Google I/O 2018 Recap

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”


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Experiences of a first-time conference speaker

The notion of conference speaking both excites & scares me.

I just gave my first 2 android conference talks

When I finally worked up the courage to submit conference talk proposals, I did so with the intention of documenting the speaking process if I were selected.

I hoped that by openly sharing my experiences that I could perhaps connect with others that are considering taking the same leap. And that, by seeing my excitement/fears/anxiety/joy, they may recognize that there is nothing special required to add your voice to the public forum.

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ChicagoRoboto 2018

I had the great fortune of attending ChicagoRoboto this week.  I really had a terrific time learning, meeting new people, speaking, and playing with Legos 🙂.

Check out my ChicagoRoboto 18 Twitter Moment


Let’s start off with some well deserved high praise

Jorge Coca on Twitter

What I like about @chicagoroboto is that it gathers, under the same roof, all your favorite and known expert developers with the local Android Chicago community (and more). What an amazing two days we are going to have!

Sudhanshu Siddh on Twitter

My first #chicagoroboto. Amazing 1st day! Brilliant talks, so much knowledge! Incredible people sharing their experiences, on and off stage. For a newbie like me who is about to start their career, it feels like a Utopia of knowledge! @chicagoroboto @Android


A very sincere thank you to all the organizers, volunteers and sponsors!!

Nate Ebel on Twitter

Thanks @jwilker @rharter @jerrellmardis, all the sponsors and volunteers, for all the hard work making #ChicagoRoboto happen 😀


. . .


I really loved the way Yash Prabhu included some calls to action in her opening keynote:

  1. Learn 3 new things
  2. Make 3 new friends

It immediately gave the audience some common ground and provided an easy ice breaker for meeting new people.

Jibreel Powell on Twitter

Who wants to be one of my new #ChicagoRoboto friends?


I thought I’d use those takeaways to focus my notes/thoughts from the event


. . .


New Things


You Can’t Know Everything

Okay, so this isn’t necessarily “new”, but I think it’s worth reminding ourselves every once in a while.  In fact, this topic came up in at least 3 different talks.

It was great hearing this during the keynote because it helped keep things in perspective as the conference kicked off and we experienced an overflow of useful information.

Honestly, this whole talk was great!  You should definitely check it out.

Slides Here

Christina Lee on Twitter

@yashvprabhu is giving an excellent keynote right now at @chicagoroboto #SpeakerGoals


So much goodness coming in ConstraintLayout 2.0

I’ve been dabbling in ConstraintLayout for a while now and starting to play with some of the interesting features it provides.

After John Hoford and Nicolas Roard gave us a preview of some of the things coming in version 2.0, my list of reasons to explore ConstraintLayout got a whole lot bigger.  I particularly loved a couple of examples for making resizable layouts work great (such as on a Chromebook).

Slides Here

Nate Ebel on Twitter

constraintlayout 2.0 preview 😍 animations “We need new tools to meet app demands” new helpers 🙂 collections decorators virtual layouts 😀…I needed this 2 weeks ago 😅 layout states..easier constraint sets?? 🙂 resizing animations 🔥 fluent API 👍 #chicagoroboto


Espresso Testing with the Robot Pattern

The “Robot” testing pattern was an interesting thought I hadn’t considered before.  Big thanks to Adam McNeilly for sharing it with us.

It provides some very nice abstraction between test boilerplate and configuration making Espresso testing much more maintainable.

Also, big shout out on a very successful first Android conference talk 👍 👍

Slides Here

Chicago Roboto on Twitter

Espresso Patronum” Maybe one of the best names for a talk. #chicagoroboto


No More Tofu

(I love that title 🙂)

I had no idea that emojis were so complicated… but had a lot of fun learning about it from Miquel Beltran 😀

Sounds like EmojiCompat is definitely the way to go nowadays.

Slides Here

Nate Ebel on Twitter

No More Tofu: Mastering Emoji by @Miqubel 4000+ emojis rendered differently between manufacturer and OS (I miss sideways blobs 😢) differences in rendering can convey different emotions Is EmojiCompat the greatest thing ever? 🤔 😃 👏 – setReplaceAll() #ChicagoRoboto

The Future of the Community

Dan Kim gave a pretty amazing talk on the importance the Android developer community.

There was a big focus on 4 specific ways anyone can become involved in contributing and benefitting from the community.

