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Bringing people together face-to-face

Networking evening at The Brentham Club Ealing London

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Bespoke Support Network’s event at The Brentham Club Ealing London. I had a fun evening chatting to many interesting people and demonstrating the friendfolder app.

Thanks to those of you who had Android phones and could install the app. It was very useful to get your ideas and feedback. I also would like to thank Sarah Kauter of VerriBerri for inviting me to the event and to the staff also.

To those of you with iPhones, sorry the app doesn’t work yet on your phones. Hopefully when Apple gets their act together and releases the necessary NFC software I will be able to put the app on iPhone also!

Best wishes and I hope to see your faces at another event soon 🙂

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Uxbridge Android Meetup

Today I had the pleasure of attending the Uxbridge Android meetup hosted by Darryl Usher and attended by Ian Pettman and myself.

In this session, we will look at the Activity Lifecycle of an Android App. We will also look at real life examples of the different stages of the Activity lifecycle.

Ian Pettman and Darryl Usher very kindly signed up and beta tested my friendfolder app and gave me some interesting feedback. I now have these guys as acquaintances on my friendfolder app. I hope to meet them again next month so that we can be friends on the app. Many thanks to Darryl for hosting the meetup.

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BBC Londroid Android Meetup

Londroid at the BBC small

Today I had the pleasure of attending the last Londroid meetup of the year at the BBC at Portland Place in central London. Londroid is a monthly meetup of Android developers and people interested in the Android operating system hosted in various company offices in London.

Quote from Meetup.com

Evening schedule

6:00 – Open for arrival

6:30 – Welcome

6:40 – Talk 1 – 20 mins

7:00 – Q&A

7:10 – Talk 2 – 20 mins

7:30 – Q&A

7:40 – Talk 3 – 20 mins

8:00 – Q&A

8:10 – Social at the BBC

10:00 – Event closes


Talk one: The good, the bad and the ugly – in the BBC News app

Having millions of users and a large code base is not easy. When combined with myriad business requirements, moving goal posts, right-to-left languages, and many parliamentary elections, this gets even harder. How do we manage that? By continuously improving our architecture and carefully choosing frameworks that work for us. And hacks, of course.

Speakers: Catalina Chioveanu, Senior Software Engineer, BBC and Andrew Fulcher, Lead Software Engineer, BBC

Since joining the BBC Catalina has worked on various projects; the one she is most proud of is the expansion of the World Service apps which covers delivering news to various audiences around the globe. Her aim is to make products with a strong architecture and a fluid UX – looking good inside, and great outside.

Andrew prefers Kotlin, appreciates Java, enjoys reactive programming, and – although from a server background – has come to find UI development fun too. Andrew has worked at the BBC twice, with a spell coding for ITV in between; this means that he either really likes the place, or lacks imagination. Probably both. While Andrew has come to terms with fragments, activities, and lifecycles, he wonders if things need to be quite so complicated.

Talk two: ExoPlayer: implementing an efficient application-level media player for Android

ExoPlayer is an open-source media playback library, which is used by thousands of applications. This talk will cover some best practices and tools we use to make the player efficient and achieve good quality playback.

Speaker: Andrew Lewis, Software Engineer, Google UK

Andrew works on ExoPlayer, an open source media playback library for Android. Previously he worked on automatic movie creation in the Google Photos app.

Talk three: Practical instant apps

This talk will walk you through the steps you need to take to convert an existing app into an Android Instant App. I will show existing tools that make it easier to deal with prerequisites such as setting up App Links and Smart Lock, techniques for modularizing your app and reducing module sizes to reach the Instant App size limits.

Speaker: Wojtek Kalicinski Developer Advocate @ Google

Wojtek works closely with the Android Studio team to provide outreach on new Studio and Tools releases and framework features. He enjoys looking for ways to make apps more usable, mostly through better development patterns and code optimizations.

The presentations were interesting and the speakers very professional. The socials were great fun with free beers, wine and pizza and I had the pleasure of meeting some interesting characters who I pitched my friendfolder app to.

Thanks to the guys who tried my app I’m sorry when on some of your devices the camera crashed. I guess I need to look into engineering the camera better and test it on more devices.

It was also fascinating to see into the BBC newsroom’s and I saw Ros Atkins presenting Outside Source on BBC News 24 channel.

I look forward to more Londroid meetups next year. The next Londroid meetup should be at the Deliveroo offices. My thanks goes to the team organising the meetups and to the BBC for hosting it. I hope you’ll have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

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