At Coolblue, where I am currently working, I have a certain budget to attend conferences and follow trainings. Thanks to this possibility, I have participated at the inaugural EuroBBQ: the first Big Android BBQ Event held in Europe.
In the last few years of my career as android developer, I had the chance to attend a few of those events (DroidconIT 2014 & 2015, DroidconUK 2014, DroidconNL 2014, GDG Dev Fest NL 2015 etc..) and every time I missed one of them (like the ones in Berlin or Paris) I always felt a bit sorry for the lost educational opportunity. For example this year I could not attend the Droidcon UK (this one in particular is always very expensive) but thanks to Joe Birch who was there and found the time to write a blog post about his journey, I kind of felt a bit closer to the event. It was nice to know what was happening in London through his experience and it was quite interesting to find via his post all the interesting links, slides and examples of GitHub repo presented at the event.
Because of this, I have decided to write about my journey at the BABBQ, which I hope could be interesting for some android developers who could not attend it in person.
I will try to publish a blog post for each day of the event, at the end of the day, so that you can have a fresh information as soon as possible. NOTE: I am writing it partially during the event and partially during my way back home on the train. So please bare with me if I make some writing mistake. I will try to review and update the posts later on during the weekend.
Sponsors and expo.
“This year BABBQ was organised with the cooperation of Google Developers, IDEAA, The Dutch Android User Group & Startup Amsterdam
I have to be honest, but there are not to many sponsors here, actually, almost none of the sponsors which usually attend droidcon conferences is present. I was expecting to see big stands and expositions like the one from intel, epson, sony, facebook, booking, sound cloud etc… just to name a few. But no, none of them was there. So from this point of view it was quite disappointing. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not referring to all the free gadgets that they usually give away by visiting them, but I am talking about the missing opportunity of seeing what they are working on and what new technology or sdk they have to offer to us. Maybe this event was organised too quickly to look for enough sponsors? Or because is still the first of its kind in Europe? …well I found it very strange.
Location and the food
It wasn’t for sure one of the best arrangements that I have experienced by attending conferences all over the Europe. Lights, projectors, room noise isolation, chairs, … everything looked a bit old and arranged without too much care.
And the food, weeeell, this is Holland, not Italy 🙂 so…what do you expect?!? However we didn’t starved 🙂
Definitely the average quality of the talks was lower then the droidcon standards, but luckily for us, there were some really good guys speaking which really added some value to this event.
By Steve Kondik, Founder of the CyanogenMod
“CyanogenMod is the most popular non-Google “aftermarket” distribution of Android, available for over 100 devices. Now trying to take it to the next level!”
This speak was manly focused on what Steve’s company has been doing in the last few years and what they are striving to achieve with their latest release. If you are fun of the open source world, and more importantly you like to mess around with your expensive handset (I don’t), then you will probably find interesting what they are doing.
Working in an effective team
I have found this talk particularly interesting: it seems that at AppFundry the developers follow all the latest techniques out there in order to be as much efficient, productive and collaborative as possible. Filip has talked about their agile way of working (based on the lean startup), their prototyping techniques, A/B testing (check out the tool: optimizely), staged rollout, code review techniques, peer programmings, TDD, testing as documentation, and much more. Other tools successfully used at AppFundry and worth to check-out are the Atalassian products, for scrum stories and issue tracker, Invision and Zeplin for better prototyping and communications between designer and developers, AWS Device Farm for cloud testing, Jacoco for static test metrics and dashing for fun 🙂
At the moment of writing this post, this speaker didn’t updated yet his “spekerderck“, I don’t know if he is going to do that, however I think that it is wort to check it out, I see interesting titles in there.
Custom Lint rules – A journey towards cleaner code
by André Diermann, from Germany
This talk was for me one of the best one today. Organization, clarity, experience and quality of the content were all there. The slides are already online, and his GitHub repo definitely need to be visited.
I have personally read and used a bit Lint in my experience and I thought already that it could have been quite useful if used in a systematic way. However, because of its complexity and lack of documentation from the big G, people tend to forget about lint. This guy brought it to the next level, he made custom Lint rules!!! You know what that means? All the custom guidelines and style guides that we usually tend to write down in every company to facilitate the work of reviewers and to improve the code quality, all of those can all be automated. That’s really cool.
Expressive functional testing with Espresso
by Maciej Górski from Poland
This guy is also worth to follow. He did some live coding, which is always dangerous to do, and despite some technical problems with the bad network connection, he managed to write some nice UI automated test in Groovy with Espresso combined to Dragger. If you have never used Groovy in your android project, make sure to learn some of it because it can make your test more readable and faster to write.
Android and Offline Data
by Christopher Pick
I haven’t really found anything interesting during this talk for me…I am going to leave this part empty for now. I also never heard about this speaker, and to be honest he didn’t really took my attention. Feel free to pass by his website if you wish.
Understanding Gradle for Android
This is one of the guy who has contributed to make the whole conference worth to attend. I have been using Gradle since more then one year, and I have done quite some nice things with it (a full CI & CD pipeline), but this guy was still showing some stuff about gradle that I have never thought before. So I went to check out his blog, and I understood way: he wrote a full book about Gradle. I have learned so much in his short presentation that I am really looking forward to buy his book and go from cover to cover!
Gradle is such a powerful tool that any respectful android developer should master it.