Sunday, November 4, 2012

Droidcon London

The first stop of my European speaking tour is Droidcon London.

I absolutely loved the conference icons with the droid at London landmarks, and was very happy to see them adorning the venue.


The first day was Barcamp. I was astonished by the number of people that got on stage to propose a session. What was more amazing was that there were all super high quality. My experience at unconferences was that people come up with ideas on the spot, gather interested parties and hold an informal discussion. But at Droidcon London, people gave well-prepared, full-length presentations.

For instance I heard about RoboSpice, a library for asynchronous network requests. St├ęphane brought a complete deck, pretty much treating it as a proper conference talk. I was impressed.


Second day was conference day, and once again it was jam-packed with great talks. There is a lot of tribal knowledge in Android, and at Droidcon London I felt that I was among the village elders, telling us creation myths and war stories.

SoundCloud jumped through lots of hoops to make streaming work

At my talk I shared my experience using custom components in Monkey Write. It was a mash-up from my Fluid Android Layouts and Android Custom Components talk, and I was very proud that I managed to trim the 1 hour and 45 minutes of material down to 45 minutes. Imagine my surprise when I got an email from the organizers a few days before the conference, informing us that our talks should be 35 minutes long. I stared at my presentation, unable to chop off any more slides, so I decided to go with the full deck.

Giving my talk. Photo credit: Alexandre Gherschon

At the beginning of my talk I polled the audience for their experience in custom components. As I expected most of them had written one already, allowing me to jump over the basics and went straight for the deep dive. I finished on time, and people came to me afterwards thanking me for sharing the advanced material. Yay!

Awesome people

As always my favorite part of conferences is meeting awesome people, and Droidcon London definitely delivered on that front. Most the attendees I met care deeply about perfecting their craft, and we had many interesting technical discussions in the hallway. I got to hang out with quite a few speakers as well. It was like going to Hollywood and casually chatting with celebrities. Totally awesome.

Droidcon London has a great vibe, and I attribute it to the enthusiastic organizers. The amazing lineup attracted developers from all over Europe, and it was rather magical to hang out with so many awesome people. Thank you very much for such a great conference!

Droidcon London organizers

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