2014 – Year of learning, sharing and changes

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During the GDG events and Android workshops, I have been asked many times about my experience of attending conferences and events. So far I haven’t shared about my activities here on blog but this time let me do it to get comments and feedback from you guys and at the same time to inspire some of you! For some of you, it might be less but for me it’s “achievements unlocked”. For me, year 2014 was the fantastic year and one of the best year in my life. I have had some golden opportunities, grabbed some of those and failed to crack some. Yes tested failure juice too!

But believing in below quote always gives me positive energy while getting failures!

“There is always a learning in failures and mistakes!”

In this post, I will share my experience of attending conferences, talks, opportunities, blog, learning, changes and at last failure too. Below are some of the points:

  • First time at Droidcon (Android Developer Days, Ankara and Istanbul)
  • Attended Google community summit in Sri Lanka and delivered talk on android studio in Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology
  • Missed 2 more international speaking opportunities
  • USA visa rejection, again!
  • Interviewed for GDE for Android and failed to make it, again!
  • Joined InfoStretch Solutions Pvt. Ltd as a Senior Software Engineer
  • TechnoTalkative: A year for lazy android developers and wearable
  • Crossed 50000 milestone on Stackoverflow

First time at Droidcon (Android Developer Days)

It was surprising moment for me as me and my friends (Wiebe Elsinga, Wolfram Rittmeyer) were talking about ADD and making a plan for attending ADD 2014, and I got an invitation mail from Murat Aydin.

_DSC9377

I had delivered a talk on Lazy android developers: Be productive, while writing it’s viewed >7000 times and starred by >55 on speaker deck. By looking at these statistics, I am sure it was one of the best talk in ADD 2014. Indeed it was, by looking at offline messages and interaction with ADD participants.

OK_Glass Paresh Mayani
It was my first time when I said “Ok Glass” during the conference. Regarding meeting awesome people, I have had opportunity to meet some fellow android community members like Mario Viviani (GDE Android), Benjamin Weiss (GDE Android and now googler), Stefan Hoth, Hasan Hosgel, Mark Allison (Styling android guru,), Ukraine friends (Vitalik Zasadnyy, Oleh Zasadnyy, Ostap Andrusiv), Sebastian Mauer (GDE Android), Abhisek Devkota (Cynogenmod), Chris Tuttle, Aygul Zagidullina, Dan Romescu, Filip Maelbrancke (android testing guru), Michel Racic (GDG Zurich), Pieter-Jan Vandormael (GDG Brussels), Tim Messerschmidt (Paypal), Xavier Hallade (Intel) and list continues with many.

During my stay in Ankara, I had a company of Ukraine friends and we had explored some of the places in Ankara like Anitkabir, Kocatepe Mosque, Museum of anatolian civilizations and many other places. One of the awesome thing of the trip 😀 On the next day to ADD event, we had a road trip from Ankara to Istanbul. It was an amazing road trip. In Istanbul, we some of the speakers had delivered talks and later joined for the dinner. I stayed there one more day and I was lucky to visit Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. It was one of the good market I have shopped something from for my better half.

I have already shared my feedback and experience in my post about ADD event. Apart from those mentioned points, I would again like to repeat two points for this event: 1) Huge speakers and sponsors line up 2) Speaker is the king.

At last but not the least, some of the Turkey friends have already taken a place in my diary and they are Murat Aydin, Murat Salman, Yener couple 😉 (Murat and Nilay) and Ahmed Mermerkaya. Hope to see you all soon.

Overall, it was awesome experience of delivering talks, meeting new people and knowing their experience, trying out geeky stuffs like Google glass and oculus rift and last but not least knowing different culture.

FYI, ADD 2015 is already announced and date has already been set. Keep checking Android developer days site for the updates:

Attended Google community summit in Sri Lanka and delivered talk on android studio in Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology

Google organizes a community summit for GDG, GBG and GSAs, almost every year, sometimes separate summit for all. This time we had an international summit for GDG and GBG for organizers from Asia. It was a great time to explore, share and learn many things. I have had a company of Romin Irani (GDE Cloud), we had discussion around GDG events, android ecosystems, android development, our blogs and other plannings for the developer ecosystem. I also had an opportunity to meet Taylor Ling (GDE UI/UX), I had presented him a famous Indian sweet LADOO (FYI, there was a campaign running for Android ‘L’) and of course, these GDE guys are being an inspiration for me to apply for the GDE program, some day I will be!

One great thing I liked in the summit was “Design Sprint”. Do you know about Design Sprint?

“The design sprint is a process for prototyping and testing any product in 5 days.”

design sprint - google ventures way
We had a design sprint in the Google ventures way. Check and read more about on Google ventures. We were given social cause topic where NGO community already have a system but they are having delay in responding to received data and many other issues. So we were asked to prepare a prototype to solve those problems.
I would say it was a great summit and more such summits should be organized, because it helps to have a great bonding among community managers and helps to establish a successful and long running community.

During the summit, we some of the community managers (Suresh Ghimire, Dipesh Kumar and of course me) were invited to deliver talks in Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology. I had delivered talk on Android studio. It was very well organized inauguration event. One of the best venue I have ever been to. Purely Google decorations and coloured venue! Check event photos.

Sri lanka institute talk _ go googly

Missed 2 more international speaking opportunities

Yes I had to say NO for two international speaking opportunities. One was the invitation to attend DevFest Istanbul (I would say one of the best and largest devfest ever happened in the world) and another was to conduct Android workshop for GDG Dhaka.

