When I decided to get onto the speaking circuit, my very first acceptance was my proposal to AnDevCon, way back in January. Four month later I suddenly realized that the conference was coming up in a week, and got really excited. The anticipation reminded me of the way I felt when I was going to visit an amusement park. But instead of roller coasters and free fall machines I was looking forward to tech talks and new gadgets. And AnDevCon did not disappoint.
The speaker lineup was quite impressive:
- My favorite talk was by Jake Wharton, the author of ActionBarSherlock. He showed us some powerful design patterns, each with a dead simple drop-in library for implementation. On top of that he was very candid, so his talk felt more like a friendly chat than a stiff lecture.
- Saša Gargenta is so knowledgeable about the Android stack that my head was spinning just after a quick glance at his architectural diagrams. I learned a lot from his session.
- I have watched Romain Guy and Chet Haase on video, but I had no idea that they are so funny in a live show!
I'm very honored to be speaking among such luminaries. Last month I read Confessions of a Public Speaker, and the author suggested bringing books as presents to encourage audience participations. I have not written any books, so instead I baked some Android cookies to give away.
I gave them to people who asked and answered questions, and I think that lightened the mood quite a bit. As the crowd warmed up we had a pretty good dialogue going, and I really enjoyed giving the talk.
Throughout the conference I got to geek out with my fellow Android developers, share our common frustrations over loading bitmaps, swap tips and tricks about xml declarations, and support each other in making outstanding applications. I am very happy that there was ample time between sessions for coffee breaks, where most of these conversations happened.
The exhibition hall was a treasure trove. I got many t-shirts and fun little toys, but the exhibitors were also very generous in handing out devices to aid developers. I submitted a few app ideas to Sony and got a SmartWatch to develop them. The Blackberry folks was so impressed with Monkey Write that they gave me a Playbook to port it over. And on top of that, I won a Sony Xperia Arc S in the raffle!
Much like a visit to an amusement park, I am still abuzz with excitement from AnDevCon. I have quite a few new things to try for Monkey Write, and I may write an app or two for the SmartWatch too. I highly recommend AnDevCon to all Android developers.
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