Slides Here

Jibreel Powell on Twitter

@dankim on the future of our community. Spoiler: it’s *you* #ChicagoRoboto

Nate Ebel on Twitter

ChicagoRoboto @dankim Mentorship – very rewarding – 100% expertise not required 🙂 – advertise yourself – guidance > answers Open Source – can make huge impact 💥 – great way to learn – resume builder – every bit helps “Remember, everyone is incredibly nice” 👍👍

. . .


New Friends

Meeting new people is one of my favorite parts of attending a conference.

It builds connections

Those connections become part of your support system, they motivate and inspire you

It prompts interesting conversation, and can lead to exciting opportunities

(I started to list out people I had met this week, but the list quickly grew quite large… you’ll have to trust me when I saw it was more than 3 people 🙂)

. . .


Another Chance to Share

I was really excited to have the chance to speak on a topic I think is really important.

Tips From the Time Machine: Things I Wish I Would Have Known Starting a Career as an Android Dev

Starting a career into Android development (or anything really) is filled with challenges. If I could go back in time to give myself advice, I would encourage myself to: – have courage: ask questions, take risks – practice self compassion: remember that it’s okay to not know everything or do everything – connect with others: embrace connections with the community and build a support system Check out this tweet thread to see what others have shared regarding their challenges when starting out.



A big thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts/struggles/challenges/advice as I was prepping my talk and to the other speakers who were also so wonderful and supportive.

Sudhanshu Siddh on Twitter

Thnx to all the speakers, the organizers & volunteers for such an amazing conference @chicagoroboto Gr8 feeling meeting everyone! Brilliant advices! Feeling a lot more confident and hopeful #ChicagoRoboto #NeverGiveUp #androidcommunity #android

. . .


Lots More to Love


Miquel on Twitter

Being More Than An Android Developer by @yashvprabhu opening keynote at #chicagoroboto!



Britt Barak @ 🇬🇧 London on Twitter

This is even better than I expected. @n8ebel gathered adviced from the #android community & shared them ever so openly & honestly in @chicagoroboto. My fav: “you’re not alone”, u have the #community.😍 Wonderful in so many levels. Thank u! 🙏 #chicagoroboto #androiddev


Jibreel Powell on Twitter

@MarkIAllison preforms magic and talks Android Vectors at #ChicagoRoboto


Had a really awesome time at the party.  Thanks to The Nerdery for hosting a great event.  I was particularly excited about the Legos 🙂

Ugur Kilic on Twitter

Thus is fun 🙂 Starwars-lego after party with @n8ebel @AdamMc331 @ @chicagoroboto


speaking of Legos…

Adam McNeilly on Twitter

@n8ebel won the Lego Star Wars giveaway. I can’t think of anyone more deserving. #ChicagoRoboto


Hope to see you next year for ChicagoRoboto 2019

. . .

I love to meet/talk/discuss and help where I can.  If you want to chat or ask a question you can find me on Twitter, YouTubeMedium, Facebook, Instagram, or subscribe here to stay up to date on the latest posts from my blog.

Droidcon Boston 2018



I recently attended (and spoke at) Droidcon Boston 2018.  I had a terrific time, and thought it was a wonderful event.  Here are a few of my favorite parts.

Droidcon Boston

Conference Agenda

Droidcon Boston Twitter


  • Friendly
  • Helpful
  • Passionate

The entire team of organizers, volunteers and sponsors were so awesome!  Their passion permeated the event and set the tone for a very community-focused conference.

The “EGG” team 😀

Eliza Camber

Garima Jain

Giorgio Natili

Nate Ebel on Twitter

the “EGG” team behind #DroidConBos

Divya Jain on Twitter

Big big shout out to @giorgionatili and the other two organizers, our great MCs @marcyregalado , staff and volunteers at @droidconbos . It was my first android conference and definitely an amazing experience. See u next year! 😀


  • There were so many great talks!
  • Kotlin was there in a big way
  • A number on interesting talks on architectures… MVI in particular


I really enjoyed the keynotes.  The brought unique, engaging, and relevant perspectives and ways I hadn’t seen before.

Nate Ebel on Twitter

The much anticipated handstand from @HandstandSam 👍👍

Side Note: Kotlin was everywhere.  So many slides done entirely in Kotlin

Ugur Kilic on Twitter

Awesome talk @n8ebel @ @droidconbos , I learned something today.

