Droidcon Bucharest has a very strong community feel to it. There were about 80 people attending, and each of us introduced ourselves. It started in English, but then people slipped into Romanian. I could guess who were the students since the word in Romanian was really close to English, but it was great when they switched back to English.
From the introductions I gathered that Android is up and coming here in Romania, since there were quite a few student attendees. Around half of the audience said they have never done Android programming. I suppose they would be going to the 3-hour basic Android training in the afternoon.
Just like Droidcon London, we had Barcamp on the first day. I was a bit shocked when I saw the schedule.
15-minute per session? You need to run them with an iron fist to make sure everybody starts and ends on time. Turns out the schedule was merely a guideline. People talked for as long as they wanted, and the audience could asked as many questions as they had. And that's how a barcamp should be - it's over when it's over, no need to be fixated on the timing. I was just amused that they bothered printing time slots in the schedule when they had no plan to follow it.
Second day is conference day. I was the first speaker, and as usual I polled the audience before I started. Here only a few people made a custom view before, so I spent a lot of time covering the basics.
I noticed that Europeans are not as eager to shout from the audience when I ask questions, but I still wanted some participation, so I was throwing questions at them left and right. By the end they warmed up a bit, and I got a few people to answer loud and clear rather than mumble noncommittally. That made me happy, because it showed me that people are learning.
At the end of Droidcon Bucharest the organizers gathered people from different cities to discuss how to foster the Android community in the region. There seems to be a lot of interests from students, and with some professional developers scattered here and there. With events like Droidcon bringing people together, I am sure the Eastern European Android community will flourish.
Here is a picture of me with some awesome Android ladies from Timişoara. It was great fun hanging out with them!
More Droidcon Bucharest coverage