Sunday, January 27, 2008

Android Campfire

The android campfire was definitely worth going to. It was much more intimate than I anticipated. There couldn't have been more than 75 people there.

Google takes the campfire term seriously. They had a simulated campfire, and served hot cocoa and smores from inside a tent.

The first hour was a QA session. Developer advocate Dan Morrill fielded the questions. There was a common theme throughout. People don't want to pour resources into the platform, only to see carriers gut out parts of android that might threaten their bottom line. Google hasn't made any such promises. Dan stressed that distributing a crippled platform was very contrary to the spirit of the OHA, and isn't likely to be an issue.

If I ran a big shop and was paying out large gobs of cash, then I would probably be worried too. But as a lonely independent pounding out my applications in my spare time, it costs less to make a leap of faith.

After the QA we broke up and mingled for a couple hours. Developers are natural introverts, so starting up a conversation with a random person is scary. It is well worth it to come out of your shell though. Everyone is very friendly once you break the ice, and you can get valuable feedback about your ideas. That, in my mind, is the whole point of a meeting like this.

A few people were secretive about their android challenge entries, but I took some good advice from Alex Muse, and was completely open. I received a lot of great feedback, and it was very interesting to see what others were working on. Ironically, the people who were the most secretive usually had the worst ideas.

So now I'm looking forward to the code day in Boston, coming up on February 23rd. That will be a good idea to meet even more developers, learn some stuff in a couple workshops, and of course grab more android swag.