. I also got a lot of freebies like T-shirt (obvious), Google Home, Photobook, Droids, stickers, a photo of my brainwaves and a lot more. After the conference ended, I went to San Francisco and stayed there for a couple of days and did what tourists normally do in SF (Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, Ghirardelli Square and much more). I also visited Chipotle which was a few blocks from my hotel because a friend had literally threatened me saying if I didn’t eat a burrito at Chipotle, I would have to face some serious consequences. I also had to buy chocolates for friends and family back in India (that’s how it works).

Google I/O ‘17

YouTube Video

Notification of the video

After I/O, it was back to normal again. No more surprises. I started attending events more often now. GDGs, Solve For India roadshow, ML Roadshow, etc. I completely forgot about the video that was shot because it had been months and they hadn’t released anyone’s story yet. Then the Associate Android Developer stories started rolling out somewhere around August. I knew every person whose video was being published and I congratulated them personally. I was eagerly waiting for my video at the start but then the fear of messing up in the video hit me so hard that I actually started hoping they would scrap my video and never publish it on YouTube. Then one day, I received an email from a Googler informing me that they would be publishing my story in a few hours. I became restless, it was the same feeling as we generally get on a day when some important result is going to be announced. I received a notification few hours later, I sat in a corner, plugged in my earphones and watched the video. I have to admit that the video turned out to be much better than I expected. There are some parts where I messed up but I can live with that. And now when I see anyone’s story (not just developer stories, but anyone’s journey in general), I am much more forgiving about petty errors and mistakes they make as now I have realized that we aren’t actors who would flawlessly say or do something on screen but are normal guys having a tough time hiding our nervousness and excitement while saying what we want to.

Don’t judge me when I fumble or make a grammatical mistake while speaking when you’re watching this video.

My Developer Story

Google Developer Days, India

Google Developer Days ‘17

Recognition

Overwhelming responses

Lastly,

Yes! I got to take a photo with the legends of the Android World.

For those who couldn’t relate to the intensity of these photos, imagine meeting & clicking photos with your favorite Hollywood/Bollywood actors.

P.S: I do realize that this blog has turned out to be a pretty big one. But the things that happened have been much bigger than this and they had to be penned down. 2017 was surely filled with a lot of surprises and I hope 2018 can be as much exciting as 2017, if not more. 😜

Product Engineer @ Gojek. Enhancing the green robots for the green ojeks.

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