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How I prepared for my first big conference talk

Last Friday, I gave a talk at AnDevCon Boston. I had about 4 months to prepare since the conference's Call for Proposal(CFP) deadline was in March and the conference was in July.

"Monetize Apps on the Play Store: Integrating in-app Billing in Your #Android App w/ @yashvprabhu at #AnDevConhttp://t.co/Pw1ZKy5Fek — AnDevCon (@AnDevCon) June 30, 2015
I have broken down my entire process of giving a presentation - from writing an abstract to giving the final talk into the following steps: Choosing a conference and submitting a proposalBreaking down the topic into smaller componentsGiving my talk at a local meetupPrepping for the conferencePrepping hours before the talk
Choosing a conference and submitting a proposalThe whole process of giving a talk started at the Write/Speak/Code conference which happened earlier this year in March. On Day 1 of the conference, I wrote down several topics that I have expertise in. I settled down on one topic which I knew would benefit several Android d…

Recap of Android Summit 2017

I recently attended and spoke at Android Summit, an Android conference organized by the folks at Capital One. Special shoutout to Jared A Sheehan, Michael Jones and the entire organizing committee for running a fabulous event which raised $6000 for Women who Code.

All speakers received a Phillips Hue Starter Kit as a speaker gift which I've used to toggle and dim my living room lights via Amazon Echo. So much fun!

I had a prior commitment and could only attend Day 1 but here are my highlights.

Process & WorkflowA common theme on Day 1 was process and workflow talks which tied in beautifully with Kelly Shuster's keynote.

Kelly is an excellent story teller. In her keynote, she connected a story of communication from her theatre background to how developers, designers and testers need to work together to reduce boiler plate conversations when designing and developing apps. I gave a similar talk earlier this year at Chicago Roboto with my co-worker and designer Jess Moon about…

Google I/O 2017 Recap: Things I learned

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Google I/O 2017 was a lot of fun and informative. I wish I had Hermione's Time-Turner as there were many talks to attend and many amazing people to meet.
Here are some things I learned at I/O: AI & Machine Learning This year, I/O was all about AI on every Google product. A product mentioned at the Keynote was Google Lens which enables your smartphone to take pictures of an image like a flower and identify it. That's pretty helpful for a hobbyist gardener like me. 
I also happened to drop by their Android Experiments sandbox and play the AI powered Quick Draw with fellow I/O attendees.
Google Assistant  Google's voice assistant is available on many devices now - not just on your Google Home & Pixel phones but on Android TV as well as iPhone. It's also available on more languages and has an Assistant SDK.You can build an app fairly quickly with Actions on Google and there is a challenge at g.co/ActionsChallenge. You could possible win a trip to I/O 2018 if you e…

2016: Year In Review

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I had a lot of professional growth goals this year and that included speaking, blogging and engaging my community more. I ended up doing a lot more in 2016 than 2015. 
My goal for 2017 is to keep it simple and do less :)
January Wrote abstracts for all the conferences I wanted to attend/speak at and laid the groundwork for the year ahead.
FebruaryRan my first Android Study Jam for Google Developers Group(GDG)/Android Alliance Philly which I co-organize.


March Gave a lightning talk at GDG/Android Alliance Philly on RecyclerViews which was part of my talk on Material Design implementation for Developers
April Gave a talk at GDG/Android Alliance Philly on Material Design implementation for Developers.
May Did an AMA with the AnDevCon Boston team to promote my talk on Material Design.
Attended the global GDG conference in San Francisco and Google I/O in Mountain View which was a blast as I got to hang out with members of the Android and Google tech community from all over the world!

June …

#NewToMe Series

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Lately, I've been tinkering around with some new and old concepts in Android. Which got me thinking about creating a "#NewToMe" Series where I write about things I've learned while working on something new to me. 
Some of the lessons learned are probably not new to someone who's already worked on it before but it's definitely new to someone who's just getting started in Android or to someone whose focus was on other concepts in Android. Remember this XKCD comic?


"Saying 'what kind of an idiot doesn't know about the Yellowstone supervolcano' is so much more boring than telling someone about the Yellowstone supervolcano for the first time" - Randall Munroe, XKCD
More to come in the #NewToMe series. Keep an eye out for it!


Leadership and Management Panel - ElaConf 2016

Recently I was a panelist on ElaConf's Leadership and Management Panel along with awesome tech bosses Alison Rowland, Caro Griffin and Alisha Miranda. The panel was moderated by Alisha who had crowd-sourced a great list of questions.

The panel was for women interested in pursuing a management career path. Alisha started off the panel with a round of introductions from each of us on our manager-origin story. I moved into the tech team lead role after being an individual contributor (IC) for 3 years. Since two years, I've been leading a team of 4 Android developers.

Breakout seession about leadership and management at #elaconf. It's a full room!  @yashvprabhu@DramaFeverDevspic.twitter.com/8lW9lvRGoP — Moldy Dentures (@MoldyDentures) November 5, 2016
Learning about leadership & mgmt with @yashvprabhu@carolinesyrup@arowla@makeshiftalisha#elaconfpic.twitter.com/AUrsOIJjMC — Jen Dionisio (@jddionisio) November 5, 2016

Below are my (paraphrased) answers on some of the panel quest…

Technical Blogging session at ElaConf 2016

This is probably going to be one of several blog posts related to ElaConf. It's a wonderful conference for empowering women in tech that took place in Philly for the second time recently. One of the breakout sessions at ElaConf was on Technical Blogging which was run by Vaidehi Joshi (@vaidehijoshi). Here are my takeaways from that session.


We started off by reading Julia Evans' blog post on processes. Vaidehi asked us to take a few minutes to read it and discuss with a partner. Here are some things that stood out to us in the blog post:

ConversationalMatter of factFormatted Code snippetsAuthor's personality shows in the code commentsCondensed scope, author links to external content for more researchGood introduction to the topic even for a newbie
We also took some time doing a fun exercise, with one of us pretending to be a student and the other a teacher. The teacher had to describe "opening a Facebook account to someone who has not used a computer before". Thi…

Moderating my first panel - Ask an Android Developer

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Every month at Android Alliance which I help organize, we have a monthly speaker and a few lightning talks. Someone in the Phillydev Slack group's android-philly channel suggested doing a panel for the June meetup.

I have been a panelist before but this time I wanted to try moderating. To prepare for that, I googled how to be a moderator and found Cate Huston's blog on moderating as well as this book - The Eloquent Woman's Guide to Moderating Panels recommended by Cate. The book is a quick read on moderating panels and has several pointers on how to moderate effectively.  

Of course, a panel is only as good as its panelists and moderator. For the panelists, I reached out to Corey, Travis, Nick & Arpit.  

Here are some things I set out to do as a moderator:
Set the toneWhen we start an event at Android Alliance, we go around and ask everyone to say their name, what they do and a fun fact about themselves. This usually makes it an informal atmosphere and lbreaks the ice qu…