This was my first Google I/O, and I must say, it was quite an experience.
I went in to the week excited for new announcements and to maybe get my hands dirty with new tools/features.
That all happened, but a week removed from the event it’s not the big announcements that have stuck with me (though I do have my eye on Android Studio running on a Pixelbook 😉)
No, a week later I keep coming back to these 2 phrases:
“make good things together”
“build things that matter”
The scale of the event was somewhat overwhelming, and also very energizing. I’ve never experienced something quite like that at any other event.
I met people from 6 continents (anyone at I/O from Antarctica…I’m sorry I missed you 🙂), and various roles:
- students & professionals
- event organizers
- engineers & designers
- ride share drivers
So many of these people were working towards something meaningful. They were looking to give back; to bring others along with them; improve their communities; and grow/learn as individuals.
I was inspired by these reminders of why I am in tech in the first place: to work with others building things that have meaningful impact on the lives of others.
How to use tech to change the world
This was my favorite session of the entire week.
No flashy marketing.
No big announcement.
Just a panel of inspiring people sharing how they are using technology to change world.
If you’re in need to some inspiration or motivation, I highly recommend this session.
Access to the tech & expertise
Again, I’ve never been to another event with so much access to different technologies and the people behind it.
There were so many ways to learn:
- office hours
- community lounge
If you had an idea about how to make an impact with a particular technology, there was probably a number of ways to explore how to make it happen.
Was it worth it?
If my biggest takeaways weren’t piles of notes on new features/tools/products, then some might ask “was it worth it?” Was it worth the time, money and effort to attend Google I/O? Couldn’t I have live-streamed the event and been just as valuable to my team?
If you measure “conference value” by strictly the amount of actionable technical information you take in, then I could probably have had a more “valuable” Google I/O by staying home and watching from my couch.
However, that’s not how I measure the value of an event like this.
Information is easy to find. I haven’t even caught up from last year’s I/O in terms of trying all the new features/tools/products that were announced.
But I made new connections with people from all over the world. I got to see the impact my work makes on people from drastically different backgrounds. I was able to step outside my comfort zone and have discussions about diversity & inclusivity that I wouldn’t have had while sitting at home.
In other words, I think I grew as a person, and my passion and excitement for what I do was recharged. And to me, that is invaluable.
More I/O Resources
As Android has grown exponentially over the past ten years, we’ve also seen our developer community grow dramatically…android-developers.googleblog.com
Since there are a lot of new stuff at Google IO 2018 I decided to make a small article with useful android links.proandroiddev.com