Into the 2nd year of Little Robots and it was an exciting year! With the new year approaching, it’s time to look back at 2015.
This year started with a brand new project, Bundle, which I worked on for most of the first quarter building up till launch. The Bundle app allows you to create Bundles of the photos that you’d like to keep and share them with a group of friends or family. At the same time, your friends can also add their photos to the Bundle.
It’s great app to be building with an awesome team that is very much focused on building the best app in this space.
The app launched in may, when I was in San Francisco for Google I/O. During the year we kept working on the app and in December the option to order a soft cover photobook was released. I’m excited to keep working on Bundle in 2016!
Other notable projects in 2015 include the release of three apps for Infoplaza under their Meteoplaza brand. Weatherplaza is the international equivalent of the popular Weerplaza app (also developed and maintained by Little Robots), and we released separate apps for rain alerts and ligtning alerts.
In March I started a new project working on a yet unreleased app for a Dutch publisher as the lead Android developer. I reevaluated the application architecture, the main goal was to make the app easier to maintain and to remove complexity that had sneaked in from previous iterations. Building a solid foundation on frameworks like my own Cupboard, Retrofit and Glide allowed for a big reduction in code size. Code review was put in place to make sure we kept it that way :)
After winding down that project and a short vacation I started to work with the team at Nedap in November to bring one of their offerings to Android. Dealing with large amounts of data on the device, and lots of performance critical code paths makes this an exciting and challenging project which will continue into 2016 as well.
Conferences & public speaking
This year I visited quite a lot of conferences and I spoke at a couple as well. In March I presented Connecting the Bean: the bumpy road of BLE on Android at the excellent mdevcon conference. I presented on the same topic at the IoT Developer Day, the Android Developer Days in Ankara (Turkey) in May and at droidcon Berlin in June, after returning from Google I/O the same week.
In October I attended droidcon UK again, which is still one or my favorite Android conferences. In November I presented Store your objects with Cupboard at the GDG Dublin DevFest. Finally I had the opportunity to attend the first Android Dev Summit in Mountain View in November, which was another highlight for this year.
This year most open source work focused on maintaining android-apt, the Gradle plugin that is used by many Android developers by now. I also could announce that SDK for the Punch Through Bean IoT device that I authored would become the official Android SDK.
Cupboard got a sister project called cupboard-tools, adding useful utilities for working with Cupboard and reducing even more boilerplate code. I talked about Cupboard and android-apt with Chiu-ki on Android Dialogs when I was attending the Experts Summit in November.
This year marked my 3rd year as an organizer for the Dutch Android User Group and we had some great meetups and events again this year. Our DevFest was an amazing event, twice the size of last year and we made a video of the attendees using a drone to prove it :)
One of my personal highlights was being named Google Developer Expert for Android.
To quote the Google Experts site:
Google Experts are experienced, recognized developers of Google technologies as well as outstanding professionals in product strategy, UX/UI, marketing, growth hacking and monetization. They distinguish themselves through frequently speaking at conferences, share their passion and experience by publishing videos and tutorials, writing code samples, mentoring developers and startups and much more. Thanks to their support, developers, high-potential startups and technical communities around the world build and launch highly innovative apps.
I’m proud to be part of the Experts community.
For me and Little Robots 2015 has been a great year, and I’m confident more great apps will be happening in 2016.
I’d like to wish you a very happy new year and all the best for 2016!