When I first received the invitation to be among the INTERNATIONAL speakers for the DroidconKE 2019, I was shocked! I had to re-read the email on the clock before I could even reply back. My journey just got real ...
I had a bunch of issues going on before my departure, including renewing my passport and the messes I went through just a day before (a story for another blog..) but eventually, I had the chance to attend my first ever Android Conference that happened in Nairobi, Kenya. It was a 2 days event and it was absolutley amazing! Amazing is an understatement!
With several hundred attendees at the event, for a moment, I was at a loss of words. I have never met so many people interested in Android development in my life. I was so excited and panicking at the same time.
Droidcon (Android Conference) is one of the largest Mobile developer conferences that happen in Africa with a large number of both international speakers and local ones. DroidconKE had speakers from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Congo, Tanzania (Your girl right here!), South Africa, Russia, Japan and France
One of the things that got me so so much excited is the vibe (am I allowed to put this here? lol) the Kenya Developers Community have. So much love for technology!
There was so much going on that it was difficult keeping up with all sessions. These guys had an DroidconKE android application for the conference. I was able to attend few of topics:
Few months before, I was actually going through Hover documentation and got lucky to attend their session on USSD automation with the SDK they developed. For non geeks, this is when you can perform/dial USSD codes directly from the android app and not the dialer. You can pay bills, get vouchers and even unlock apps features -if there is any
Monica shared her experiences from her work place on health and technology and how android tools helped ease their researches.
This session, Allan talked about the benefits of opensource to companies and individuals.
So you use libraries and you don't know how they are published and developed? My good friend Patrick demostrated how to develop a custom and publish it as an android library. Just like that!
Coming from Ethiopia, Dawit published his game Kukulu but they had issues and challenges with app-purchases. Why? Ethiopia is among African countries that do not allow or support Google Play in-app purchases. Dawit explained how they were able to get solutions that many African developers face.
For the nerdy ones, we know how android applications are more complex, bigger as libraries keep updating versions every day. Moyin talked about how you can modularize your app and reduce build time. She also talked on Android APp Bundle that explains from the documentation how to distribute your app and dynamic features. Her session was shared with 5Ws, questions to ask: What, why, where,when and how can Dynamic Feature Modules be used and related to modularization.
Mark highlighted how Twiga industry uses Continous Integration & Develpment to save time and access available artifacts. This was more of the intermidiate level session (I think) but got interesting on how Twiga uses Android CI and CD
It is funny how a number of developers have issues with Gradle one way or the other. Be it an expert (maybe) or a beginner.
Phewww!! That's a lot of sessions for one person right? lol.. But no, That was so little for what was being happening around. A moment where you wish you had a clone somehow. You can read more of what we down here. And also, find a copy of my session here. On closing we had some fun and games to ease down all the sessions we just downloaded lol
At the end of it all,little did I know this was a start of my journey in tech and best of all, got myself some Kenyan Tech fam and friends across countries