DroidCon 2018: What our team learnt

Richard and Matt from our Android team were out and about last week visiting DroidCon London. They’ve been finding out all the latest news and advancements in the exciting world of Android Development.

DroidCon is the biggest Android Developers event in London, attracting delegates from across UK and Europe. We came to learn what’s new, and what might be worth pursuing in our own R&D; We were not disappointed.

DroidCon is a huge event. The Business Design Center in Islington is an excellent venue to showcase exhibiting companies and attend presentations and workshops. We attended the VIP Keynote by the always entertaining Chet Haase and Romain Guy from Google. They spoke about the evolution of garbage collection on Android. They showed how developers can spend more time focusing on good code and avoiding allocations – something we already do at UrbanThings.

 

What we learnt

In amongst all the networking, photo challenges and the drones whizzing about above our heads, there were some excellent presentations and panel discussions that are relevant our smart ticketing product, Ticketless™.

Our biggest takeaways this year included: a very interesting approach to state machines from Mounir Boudraa. It uses a small fledgling library called Flow, which takes advantage of Kotlin to makes a safer implementation that gains compiler support. Another noteworthy talk surrounded the whole JetPack suit as it stabilises and matures.

We also managed to catch a talk by Jake Wharton (Google) via the event “skillcast” recording service. I met him at DroidCon last year and got to find out about some of the exciting things coming up over a quick pint. Subsequently this year, it was great to hear how those projects have developed. He spoke on how Dagger can help lighten the issue of dependency management, and the functionality provided by libraries which are built on top of it. We’re looking forward to implementing these ideas ourselves.

There is a definite feel of community at DroidCon due to much of the event is supported by volunteers. It’s invaluable to developers such as myself and Matt to network and share ideas with people in the industry. As a result, I always leave DroidCon feeling inspired and excited about what I’ve learnt and how it can be implemented for Ticketless at UrbanThings.

Richard Green is the Android Technical Lead at UrbanThings.