Big Android BBQ 2015


I just got done with my first ever Big Android BBQ in Hurst, Texas, and I had a great time!  I was extra excited for this conference because I was debuting a brand new talk “Android Internal Library Dependency Management.”  Ever since I was introduced to the magical land that is Ruby’s Gemfile, I have been on a quest to find the best way to manage dependencies for Android. When I first started writing the talk, I was afraid I’d have so little to say that it would only last 10 minutes. By the time I finished writing it, I was struggling to get in under 1 hr and had to remove and rearrange some content! I set off for Texas feeling excited and nervous.

The conference kickoff pool party happened to correspond with the date that Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel into the future in the movie Back to the Future: II.  I was so excited to walk around the corner and find the De Lorean time machine in the parking lot!

De Lorean Time MachineKelly in the De Lorean Time Machine

It was also fun to chat with Sphero, a Boulder, Colorado based company, who had Spheros and BB8’s for us to play with. Since they are all water proof, we had fun jumping them into the pool. This poor little guy got too far away from us and spent some time bobbing around until a brave soul got into the pool to rescue him! 😉

BB8 Sphero toy in the middle of the pool

Speaking of Colorado, this conference also had FIVE Colorado speakers!  I’m so happy to live near so many talented Android developers.  They are Mark, Chiu-Ki, Huyen, Brenda and me.

My talk was on the first day of the conference, in the afternoon.  Library management of your own, private libraries is something I have found really tricky to manage in Android, and I was curious how many other attendees might find it interesting. My session ended up being completely full, with lots of people sitting in aisles and standing in the back!

I was so excited to see that people thought my talk could be useful. It made me a little nervous; so many people looking to me for answer questions about this topic… I really hoped I could do it justice.

Overall I think my talk went really well.  I didn’t have any technical difficulties or big speaking mess ups, and it was actually really nice to give a talk that just has slides. (My accessibility talk has an elaborate demo that requires an overhead camera and 2nd audio line out.)  I had practiced my talk several times on my own, but I had yet to give it in front of an audience.  It was really nice to finally get to give the talk to actual people!

I took 54 minutes to give the talk, which left 6 minutes for audience questions. Phew! The audience asked good questions, and afterwards several people came up to chat about other tools they use internally. I’m looking forward to checking those out, and will write a few posts when I do. It still seems like there’s no silver bullet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I was so focused before and during my talk, I had failed to noticed that my stage floor was my favorite checkerboard pattern. Thankfully Chiu-Ki pointed it out to me after my talk! 😀

I checked in on Twitter after my talk, and was thrilled to see that a lot of people had found my talk useful!

YAY!! 😀

In my opinion one of the highest compliments was that last one. Explaining submodules is not an easy thing to do, and I spent the longest time preparing this specific part of my talk.  I presented a combination of git command line and diagrams, using both at each step of the explanation.  It feels so awesome to help people understand something hard like that.

Once my talk was done I could breathe a little easier for the rest of the conference.  I had a great time and learned a ton from my fellow speakers and attendees. I was especially excited for Brenda who gave a great talk on Fragments in her conference speaking debut!

Thanks for having me, Big Android BBQ!

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2 Responses to Big Android BBQ 2015

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