Last week I both visited Japan for the first time and spoke at DroidKaigi 2016. I have virtually zero ability to properly articulate how much I enjoyed the trip. However, I will attempt a small recap with more than moderate amounts of gushing.
I loved so many things about DroidKaigi.
First, it was truly, as organizer Hiroshi Kurokawa told me, a conference by developers for developers. Everyone I met was excited about Android and eager to learn and connect.
Second, I cannot compliment the DroidKaigi staff enough on the execution of DroidKaigi. From my point of view as a speaker, they kept us well-informed and responded promptly to questions despite the fact that some of the speakers (like me) spoke no Japanese. From my point of view as an attendee, the staff found great session content that was diverse in subject and experience level.
- The welcome included a polished and joyful intro video.
- The keynote was a great tour of the Android open source landscape given by an Android developer that everyone should know, Daichi Furiya , a.k.a wasabeef. Seriously, check out his Github page.
- Each session was professionally recorded and available online just over a week after conference end.
- Each room was succinctly MCed by a staff member.
- The food and snacks were ridiculously delicious.
The DroidKaigi 2016 speaker line-up included myself and five other overseas speakers (in order of session):
I presented a slightly updated version of my talk on "Loving Lean Layouts".
(On a side note, hydrakecat's presentation, "Build your custom Rx Observable/Operator", had such well done slides in English that I was able to understand and learn quite a bit even though he presented in Japanese. Thanks, Hiroshi-san!)
(Hopefully) Until Next Year
I have to say this: my only regret is that I do not speak Japanese, since I missed so much great content, but I am using that as motivation to crank up my Japanese studying for next year.
DroidKaigi was still an amazing experience because of the care and passion of its staff and the enthusiasm and community of its attendees. And there were so many developers whom I met and with whom I connected despite the language barrier (in fact, shout out to the two Vietnamese developers that I met at a Japanese Android conference). That is the power of community, and definitely something for which I would fly across the world.