Also Side Note: My First Talk… Yay!

Nate Ebel on Twitter

slides from my talk this morning at #DroidconBos fun() Talk: Exploring Kotlin Functions

Links to Slides

Lisa Wray’s Keynote

My Kotlin Talk

Flux for Android by Shohei Kawano

Reactive Architecture by HIFILEO

Why MVI? Model View Intent — The curious case of yet another pattern by Garima Jain

Data Binding Workshop by Eric Maxwell
Creating Awesome Animations With ConstraintLayout and ConstraintSet by Hari Vignesh J

Protecting Your Source: Using Code Review To Improve Your Application Quality by Jonathan Maltz

Multimodule Gradle by Clive Lee

Ana Baotić on Twitter

@loraj_k on padding ” You don’t want it touching edges, we’re not barbarians” 😂😂 #DroidconBos

MoniGarr on Twitter

DroidconBos thanks for the Android learning adventure

Dhara Bhavsar on Twitter

More bout Flux and Flux vs Redux #DroidconBos

Hari Vignesh J on Twitter

AR core with Kunal and a star trooper ? 😉 #DroidConBos


  • The community aspect of this event was huge for me
  • I met people from all over the world
  • I engaged with so many people between sessions and at the various parties

The great community of friendly & helpful developers is a huge part of why I love being an Android developer and why I enjoy going to conferences.

Garima Jain on Twitter

DroidconBos was so much fun. Ending the conference with the selfie with co-organizer @ElizaCamber Lots of nice memories and new friends. Yaay!

Droidcon Boston on Twitter

Last talk massive selfie at #droidconbos 🎉🎊

Ana Baotić on Twitter

Speaker mingling @droidconbos 🎉#DroidconBos #AndroidDev 🎬30


Nate Ebel on Twitter

had an amazing time at #droidconbos !!thank you so much to everyone involved was wonderful to meet so many new people and to finally put a real life face to many others 😀


Check out my recap video on YouTube for even more from the conference

. . .

I love to meet/talk/discuss with others so if you have feedback or want to chat you can follow me on Twitter, YouTube, on Medium, or subscribe here to stay up to date on the latest posts from my blog.

Stay Up to Date as an Android Developer

As an Android developer, it’s useful to know about the latest tools, tips, and trends.

Here are a number of my favorites ways of staying up to date in the world of androiddev.


Weekly Newsletter


Android Weekly Newsletter

This is probably my single favorite way to stay up to date because it aggregates great content on a weekly basis.

Simply scanning through the titles and checking out 1-2 links each week will really help you understand what the new tools, tips/ and trends are.


Fragmented Podcast

Android Developers Backstage Podcast

I subscribe to both of these podcasts and love the deep dives into technical topics that span the breadth of the Android platform.


Android Dialogs YouTube Channel

Google’s Android Developers YouTube Channel

Android Dialogs is a wonderful community-driven channel that focuses on short conversations with Android developers.

Google’s Android Developers channel is a terrific source for all things Android coming out of Google.

Blogs & Publications
Android Developers Blog
Google Developers Medium Publication
ProAndroidDev Medium Publication
AndroidPub Medium Publication

There are many, many great blogs out there in the world of androiddev.  These are just a few that can get you started.

The medium publications in particular are quite nice because the include posts from many different people so you can find many different perspectives on different topics.

Twitter GDE & Dev Advocate lists

Android GDE Twitter List
Android Developer Advocates Twitter List
Kotlin GDE Twitter List

The androiddev community is quite active on Twitter.  These 3 lists include Google Developer Experts and Google Android Developer Advocates that are on Twitter and regularly share useful info.

Conference Videos


DroidconNYC ’17 Videos
Google I/O ’17 Videos

Many conferences share their recorded videos online to be watched later.  If you can’t attend in person, or even if you do and want to watch again, these types of channels are really useful.

You could watch them alone, at a meetup, or incorporate into your team’s weekly schedule to help everyone stay up to date.

. . .

What are your favorite ways to stay up to date? Comment below or share on social media. I’d love to continue the conversation.

I love to meet/talk/discuss with others so if you have feedback or want to chat you can follow me on Twitter, YouTube, on Medium, or subscribe here to stay up to date on the latest posts from my blog.