I am sorry and at the same thanks to Murat Yener, Halil Kaya and team for inviting me to attend DevFest Istanbul. I had to say NO as I wanted to focus more on DevFest Ahmedabad and wanted to fulfill my commitment to give the best devfest of India. For second talk opportunity, I am thankful to Chelle Gray for sharing opportunity with me but had lesser time to get visa and get all formalities done in time.

Looking forward to have more such opportunities and enough time to make it for.

USA visa rejection, again!

By looking at my activities, initiatives by GDG Ahmedabad, GDG Ahmedabad’s event and performance, I was offered Google IO ticket and an invitation to attend Google Global community summit. Yes one more time I was offered a ticket and I was so confident and happy this time. I was ready with all the documents like marriage certificate, bank balance, salary papers, NOC and leave letters from InfoStretch and all the other supporting documents. I went to Mumbai for B1 visa process and had a rejection once again! I don’t know why it was happened as this time I have good travel records and all the required documents.

Though I was only a GDG manager from India whose visa has been rejected and was failed to make it for Google IO, but I had made my mind and took it positive as its part of life so it happens and has to face failures sometimes. Even my wife was not ready to believe when I said “my visa has been rejected again, yeah yeah”, yes I was happily saying her, but of course she and my parents were unhappy as I had worked hard for the community and I believe I performed well. Any way, it happens so has to be positive!

I don’t know when my dream of attending Google IO comes true. Now, It’s all left to God!

Interviewed for GDE for Android and failed to make it, again!

You might be aware about GDE program, if not then it’s Google Developers Expert, officially recognized by Google. GDEs are super geek, guru and expert in particular google technology like Android, Cloud, AdMob, Google analytics, etc. They deliver talks, share their experience by writing articles or preparing examples, conduct workshops, prepare contents, write book, suggest optimizations for the apps/products, etc.

I was lucky enough to get nominated again by Uttam Tripathi (Former Program manager, Developer relations, Google India and Program Manager, Startup Launch, Google). I was more confident this time as I had posted more detailed blogs (8 parts in lazy android developer series at the time of interview and some more parts are yet to come), delivered talks in national and international events, supporting android tag over Stackoverflow with having >50,000 reputation, have developed more than 25 android applications and started working on BLE based challenging projects since February. Those who have faced issues and troubles while working on BLE based projects, can understand why I said I am working in challenging project, if you don’t know then do google with “android Bluetooth stability issue” and you would come to know!

I was interviewed by an Android GDE and I think I had given satisfactory answers to almost all the questions. We had discussions about couple of topics and low level APIs. I was confident this time and I informed Uttam sir soon after the interview and said “Boss, I am sure I have cracked this round and now gonna start preparation for the next round!” but it was one more glass of failure juice had to test and again it’s for the golden opportunity given by Google.

No worries! As I said above and I believe in “there is always a learning from failures”, I have taken it positive and thought on the same point again which I wrote in my community CV forwarded for the GDE interview “Whether I will be selected as a GDE or not, I am doing and will be doing for the android developers community as same!” Not with the frustration and not with the attitude but I am proud of myself that I have been doing great job for Android developers community, keep it up!

Joined InfoStretch Solutions Pvt. Ltd as a Senior Software Engineer

You might know previously I was working with Digicorp and at the end of the year 2013, I decided to “Change” for better opportunity and more exposure. I was referred by Rajnikant Joshi (Former Engineering manager, InfoStretch but now he is running his own company 9 Series Solutions Pvt. Ltd.), Many thanks to him!

Yes, now I am working with InfoStretch Solutions Pvt. Ltd. as a Senior Software Engineer (Mobile) where I am being involved in enterprise level projects, working with big teams. I am being assigned development tasks, tasks for deep analysis of bugs/issues, finding bugs/issues in Android OS and finding the root cause if any and many other tasks. To know those many other tasks, you have to join InfoStretch! I have also been getting support from InfoStretch to attend national and international events. This is one of the best support any passionate developer requires from a company!

Crossed 50,000 reputation milestone over Stackoverflow

paresh mayani _ stackoverflow

Though I was not more active (as compared previous years) over stackoverflow but still my existing answers made it.

TechnoTalkative: A year for lazy android developers and wearable

Finally It’s time to write about TechnoTalkative 🙂 During the 2014, I was busy writing blogs for lazy android developer series and for the android wear development.

This year, I seriously enjoyed writing articles and sharing it with android developers community. Hope you enjoyed reading them. Did you? Please share feedback by commenting on this article or sending me a DM.

Brief stats:

  • Published total 16 articles
  • 8 parts in lazy android developers series
  • 5 parts in android wear development
  • >1 Million pageviews in 2014
  • Average 75 +1s for each article

technotalkative visits

Wrapping up

During 2014, I learnt and explored many news things like Android Wear development. Delivered talks on Android Wear, Android Studio, Volley, Lazy android developers, conducted android workshops and hosted GDG campus road shows in various engineering colleges. Ending a year for an organizer with a blasting event is always an happy ending of the year, yes I am talking about DevFest Ahmedabad 🙂

Overall, my 2014 year was a full of fun, learning, changes and failures. Look forward to rock 2015 with more international speaking opportunities, learning and sharing. Excited!

In 2015, I might be attending Droidcon Dubai (yet to submit), Droidcon Tunisia (Have already submitted a talk), Android Developer Days (yet to submit), DevFest Istanbul 2015 or in Google I/O (if I will get B1).

Wish you all and your loved ones a very happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful new year, 2015!!!

Paresh Mayani

Lazy android developer, exploring the horizon of android development since 7 years, currently working as a Technical Lead - Android at Simform Solutions, India. Former Application Architect at KarConnect. He is the Head/Organizer of Google Developers Group (GDG), Ahmedabad

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