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
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!