Friday, May 30, 2008

Google IO Report

So now that I'm back from San Francisco and relaxing on my big comfy couch, it's time to get down to business and do a writeup on what I saw, heard, tasted and smelled at Google IO.

I flew into SJC on Tuesday night and stayed at a friends place. The next morning I hopped on the Caltrain and made my way to the Moscone center in downtown SF where I was greeted by massive lines of developers all trying to get registered.

Someone with authority rightly recognized that registration was so backlogged that there was no way they could get the bulk of us processed in time for the opening keynote. So they allowed us to bypass the registration disaster, but warned us that we would need to register before 2:00 pm, or they'd throw us out or something. Almost immediately I heard a guy on a cell phone call his friend and say, "Hey, you can get into Google IO for FREE until 2:00!!!"

The keynote was an exposition on the web as the next big platform, and how Google wanted to help evolve it at a faster pace. They highlighted all their major projects like Gears, Google App Engine, Android, etc. You can probably read all about the keynote on a hundred other blogs, the place was packed.

The one and only moment, where an "oooooooh" rolled through the crowd, was during an Android demo where they pulled up a street view and then panned it around in real time using a compass built into the handset. It looked really slick, and it instantly reminded me of the Enkin project (which SHOULD have been an ADC winner , what were the judges smoking?).

I managed to catch the Jason Chen's Android introductory session. It was decent enough, but remedial for me at this point. I was hoping to socialize with some fellow Android nerds and that just seemed like the place to be. Afterwards, some nervous looking guy asked me if I would answer a few questions about Android, I said, "sure" and suddenly a camera crew teleported in, and I spent about 2/3 minutes being interviewed by a Japanese TV station (NHK or something like that).

About 30 minutes later I started feeling really ill and felt a brutal headache coming on, so I walked to my hotel (the parc 55) and tried to sleep it off. (Side note: This hotel sucked, their inet access was broken, as was the TV remote, and the paper thin walls ensure that you here every obnoxious person that stomps down the hallway).

When I finally made my way back to the conference the sessions were over for the day and the after hours event had started. I felt bummed, since I missed out on some really good sessions. I briefly talked to Dan Morrill and a few other Android developers, and just enjoyed the party with everyone else. I left in better spirits, it was a good time.

The next day went much better, I caught two more Android sessions, the first was on Dalvik, and it was very good, although I felt out of my depth more than once during the talk. The next was Dan's session on Android Anatomy, and this one was very useful indeed. I walked out of that one with a much better understanding of Android's lifecycle events and how to use them correctly.

I then grabbed a late lunch, and as luck would have it, some guy with a TuneWiki t-shirt sat down right across from me, so of course I struck up a conversation. Turns out he was hobbs, from helloandroid.com and we had a really interesting chat, probably one of the coolest people I met during the conference.

I would have liked to stay around for a couple more sessions, but I had to get to the caltrain in order to catch my flight back to Dallas, I'll definitely want to give myself a larger time buffer next time so I don't have to rush about so much.

So to recap, it was a great event, and I look forward to next year!