You might have heard that we just got back from Google I/O (it was sort of a big deal for Android fans). We're tired, we're cranky, and we're sitting with our sore feet propped up just waiting for next year so we can do it all over again. It's work, but it's the best part of the best job a nerd could ever want. You also probably heard about the "big news" from Google I/O, namely Nexus tablets and Jelly Bean. But that's not what I/O was really all about.
Google stretched I/O into three days this year, and that gave us 33-percent more of what's really important about the entire event -- code-jams and sessions for developers by developers. Google I/O is all about the code. I had that epiphany sitting in an overcrowded room waiting for one of the great talks from the Android developers to start, looking at the excited faces of people who felt exactly the same way I did. I was there on a press pass, but at heart I'm just a code-monkey (Thanks for this Dr. Lee, I owe it all to you). I've moved away from it as of late, but every time I see brackets or a .h file I can't help but remember what I really am. The under-appreciated folks who gave the talks and answered all our questions left me star-struck, and satisfied in a way that wine or women never will.
The keynotes were impressive, there's no doubt. Skydiving and magic glasses are impossible to ignore. The toys kick ass, and I'll use them until I wear them out, knowing all the while that getting them from Google makes me lucky as hell. But for me, they were just the appetizer for the main course, which was held in each of the smaller rooms where geek-speak ruled the day. Some were more interesting for me than others, some I attended simply to stay abreast of Android's direction, but every one of them was important to the future of technology. Google I/O is good for Google and all their products, but you still have to appreciate the lengths they go to so that we can learn. It really is Mecca for a Google fan.
There's one other thing that a trip to Google I/O (and probably Apple's WWDC or any similar event) will remind you of. In a room full of Android phones, MacBooks, iPhones, and Blackberries (sorry Windows Phone) you realize that squabbles about which platform is better don't amount to a hill of beans and all the noise about lawsuits and rivalry is just that -- noise. We were all there to learn, and we all learned how to make technology better. Better for Android, better for iOS, better for the web, and most importantly, better for you and me. News is news, and we still have to make a bit of noise ourselves, but I want to take this one chance to mention that it doesn't matter what brand of consumer electronics you use, only that you like it.
I've got a head full of Google and Android to try to put into words the next couple of days, but I wanted to start with what's important. I cant wait for next year!
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