AnDevCon 2011 in hindsight – Part 2

After a great start on Monday and Tuesday AnDevCon really got started for me with doing my presentations. Guess how I went?

Day 2 Afternoon – Maven, Testing and Tooling Fireside Chat

After lunch it was time for myself to get in front of the audience. My presentation about taking advantage about Apache Maven for Android development was well received by the smallish audience of about 30 people. Hopefully they will spread the word about all the automation and advantages you gain. I was certainly able to show off the power and convinced the attendants from the feedback I got.

The next talk about unit testing, integration testing and continuous integration builds covered a lot of ground from the motivation for testing all the way to running Hudson. Both Robotium and Robolectric were well received and the large audience (probably around 150) saw how easy it is to add these libraries for testing with Maven. One twitter user even suggested it was the best presentation he attended at AnDevCon so far. Not sure about that since there were a lot of other great ones, but the audience certainly was very engaged with lots of questions during and after the presentation and everyone seemed to be paying close attention. And of course we shared some laughs too.

The audience of both talks loved the T-shirts andthe pile of books I got to give away thanks to Sonatype. I was even asked to sign a book. How embarrassing!

Exhausted after this full day there was no end of awesomeness in sight. After a bit of mingling in the expo hall and a snack I was hailed by Eric, who already met up with Xavier. Xavier is the head of the Android SDK team and came to attend the tooling fireside chat I organised. This event (in my humble opinion) was even more successful than the fireside chat from the day before. We had a great focus and exchange of ideas and many misconceptions about the open source nature of the SDK tooling were cleared up. In fact I hope you all know that the tooling is completely out in the open and up to date. You can see it all including git logs and so on the tools site. From my understanding both Eric and Xavier also got a lot of good ideas and input from the attendants and the exchange of ideas for some of us lastet until late into the evening over beers and dinner. I can’t even begin to describe how productive and amazing this was!

Day 3 – UI/UX, Honeycomb, Androidimation, Services and i18n

After a day like Tuesday I was more than ready for a calmer day for day three. Since I had no more committments that wish was granted, but I still continued to be inspired to try so many new things and learned so much that it is hard to enumerate it all. Kirill, one of the main coders behind the Android Market app, and a passionate UI/UX guru did a great (and calm) presentation about his favourite topic and even included some pixel pushing tips 😉

As usual Chet and Romain were amazing (although this is the first time I saw the duo live) in the keynote showcasing honeycomb (although at that stage I saw it all before ..) and Chet then continued and gave us a deep dive into the new Animation framework. The one thing I find odd is that with implementing a generic (property) animation framework to avoid problems with the old View based framework the new ObjectAnimator still has to run on the UI thread. Seems like a waste. Imagine being able to animate e.g. audio properties or even signals that transmit via bluetooth to some sort of robot or device. How cool would that be! For now that is possible.. but on only on the UI thread. Siggghh (see my feature request)!!

In the afternoon I attended Michael Galpin’s talk about services and related things like battery use, notifications and more and had some good ideas for cool features to add to my app in the future. Eric Cloningers talk about internationalization finally convinced me to install MOTODEV Studio and give it another whirl. The app validator and the translation tool are sweet. Imagine.. you can translate your strings.xml file into a new language with the help of google translate at the click of a button. Awesome!

Conclusion

As I just said it before. Awesome. Thats my conclusion. The event had great sessions and speakers, an enthusiastic crowd (even though we did not get much needed tablet devices for development) and a friendly event crew. Of course there were also issues like minimal vegetarian meal choices and sucky wireless but considering the event turned out way bigger than anticipated minor things like that are easily forgiven. I had a blast presenting, meeting people and just absorbing the vibe. And with AnDevCon II already coming up in November, you will have a chance this year too! Might even see you there.

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