2017 Recap

Welp, another year has flown by, and I have to say this has been THE MOST EXCITING year of my entire freaking life!

Before I get started, I want to say that this post is going to be a bit more personal than usual, and here is why: There aren’t a whole lot of other code-writing conference-speaking world-traveling mamas out there. I am really lucky to know a few, and boy did they help me out several times this year when I really needed it. I want this post to be a kind of “paying it forward post”, to help out any working mamas out there out there who might feel alone.

Baby Droid Arrived!

In mid February my husband and I welcomed our first child to the world! Baby Droid is totally TOTALLY awesome, and I’m so happy he is finally here.  Giving birth was totally the most bad ass thing I’ve ever done, and afterwards I literally felt like I could run the entire world.Kelly and baby, both dressed in Android shirts

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2016 Recap

I can’t believe that 2016 is coming to a close! This has been quite a year with a lot of really exciting moments.

One of the most exciting moments was being named one of the Denver Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for 2016! It was such an honor, and I’m still so amazed to be listed next to so many incredible people.

Public Speaking: Leveling Up

This year I had 12 speaking engagements, 5 of which were at conferences.  I spoke at Droidcon San Francisco, Droidcon Torino, 360 AnDev (Denver), Droidcon NYC, and Droidcon London. 360 AnDev and Droidcon New York were especially momentous, because I delivered the keynote address for each of them! It was a huge honor, and I’m still over the moon that I got the opportunity to do it.  Delivering a keynote address was a long term public speaking goal for me, but I didn’t think it would be something I would accomplish so soon.  I was really excited to be on Android Dialogs and the Fragmented Podcast this year as well.

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Jackson JSON Parser

Convergence by Jackson Pollock*

Parsing a JSON response into a Java object is a super common task in Android development.  If you are fortunate enough to have a well-formed JSON response that would make sense being modeled directly as a Java object, then using a JSON parser library can save you lots of time and boiler plate code.

For quite awhile I have used GSON, a JSON parser from Google.  Why? To be honest, because that’s what most of my friend developers used, and it always worked well for my use cases.  But recently I was challenged to parse a very large JSON object, and I was forced to give GSON a second look to make sure it was the most performant library I could use for a giant response.  I found this excellent article on JSON parsing libraries, which showed that a library called Jackson was considerably faster at parsing large JSON files than GSON.

So I set off to implement Jackson in my project! Jackson certainly has a lot of documentation, but it seemed really verbose to me and it felt like it dove straight into juicy details and options, while glossing over the foundations.  I didn’t need any of the fancy stuff, and it took awhile to extract the basics from the existing docs, so I’d like to share with you what you’ll need to know to get it up and running in your Android project.

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Fragmented Episode 43

Fragmented podcast logo

I’m super excited to share that I was on the Fragmented Podcast again, this time for their Google I/O special.  Kaushik interviewed several amazing Android developers over the course of two podcasts, and I am honored to be listed next them.

The first I/O episode is here, and the second episode (which I am on) is here.


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Google I/O 2016

Me in front of the giant I/O sign

I just got back from a FANTASTIC week in Mountain View for Google I/O 2016! It was my 3rd I/O (I went in 2015 and 2014), and I think it was my favorite. I was skeptical about getting sunburned in the outdoor venue, but my long sleeves did the trick and overall the content was amazing this year and the PEOPLE were fantastic. It was so amazing to meet so many people in real life that I’ve known online only, and to reunite with so many friends from around the world.

I literally kicked off the conference by scootering about 2 miles from my AirBnB to the venue to pick up my badge on Tuesday afternoon.  I brought the scooter because I thought traffic would be unimaginable during the conference.  It turned out there was hardly any traffic at all, so I ended up ditching my scooter after Day 1. Oh well!

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Fragmented Episode 40

Fragmented podcast logo

I am very excited to share that I was on Episode 40 of Fragmented! Fragmented is an excellent podcast run by Kaushik Gopal and Donn Felker, two amazing Android developers. They interview other Android developers and chat about everything Android. I also really love their ‘mini podcasts’ where they spend a few minutes discussing an item from Joshua Bloch’s Effective Java. I’ve learned so much listening to this podcast, and you should definitely check it out. I had a fantastic time chatting with them, and was very honored to be invited on the podcast. Thank you!

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Droidcon Italy

Cardboard cutout of android robot on vespa

In April I had the extreme honor of speaking at Droidcon Italy, in the beautiful city of Torino!  It was fantastic to see old developer friends I’ve met at other European conferences, and meet several new ones.  I’ve also now officially accomplished one of my five goals for 2016, by speaking in a new international city!

The Conference

The conference was held at the Lingotto Conference center, which is a famous former Fiat factory with a RACETRACK on the roof! Despite this funny tweet, I was really excited to give my talk on the first day of the conference!

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Accessibility Testing on Android

thoughtbot robot logo

I published a blog post today on the thougbot technical blog about four simple ways you can test your Android app’s accessibility.

Check it out over here!

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New Page: Reading

page from a book

During my Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40 interview, I was asked what I would have been voted “Most Likely to be… ” during my senior year of high school. My answer?

“Most likely to have my nose in a book!”

It was true then, and its true now. Since the interview, many people have asked me for book recommendations, so I thought I’d keep track of my favorite books on my site.  If I read a dud, I’m not going to include it in the list 🙂

Head on over to the new tab “Reading” and check it out!

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Droidcon SF & 40 Under 40

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the conference venue

A few weeks ago I had a whirlwind two days, attending the Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40 awards ceremony Thursday evening, then flying off that night to Droidcon San Fransisco where I spoke on Friday!  It was epic, but I got lucky with minimal flight delays and plenty of coffee.

Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40 Awards

At the DBJ awards event I really enjoyed spending time mingling with other winners, and was so excited to meet Carrie Wallis, another woman engineer! She is currently working on a really amazing project for the I-70 east corridor here in Denver. The whole night was filled with phenomenal people, doing some really groundbreaking and impressive work in Colorado.  I was completely humbled to be listed alongside them.

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Posted in Android, Awards, Conferences, Dependency Management | 2 Comments