Tuesday, May 31, 2016

AnDevCon Boston Ask Me Anything


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:
  1. Make sure you have a non-distracting background.
  2. Post on social media about the hangout before you go live.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Have some talking points written down ahead of your interview so you don't blank out when you are asked questions.
  6. Thank everyone for being there and listening to you.

Things I should have done:

  1. Positioned the camera at a better angle so that I would look at the laptop camera directly instead of looking down at my screen
  2. Used pauses instead of saying umms and you knows. That will hopefully come with more practice :)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

GDG Summit and Google I/O 2016 Recap

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.



Night 0: Women Techmakers Dinner


The day before Google I/O, we had a dinner hosted by Women Techmakers which helps women in tech become more visible. 






Day 1 to 3: Google I/O

Google I/O is an annual developer conference that celebrates Google technologies. This year, it was held in Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View for 3 days.


This was the first time I tried sketch-noting at a conference which is a great way to retain information instead of writing notes.

A lot of the talks and content are already available online on YouTube so I'm going to focus on the things that stood out to me in the keynote and sessions:

Google


  • Assistant - a conversational assistant that is available across all Google products like Hangouts, Home etc
  • Home - a device that recognizes your voice and is powered by Google Assistant
  • Allo - a messaging app with smart replies
  • Duo - a video conferencing app with live video of the other caller before you pick up

Android


  • Instant Apps - lets a user open up a part of your app without installing it from the Play Store
  • ConstraintLayouts - a new Android layout still in preview
  • Improvements to Material Design
  • Improvements to Google Play Store Beta testing
  • Wear 2.0 which brings other app functions on your watch face
  • Tons of improvements in Android Studio Preview 2.2
  • More features in Android N including VR

Firebase

Mobile-backend expansion to support notifications, analytics, crash reporting etc all under one roof.

Virtual Reality 

Daydream - a mobile virtual reality platform with headsets and controllers coming to Android N.

Fun fact I learned in a VR controller session: Do you know why Google Cardboard has no head straps? Because your head moves faster on its own and holding Cardboard up with your hands makes sure you move your head slowly to experience VR better.


Nights 1 and 2

Google had some fun after hours concerts featuring Charlie XCX and Kygo on Night 1. They also had Arcades, Concerts and other fun stuff on Night 2.


And to end it all, here's something I always look forward to at I/O: Code Labs!