Revisiting Google Developer Days India 2017

This past year I joined Simform as an Android application developer, this blog post would highlight some of my key observations and experiences as an Android engineer attending one of the biggest Android event of the year.

This year, along with my Android team I attended Google Developer Days 2017 that happened at Bangalore International exhibition centre, India. 1 week full of Android,  with a team that relentlessly builds unimaginable technology architectures on Android and follow some of very rarely known best practices, it was an amazing Android-dy experience.

In case, if you haven’t attended the event, here’s what you missed!

#GDD First two hours

The event registrations were to begin at 8:00 am. Bus services were arranged for attendees to be received from airport and be dropped at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, where we received amazing greetings and a cool T-Shirt promoting the Google Developer Days.

The event was filled with Google Developer Advocates, GDEs, GDG communities, WTM communities and people connected to various Google Programs, with lots of attendees from all over the India as well as from outside India.

#GDD India 2017 Keynote speakers

It all started with a very good and delighting breakfast and a warm welcome with a keynote by Googlers like Pankaj Gupta, Daniel Galpin, Sachit Mishra.

Pankaj joined Google after co-founding Hali Labs, which was later acquired by Google. Hali Labs was focused around AI, ML and NLP in general. He is the one behind “Whom to follow” algorithm of Twitter if you don’t know it yet.

Daniel Galpin is a developer advocate at Google. He is one of the core creator of Udacity Courseware that helped millions of developers learn Android development leveraging MOOCs.

Sachit Mishra works on libraries, documentation and outreach efforts for actions on Google as a developer programs engineer.

There were other Keynote speakers as well, here’s the Keynote video if you wish to watch it in detail


A lot of Machine learning in the keynote!

100’s of events in just 2 days

The venue was divided into different venues and lounges, each space hosted their own separate events focused Google Assistant, Android Things, Tensorflow to name a few. These were some of the Google’s own technology related events. Apart from those there were many other events of interest as well.

Android IQ tests with Pluralsight

Pluralsight IQ score

It was fun to be a part of an IQ test, we all scored very well. Our teach Lead Paresh Mayani scored at the expert level, was expected!

The lounges had areas where various products like Google Assistant, Android Things, TensorFlow, etc. were getting promoted and explained by Googlers themselves, Udacity was promoting about its Google Scholarship for Mobile and Web program, Pluralsight had organized Android IQ tests.

A platform to share developer stories

There was a video booth for sharing Developer Stories and a photo booth for getting glimpses and creating collages.

Community and Cloud certification lounges

The venue had more lounges like, Community Lounge for exploring various communities by Google and where we received talks from Google Developers and DevRel program managers like Dushyantsinh Jadeja, Uttam Kumar Tripathi, Karthik Padmanabhan, Salim Abid,  Tim Messerschmidt, katharina lindenthal, Cloud Certification Lounge for getting information on Android and Cloud certifications directly by the program managers and experts like John Souchak and Manohar Silam.

GDE lounge

Another place of interest for me as Google Developer Expert program(GDE). The talk was being delivered by a group of GDEs including Soham Mondal (GDE, UI/UX), SreeRaman (GDE, Marketing), Resul Caner (GDE, Product Design), Faiz Malkani (GDE, Product Design), Mustafa Ali (GDE, Android) and couple of others. Hearing their words, we ignited our passions and interests for cracking GDE interviews and becoming one!

Other Sessions and Hangouts

If we look at the schedule, there were about thirty or more sessions on both the days on various technical and non-technical topics on emerging trends and technologies including keynotes, theories, hands on trainings, etc. All most all the sessions at the event were delivered by Googlers and Google Developer Experts focusing on the key problems in the society and future goals of Google for the betterment of the society.

There were also many technical sessions as well as hands on sessions for fellow developers. Codelabs was the area for serious developers to sit and work on various problems and get guided by the instructors and the amazing part was that the attendees in codelabs were provided will individual machines to work on.

Interaction with Googlers

The part of the GDD was that we could freely interact with any available Googler or a recognized GDE. I was able to test my understanding of technologies along with my team in front of world recognized developers. Some of the technologies that we discussed were focused on Android, Kotlin, Firebase, Tensorflow, Cloud, etc

There were enough swags for the attendees to celebrate the event and be more excited about. Areas filled with swags like T-Shirts promoting Google & Google Developer Days event and various Google products like Firebase, TensorFlow, etc., handbags, water bottles, earbuds, Virtual Reality kits, Android Things kits, etc. were very much focused by the excited attendees.

Benefits? Why to attend?

As a reader of this post, you might be thinking about the benefits and concrete reasons for attending such tech events by spending his/her precious office time which he/she can utilize in producing more and more output for different purposes. Believe or don’t but attending such events is a great pleasure of meeting new people around you from same or varied professional background and it helps in getting to know about the trending approaches and technologies that people are using these days. And to be specific about GDD, it was a Google’s biggest tech event ever held in India so the assumptions about the personal as well as professional gain can be made easily.

To make it short, below are some of the benefits that I observed:

  • Meet and network with experienced developers, discuss with them about new things being released in market, what architecture/pattern they are following during development, what tools and technologies they are using to ease life of developers and company.
  • Meet Google developer experts to know about GDE program, it’s interview process, benefits and many other things around GDE program
  • Meet Googlers and company CEOs/Founders to know about their apps, see if there are chances to provide mentorship, review their apps and share valuable suggestions, know what unique things that they have implemented and how they have implemented it exactly.
  • Knowledge sharing with fellow developers

What we learned from GDD

We at Simform believe that attending such events not only help us improve our skills with best professional standards that industry people are using these days, but it also helps us grow technically as well as socials. Attending GDD India event was an amazing experience and the learning curve was very admirable. By attending such events we not only learned about new and trending technologies but also gain exposures to in the market.

Android & Kotlin:

  • Having hands-on using ConstraintLayout in Kotlin with the help of Google Mentors
  • Sessions on Location and battery improvement.
  • Firebase prediction, why we should start using it and how it can help us in predicting based on data analytics
  • Building an application with Android architecture components, we are already using architecture components at Simform, but, we attended session and discussed different use cases
  • Testing Kotlin to the limits
  • Discussed about Kotlin static analysis tools which we should use, currently we are using Detekt and Ktlint with spotless but discussed with developer advocates to know if there are any other tools

Android things:

  • Got the Android Things Kit as swags and now we have started experimenting with it by building various of examples.

Tensorflow:

  • Attended sessions covering use cases of Machine Learning & TensorFlow.
  • Learnt how to use TensorFlow for image classification.
  • How TensorFlow & Machine Learning can be used in collaboration with other technologies like Google Cloud, Android Things & whatnot.

Other things:

  • Agency program.
  • About GDE interview and program. Couple of us will soon apply for the same.
  • Got to know about Google’s plans on betterment of the society, one of the things included dealing with Cancer cases.
  • Shared our learning and expertise of reducing apk size, with developers came across borders

It has been less than a year since I have started working at Simform, and my experience has been truly amazing. An organization that actually promotes technology environment and creativity.

Visiting GDD was just a reflection of our culture at Simform. If you are around from Ahmedabad, we also participate and deliver our expertise on GDG Ahmedabad, where we share our learnings and failures, feel free to drop by during any of GDG Ahmedabad meetups – we will be there!