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Showing posts from 2016

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…

AnDevCon Boston Ask Me Anything

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Recently, I was interviewed in a Hangout on Air for promoting my upcoming talk on Material Design implementation at AnDevCon Boston. You can find the entire interview along with some of my answers on their site.





Prior to going live, I asked my friend @chiuki on tips for doing Hangouts on Air. You can read her suggestions on her blog. Some of the things I learned from my experience were:
Make sure you have a non-distracting background.Post on social media about the hangout before you go live.Get on the hangout at least 15 minutes early to deal with technical difficulties if any. Our hangout on air was very smooth because I got on about 20 minutes early and we made sure the audio and video were fine.Get to know your interviewer: Mike from AnDevCon Boston and I talked to each other about our recent Google I/O experience before going live.Have some talking points written down ahead of your interview so you don't blank out when you are asked questions.Thank everyone for being there and…

GDG Summit and Google I/O 2016 Recap

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Last week I was in San Francisco and Mountain View for two conferences - Global Google Developer Groups(GDG) Summit & Google I/O 2016. 
Day 0: GDG Summit The annual global GDG Summit is held every year before Google I/O. GDG is a community run group for Google technology enthusiasts. You can learn more about the Philly group here. The global summit  is where GDG organizers from all over the world who are attending Google I/O gather and catch up with other organizers. Some of the fun things we did were the sharing table before the summit and a Firebase, lego and Arduino workshop at the summit. Sharing is caring. Awesome cultural sharing table at the pre- #io16 GDG Dinner. pic.twitter.com/9uGc8nQJd5 — Zarah Dominguez (@zarahjutz) May 17, 2016

Firebase & Lego Arduino workshop #gdgsummitpic.twitter.com/biqlog3Tn4 — Yash Prabhu (@yashvprabhu) May 17, 2016
Night 0: Women Techmakers Dinner
The day before Google I/O, we had a dinner hosted by Women Techmakers which helps women in tech…

RecyclerView on Android

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Recently I gave a 10 minute lightning talk at the Android Alliance meetup about RecyclerViews on Android. The talk was aimed at Android developers at all levels. I decided to talk about this since the recent Android Study Jam for beginners that I helped run did not touch upon this topic and almost all Android developers have to make use of this ViewGroup sooner or later.

Since the Recycler View offers 3 built in-layout managers, I built a sample that showed how to lay out views either using a LinearLayoutManager, GridLayoutManager and a StaggeredGridLayoutManager.


I also talked about how it makes sense to only use a RecyclerView if you have a large dataset of items. If you just want to show a grid of say 5 items, maybe a GridLayout is a much better option.

Code sample is available at RecyclerViewExample.

Slides are available at RecyclerViewSlides.

More information about RecyclerViews is available in the Android documentation.

Running our first GDG Philly Android Study Jam

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Recently I joined the fantastic team of developers who run Google Developers Group Philly (GDG Philly), an umbrella organization that includes Android Alliance Philly and GoLang Philly meetup groups. Google Developer Groups or GDGs are community-run groups that are for developers who are interested in learning Google technologies.  


The first thing we organized in 2016 was Google Developers Groups Study Jams, a free series of global, community-run, in-person study groups. We ran an Android Study Jam for 5 weeks which used Udacity's Android Beginners curriculum for newbies as well as experienced developers.


Since GDG Philly focuses mostly on Android & GoLang topics, we didn't have to go too far to find facilitators. Three of us organizers - Arpit, Corey & I are Android developers so we split the teaching part into 3 sessions that each of us would lead. The Study Jam ran for 5 weeks with a two week break between Session 4 and Session 5 so that attendees could focus on work…