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 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!
— Sebastiano Poggi (@seebrock3r) April 7, 2016
Ha! This tweet, taken right before my talk, more accurately depicts my excitement:
— Wiebe Elsinga (@welsinga) April 7, 2016
When setting up for my talk, I was surprised to see that there was only a VGA connection cable, for the projector. Thankfully I’m prepared and whipped out my adapter without breaking a sweat. Always be ready for any scenario! My talk on Internal Library Dependency Management went great; people were engaged, actually laughed at my jokes, and were really excited to chat afterwards. Yay!
My most favorite talk during the conference was “To Infinity (65k) and Beyond” by GDE Sebastiano Gottardo. I have dealt with the pain of multi-dex in the past, and wanted to learn everything I possibly could about it. This talk explored multiple ways to deal with the situation, and several awesome tools to help you understand and manage your application method count. Check out his slides here.
There were also several excellent UX/UI talks, including “Think Like a Designer” by Nick Butcher, “UX Matters” by Weibe Elsinga, and “We’re All UX” by Lydia and Caroline (which came complete with many adorable Pokemon gifs, my favorite!).
There were also two very unique talks at the end of the conference I really enjoyed. The first was about finger painting on Android applications by artist Matthew Watkins. He talked about the history of technology in art, and shared some really incredible ways artists can collaborate with digital media. I also really loved Vinh To’s talk about how NASA fitted and Android phone onto these little spheres that propel themselves around the International Space Station.
For more on the conference, Jeroen Mols wrote a great Droidcon Italy recap with links to slides for most of the talks.
Usually I spend conferences tweeting up a storm, but sadly I felt a bit more disconnected at this conference than others. The wifi was pretty unreliable and my fancy new Project Fi connection was virtually nothing.
I loved getting to spend time with new friends and old during the conference! It was especially a treat to have so many people who were familiar with the city, and they picked out some really fantastic restaurants for us.
Usually I head back home pretty soon after conferences, but this time I was able to spend a few days exploring. I started off with a quick trip to Bardonecchia, a mountain town in the Alps near the French border, and home of the 2006 Olympic snowboarding competitions. I’m completely obsessed with mountains, so it was incredible to visit the Alps, a bucket list item for most of my life! While I was there, I had a delicious mountain top lunch, and learned what a Dahu is (though, I didn’t see one 😉 ).
Continuing with my tradition of finding funky lodgings on trips (so far I’ve stayed in a docked boat in Berlin, and an old jail in London), I booked a night at a cozy little bed and breakfast which happened to have a Snow White theme.
The outlets in my room were a strange connection, but thankfully they all had adapters to a standard Italian connection. However, when I plugged my US adapter in, all the lights in my room turned off! I panicked for a good ten minutes that I was going to burn down the whole bed and breakfast, until I noticed there was a switch on the outlet. My US adapter was the perfect shape such that it bumped this switch that killed the power. Haha!
Back in Torino, I spent a few days exploring the city, and had a blast exploring the Cinema Museum and the Egypt Museum (and eating more delicious food!).
Thank you so much Droidcon Italy for having me as a speaker! It was a fantastic conference!