Droidcon NYC superhero Android logo with microphone

Returning to droidcon NYC

The first Android conference I ever attended was Droidcon NYC in 2016. I attended at a time when I was learning and working with multiple frameworks, and it really fueled my interest in continuing with Android. I had so many great experiences there as an attendee, and this year I was delighted to attend as both an attendee and a speaker!

A change from previous years, the location was Brooklyn. This was exciting for me, as all my other times in NYC have been in Manhattan. It was awesome to see and explore a new part of of the city. The venue, Brooklyn Expo Center, was also really great. The rooms felt like the perfect size, and the exhibitor area was never more than the “right” amount of crowded.

Speaking of, all of this couldn’t have happened without the sponsors. I love being able to make connections at their booths, and learn about the things they are doing at their companies (sorry recruiters, I’m happily employed at Buffer). Not to mention, all the great swag!

As far as talk content goes, there was a great selection all the way through. Dan Kim gave the opening keynote sharing why the Android community is important, and the various ways you can get involved. The community has been such a big part of getting me, and so many others, to where we are now. I’m happy to be a part of it, and thankful for everyone else who participates. You’ll want to watch the video of “The future of our community is YOU” when it arrives.

After such a strong start, there were still so many talks that blew me away. I could elaborate on them all, but I’ll pick a couple instead and let you catch up with the videos when they’re posted.

Huyen Tue Dao took a dive into the Kotlin stdlib to help us understand what’s there, and how we can dissect it ourselves. She gave some awesome tips on how to understand Kotlin standard functions such as the differences between let, with, run, etc. “Dissecting the stdlib” includes this, and so many other great tidbits.

After this conference, I think I finally have my head wrapped around Kotlin coroutines! This is all thanks to Christina Lee in “Coroutines by Example”. Her beginners approach, converting some RxJava code to use coroutines really made it click for me. It probably helped that she spoke my language: using potatoes as an illustration.

One of the things that I’ve been curious about looking into for a side project idea is Flutter. Faisal Abid gave the introduction to help anyone get started in “Flutter for Android developers”. The barrier of entry is so tiny! I can’t wait to try it out.

I also liked that there were a number of Android fundamentals to learn, instead of exclusively the hot, new stuff. Effie Barak gave us an introduction to how images work on Android in “Images 101”, and Joshua Jamison brought us some knowledge on how views are measured in “The Importance of Measure.” I think it’s important to bring this knowledge both for the experienced developer who maybe hasn’t needed to do the deep dive in these areas, and the beginner who is still learning how these things work.

As I mentioned at the top, I also had the pleasure of speaking at this conference. I presented my talk “Functional Android”. In it, I talk about some of the properties that are important to the functional programming paradigm, and how they can be useful on Android. It was so much fun to see the enthusiasm and curiosity around the topic. You can find my slides here, and be watching for the video!

Below you can find my experience of the conference in the live Tweet version. How was your time at Droidcon?

As usual, I was completely blown away by the community. I enjoyed getting to see friends again, and meet so many great people. I appreciated all my conversations with you. Huge thank you to the organizers and everyone else who made this event possible. Dan Kim was right: The future of the community is YOU. I cherish being able to belong to this community with you, and can’t wait until we can all meet again.