South Africa's first Google Developers Summit
Grant (One of our mobile developers) was sent on an all expenses paid trip to attend the 2015 Google Developers Summit in the Mother City. We’ve asked him to report on the details and this is what he experienced:
Q: Being a part of the first ever Developers Summit in SA, what was the vibe like over there?
It was without question an overwhelmingly amazing experience, everyone was ecstatic to have front row access to the android support guys here in SA!
Q: Do you think Dot Slash is ready for more conference of this scope?
Of course, things like this will only strengthen our knowledge and showcase what we as a company are capable of. I believe that if we shun away from things like this, we will most certainly fall behind.
Q: What type of people attended this event?
They span right across the board. There was a developer from Kagiso (Kagiso Tiso Holdings: KTH) and a developer that was a private contractor who had their own business. Definitely a wide variety of developers.
Developers discussing and learning
Q: What did you expect to learn compared to what you actually learnt?
I honestly expected a more in depth talk relating to the back end of android itself, but the conference was aimed more at promoting the Google Material Design concepts.
Q: How much of what you learnt would you be able to apply daily?
All the information that they gave out was extremely helpful and I will be capable of implementing it almost immediately.
Q: Would you go and change anything on our existing apps and what would you do different on future apps?
Yes! The first thing I would like to change is the way we handle our image retrieval and storage. After playing with the concepts of our in house apps, I would really like to implement an extremely redundant offline mode to most of our apps.
Q: Mac vs Windows split?
The split here was surprising to me. Admittedly I didn't expect as many macs as there were. But I would say there was a 55/45 split to windows actually.
But with Android Studio/Eclipse being the way it is, it can run on all 3 operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux). So I wouldn't be surprised to find that some were running linux. I actually think one of the speakers were.
Q: Web vs App split?
There were 2 streams for this summit. The first one being the apps (Android.) It was there to provide info/insights into android itself as well as the Material Design concepts.
The second stream (Web) was for web app developers. Web Based applications that have been created on google software (i.e.: AppEngine)
Q: Uber or Taxi?
I used Uber and I was pleasantly surprised with how it was handled.
The first driver (Airport to Event).
I was honestly lost in CT International Airport, so when I requested a driver from Uber I was standing in the wrong place. It took me well over 20min to find the correct pick up location, but all in all the Uber driver was more than happy to wait and more than willing to assist as best as he could in directing me around over the phone.
The second driver (Event to Airport).
To be honest I made the mistake here. I didn't read properly and was in a hurry and I hopped into the wrong Uber Car. When the driver and I had finally figured this out, he happily ended the request and I ended mine. I then requested a new one allowing him to become my driver. No hassle or annoyance at all.
Q: A lot of mouthwatering pictures were taken at lunch time, tell us more about the overall experience of the conference?
DS: Unfortunately Grant isn't as much of a foody as we had hoped, but he did mention that he thoroughly enjoyed google's potatoes.
In his own words: I truly am the wrong person to ask about this :P
I met some awesome people and came to realise that all developers are a bunch of friendly people.
Q: Did you meet interesting people and what were your thoughts on the speakers?
Yes I did manage to meet some awesome people with a great sense of humour. I came to realise that no matter where you are, developers are all exactly the same.
The speakers were "on the ball"! Being the 3rd time they were going through the content, they knew exactly what type of questions we would ask and were able to give specific information on their topics.
Google Developers Summit Speakers
Q: Where do you see app development in South Africa in 5 years?
If we can get people off the "build once run all(BORA)" way of thinking and developing then I believe the app quality will increase 10 fold over the next 2 years. Google is releasing more and more native functionality that is making apps a more effective tool of user communication and interaction. I believe that it would be a necessity for all South African companies to have an app (in house or not) within the next 5 years.
Q: Did you miss the office?
Of course I did. I was out of my comfort zone over there and although they provided us with a variety of cold drinks, no one keeps drinks as refreshing as our trusted Allan.