Sunday, December 9, 2012

AnDevCon IV

It's AnDevCon time again! My Android Custom Components talk was really popular at AnDevCon III, so I decided to give it again. On top of that, I had to a two-part session to discuss Android UI, both lecture and hands-on workshop.

Murphy's Law

I prepared my talks a few weeks ahead of time, so I was pretty chill about the conference. But as Murphy's Law dictates, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. On Monday of the conference week, my laptop died. My talks were on Wednesday and Thursday. Needlessly to say, I was completely thrown off course. I was so stressed that I had nightmares on Monday night.

Tuesday I took the laptop to the Apple Store, and they had to ship it out for the repairs. My slides were all online, but I still needed a machine to project them. Fortunately I found a friend who lent me a laptop, and I installed Photoshop trial for the demo in my session.

Since I didn't want to install too many new programs on my friend's computer, I took a break from programming on Tuesday night. Instead, I baked cookies to bring to the conference.

Same as AnDevCon III, I gave away bugdroid-shaped cookies to encourage participation, and people loved it.

Beautiful Android on a Shoestring

My first session was Beautiful Android on a Shoestring. I shared my experience in creating beautiful Android apps without knowing how to draw, introducing concepts like xml drawable, text shadow, shaders, custom fonts etc. I am especially proud of using icon fonts for scalable icons, a concept I borrowed from the web.

After showing the Android techniques, I switched gears and showcased my favorite website to get color schemes, fonts, icons etc:

I recorded the talk with my phone:

Unfortunately the video did not capture the slides. But fear not, I used Popcorn.js to embed the video to the slide deck. Play the embedded video on the top right corner, and the slides will advance automatically to match. Check it out:

Hands-on Icon Creation

I led a hands-on Photoshop workshop right after Beautiful Android on a Shoestring. I know very little about Photoshop, but I felt that what I learnt from the Graphic Design for Engineers workshop was super useful, and I want to share that with other developers. I had a relatively small class, which was great because I could check and make sure everyone was following along.

Android Custom Components

The next day I gave my Android Custom Components talk. This is my fourth time giving this talk, so I was very comfortable with the material. Still, every talk is a live performance, and the audience is always different. I really enjoyed the interaction.

Since I already recorded the talk at AnDevCon III, I did not set up my video taping this time. Here is the recording from May:

Attending sessions

My three talks were clashing with a lot of the other sessions I wanted to attend, and I was a bit disappointed about it. Fortunately I managed to catch the Android concurrency talk, which was jam packed with information. I was live tweeting since it is too good to keep to myself! Here are a few of the tweets:

Great conference

Once again I had a great time at AnDevCon. It's really cool to hang out with so many Android developers. Definitely check it out if you work with Android!

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