A Day in Google Developer Days

6 minute read

If you are from Bangalore,you must be well aware and experienced that there are two things you can’t predict and rely upon- rain and traffic. Knowing that pretty well from prior experiences, I made sure I started early from home. My plan was to reach the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre as early as I can(which was by 8.30,at least). You don’t get to go for a Google event, specially the one which is as big as the Google Developer Days every week or every month. So when you have the confirmation to attend it, you would want to be there as early as you can. After leaving home at 5.30, I reached BIEC at 9.40, just an hour and ten minutes late than what I planned. By the time I reached, few first-times already happened :

  • First time attending a tech conference
  • First time attending a Google event
  • First time I was received by Google staff at metro station(this shows they care!)
  • First time I took a metro in Bangalore(which I wanted to try for quite sometime now)

We were greeted at the registration desk and got our access cards. The card was big, with Taj Mahal filled in colors and the Google’s event in plain black font. The green coloured tag looked attractive when I saw people who already had it. By the way, did you notice that clip?(Ok, I will give the description a stop here).Let’s move on..

I can feel that you are already missing the goodies, aren’t you? Here they come. A t-shirt with Google Developer Days logo and a sticker. This is what we got just before entering through the security check. Souvenirs of my first Tech Conference.

Though the last night’s rain and the morning’s drizzle had their impact, the place still looked lively with people all around. Since it was time the breakfast will be closing, I went to the hall and had few mouthfuls. What did they arrange for breakfast and how was the food? Let’s not waste time with that, the keynote was about to start(there were announcements). I rushed to the other hall where the keynote was scheduled to happen. This was one big hall, with a big screen at the end of it and the keynote was yet to start. It was Pankaj Gupta who started the keynote. Oh wait, the keynote actually started with:

Some of the stats that Pankaj presented,got claps and whistles from the audience and so did Daniel Galpin’s namaste. The keynote was followed by sessions, training and discussions. Though I selected few sessions which I wanted to attend, I went for only one of those- Real World Machine Learning by Kaz Sato and it was totally full. During the keynote, there were 2 small screens on either sides that were showing the transcription of the speakers’ speech. That was a live speech recognition demo which I believe uses Google’s Speech API. But what I was more interested to see was Video Intelligence API.

What’s a Google event without meeting some Googlers in person and having a conversation? The first conversation I had with a Googler was at the certification lounge. Google now offers certifications for specialisations like Data and Machine Learning,Cloud Infrastructure and few others, with more to come. I then talked with two other Googlers from Codelabs lounge. Codelabs contain hands on, guided walkthroughs for various topics like Android, TensorFlow etc. There were few computers set up for those who wanted to try it out. It was interesting to know that the same people who are part of the team that is behind Codelabs are also part of organising the event.

When I asked one of the Google employees,who has been working there for a decade,the question what makes Google such a great place to work, he said availability of resources to accomplish any required task and being able to witness the impact of their works in the world just around them, is what that makes Google such a great place to work. He was really nice for taking time to answer our questions and have a conversation which lasted for more than 30 minutes. And he loves Indian food! In an other conversation, the Googler this time was an English Major in Literature. While I suggested her to read PG Wodehouse’s books, she recommended me Ender’s Game.

It’s been a while since we had that first goodies isn’t it? Let’s have an other one. In one of the demos, was this cute little Drawbot. It uses a camera powered by Pico Pro, to capture an image and then scales it onto the screen. It then draws the captured picture on the paper. It uses OpenCV for this. Sounds cool,isn’t it? Let’s grab a Pico. An other cool demo was based on Video Intelligence API. Searching in a video for some specific entity will not only make a lot of things easier but also has the potential to solve many problems. In a talk given at Google I/O 2017, the speaker Sara explains how Video Intelligence API along with other APIs can be used.

The community lounge had very good talks and discussions. Just when I joined for one of the talks, the speaker was stressing how as developers, its really important that we share knowledge in any possible way and give back to the community. GDGs and meetups can help spreading the knowledge and growing the community. The “Solve for India” initiative which aims at guiding and mentoring both developers and entrepreneurs, shows a lot of promise in terms of the progress which can be achieved if it can be successful.

As I was going about from demos to discussion lounge to codelabs and to every other place, I happened to hear bits and pieces of few conversations(I was not eavesdropping, there were just people everywhere and they were all talking!). It was good to see that there were many undergrads and those who are still in college to be part of this event. Some of their talks were honestly going over my head(it was too technical for a technical guy like me). It not only gives them the exposure but after knowing all the possibilities the current technologies can achieve, it can also be an immense source of motivation.

The first day of Google Developer Days wouldn’t have ended in a better way than with the energetic and ecstatic experience which everyone who attended the first day of event had at the end of the day, thanks to Raghu Dixit and his team. He managed to make the audience, put their phones in their pockets, and their hands in the air, clapping and dancing to his songs.

The first day of Google Developer Days here in Bangalore has been an experience of a kind for me. If I shouldn’t get late for the second day, it’s time I should make a move. Oh, the eavesdropping? I told you I wasn’t doing that. But before I leave, here’s a tiny talk I had with two Googlers during the after party:

G1: Why aren’t people dancing? (he was the only one who was making some nice moves until then)

G2: It’s because developers don’t dance(the music was loud in the background)

G1: But I do(continues with his moves..)

2 other girls join him and they dance..

Me to G2: See they are dancing

G2: Yea, but they are students, not developers.

Let them dance till they become developers…

I strongly believe, besides Raghu Dixit’s and his teams entertaining music, this man has set the audience to dance mode.

Got to run now, for the second day of GDD.

Update : Let me take you to the second day of GDDIndia too.Click Here.


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