ASOS at Droidcon London 2021

AsosTechBlog
Nov 11 · 4 min read

After too many months of video-based training courses, online calls, virtual meetings, remote team-bonding events, Droidcon London 2021 finally happened — and we couldn’t miss the chance to be there.

Around mid-September, some of the Android engineers asked if they could attend Droidcon London. Being the biggest Android developers conference in the UK, it was a great chance to not only catch up about all the latest trends and tech in the dev world, but also to meet and talk with speakers and peers from other companies… And, as with most conferences, have a good time. So, not only did we decide we’d go, but senior Android engineer Ed George and solution architect Marco Bellinaso also submitted a talk (“Config-driven AB Experiments that don’t require app releases” — you can read about that here🔥) and we signed up as a sponsor!

The conference was a great chance for everyone to meet again people that they perhaps hadn’t seen in-person for many months, but also to meet new colleagues for the very first time. Speaking felt more intimate, and having a drink together or playing table tennis is something you just can’t do on a Teams video call.

Our senior Android engineer Ed George was apparently too excited to sleep, and got to the Business Design Centre in Angel — the venue for the conference — before sunrise!

Once inside, being one of the very first people, he set about doing something for the good of the team: not (as you might think) setting up the ASOS booth or doing a dry-run of our talk, but — more importantly — grabbing some t-shirts and reserving a spot around the billiards and the table tennis table! 🏓.

Time for the event to start. Superstar Chet Haase — from the Google Android team — spoke for 1hr, without any pause, about how Android was born and how it became what it is today 🤖. It was very intense, funny, and inspiring as usual.

Google basically bought a slide deck, a vision, and a handful of people. The rest happened thanks to the right skills, the right time, the right competition (namely Apple, and the need for other phone manufactures to offer an alternative to it), the right business model (free license), a lot of hard work and commitment… And some luck! Not the simplest mix of ingredients, but it has worked out quite well it seems ✨.

Head to Chet’s blog post for a longer version, and get his book if you want the even longer one 📗.

After the keynote the ASOS team split off in different directions: some would stay at our booth to meet and talk to potential candidates (thanks for stopping by folks, we had some great chats!), and some would go and attend presentations from the 5 (five!) parallel tracks!

Some of the team’s favourite sessions were about Paparazzi (using the JVM to run snapshot tests with no emulator or physical device), Cash App + Gradle (about optimizing Gradle tasks, remote caching and more with Gradle Enterprise), building responsive UIs, doing snapshot testing, using Compose to create the UI declaratively, CI tips and tricks.

On the 2nd day, Ed and Marco delivered their presentation about our own custom approach to running AB Testing without requiring a new iOS/Android app build and a corresponding release every time we now run a new experiment. After the talk the ASOS team (of which there were 13!!) continued the tour of other talks, but also had some time to relax, exchange feedback and have some laughs together. It was also a member of the team’s birthday, and he kindly offered drinks, chicken wings, and nachos at a pub nearby.

The two conference days passed in a flash, but the good memories will last…at least until Droidcon 2022! 😉

It was a great opportunity to learn, talk to people, get to know some colleagues better… It was also an awesome chance to study more about AB Testing to be able to present our custom solution and show people some of the very cool things we do at ASOS in the Mobile Apps teams. 🔝🔝🔝

ASOS IS HIRING! 👩‍💻🧑‍💻

Oh and BTW, if you were interested in talking to us about our open job roles, but you were busy with talks or we were busy talking to other people, don’t worry, it’s not too late! Head to the ASOS Career site to see who we’re looking for (hint: both iOS and Android engineers!), read Ed’s post to get a feel about our hiring process and what the day-to-day work is like, and apply to know more!

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