The Droidcon is one of the main events about Android development and takes place all over the world. The Droidcon Paris 2014 occurred last weekend in the french capital, organized by the Paris Android User Group and BeMyApp. It was the second edition and the team improved many things compared to last year.
How does it work?
The two days covered by the Droidcon Paris 2014 were mainly composed by talks (46 in total). There has been often 3 at the same time, so you could choose the most interesting topics for you. Speakers from famous international companies were planned: Google, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Square,…
There was also a part of the planning that was empty: the Barcamp. On the Monday morning, everybody was invited to propose his own talk or workshop, about whatever subject linked to Android: programming, design, philosophy,… The planning of the afternoon was made with all the proposals.
Aside the conference rooms there were also some permanent booths with companies presenting their products. Like that you could meet firms such as Intel, Paypal, Evernote, Amazon, Alcatel, Xebia, Genymobile, ID apps, Octo, …
One other important thing to notice about this event is the atmosphere. It is really geeky and relax! Organizers are cheerful, visitors wear nerd T-shirts and speaker presentations are full of jokes and memes. Moreover, at the end of the first day, an open bar and buffet was offered by Parrot in the bar right next to the building. It was the occasion to meet more people and have fun!
Droidcon Paris 2014 vs 2013
Seems cool! So, what was new this year?
It was only the 2nd edition but the event is already mature. Here are some points different from the first edition:
- English talks: as far as I remember, many talks were in French last year. For this new edition I noticed that more than 2 talks on 3 were in English (31 over 46). Also, many speakers were anglophone and some of the visitors did not speak French at all. I think it’s a real improvement, because in France we are the bad pupils of Europe on this subject.
- Overall organization: last year I remembered many talks getting late, but this year timing were better. On an other hand, lunch buffet quantities were not well estimated and many people missed the main dishes and just got dessert. It was my case on Monday and Tuesday and I was a bit frustrated.
- Less Barcamp but better quality: I was surprised to see some holes in the Barcamp planning. I remember that last year, all the slots were occupied. But on the other hand, the subjects were more interesting than during the first edition.
- The Droid mascot: brought by Intel, a human size Droid mascot was walking between the booths! Very funny!
Apart from the talks and the booths, the Droidcon Paris 2014 was also a place to meet new people. I talked with many cool guys and girls, most of the time technical. I chose to promote two of them providing cool services:
- Thibault Geenen is the CEO of Ferpection, a startup offering real-users optimization and testing through crowdsourcing. You can submit them a website or an app and they will spread it to their big pool of testers. These testers are not professionals, but casual people, like your real end-user will be.
- Robin Caroff is a co-founder of the young TokiStudio. With his associate, they offer services around mobile development consulting and creation. I had the occasion to see that Robin is a good developer, both on iOS and Android. Do not hesitate to contact him if you have mobile projects!
My personal conclusion about Droidcon Paris 2014
Ok but what was the point to go there? Did you learn something interesting?
Yes of course, all these talks and conversations helped me to stay up-to-date about the Android ecosystem. Here is what I will change in my way to make Android apps, after the Droidcon Paris 2014:
- Use Android Studio: I use Eclipse as an editor and it appears that very few people still use it. Android Studio seems to be faster and easier to use.
- Take care of my activity state: in three different talks I heard about an error that many developers do (including me, I have to admit!). To avoid the loss of my activity information when the screen rotates, I simply blocked the rotation. Unfortunately, the Android system logic pauses the application in many situations, not only with rotation. Arg, so I have to manage the state restoration now, damn it! Exactly, and you can use the Parcelable object to do so.
- Use Crashlytics: behavior monitoring is mandatory if you want to understand your users and improve the quality of your projects. The first basic thing to do is to use Crashlytics, a tool sending intelligent crash reports from the users to you.
- Stay close to my users: it is something I heard a lot in the talks about design, but also in the entrepreneur program I am following. It seems pretty obvious, but it is important to take as much feedback as possible from your users. Also, get them as soon as possible, to avoid useless features and time wasting.
- Use tools to make my code readable: a recurrent subject in this Droidcon Paris 2014 was the clarity of the code. Many developers stated that it is very import to have a clear code. Unfortunately the Java language is sometimes too verbose, and the Android SDK does not help it! To work around this issue, I want to try Groovy, Hrisey and other boilerplate killers.
- Try Mockito: I never tried to mock objects for my tests. I heard about a nice tool called Mockito, I will try it.
- Go to the Droidcon Paris 2015: This 2nd edition was very good. It was a real pleasure to dive in a so geeky ambient and talk with many interesting people. I will definitely go to the third edition!
Want to know more about the talks ? Go to my next post: Droidcon Paris 2014 talks