Fitting in at Droidcon With the Passionate Android Community

By David Knight |

Maybe I imagined the dirty looks, but let’s face it, wandering around an Android-themed conference with a Macbook Air tucked under one arm and an iPhone clutched in the other can hardly be termed ‘fitting in.’ Not that I’m an Apple fanboy, of course; as long as my technology works in more or less the way I want it to, I’m happy.

I was probably alone in that opinion at droidcon, which kicked off at Station Berlin on Thursday and where technology expectations are a little higher. It’s a community-driven developer conference and B2B marketplace aimed at showing off the best Android has to offer.

This year marks the sixth running of the event in Berlin – the inaugural droidcon, oragnised by an international team of Android enthusiasts, was held in the German capital in November 2009, and since then, it has travelled to London, Brussels, Bucharest, Bangalore, Amsterdam, Murcia and Tunis.

The event is designed to cover many different aspects of the Android ecosystem, including mobile, TV, cars, gaming and more

Compared to the varied and broad social and political themes being played out at the neighbouring re:publica 14 conference, droidcon is a real techies’ affair. The attendees – the vast majority of them men – generally have that look on their faces; they are passionate about the topic. It’s a great chance to meet up and swap ideas and knowledge on a more technical level.

And learn you can. I now know far more about automatic regression testing than I did before – automation is a good thing, apparently, because manual testing is time consuming and depends on the expertise of the testers, human error can lead to defect leakage, and they tend to get bored with running the same tests over and over.

I’ll happily admit that a lot of the really technical stuff was beyond me (for example, some of the explanatory slides which accompanied the talk by David Gonzales of Novoda entitled ‘Video playing on Android’ went way over my head) but there was no doubting the energy at droidcon – and you could really see how Berlin is its spiritual home.

This year’s droidcon is also being held in conjunction with LinuxTag, a conference about free and open source software. The concentration of the different events at Station Berlin during this year’s Berlin Web Week – re:publica, droidcon, LinuxTag andMedia Convention Berlin – is no accident, and will hopefully help to bring some disparate communities closer together.

Slides at droidcon. Huh?

Slides at droidcon. Huh?

Photos: Silicon Allee/David Knight