Last year was rich in gaining and sharing new knowledge all over the place. Without further ado, here’s how we approach learning at STRV and what you can therefore expect from us throughout 2023.
Catching Up With the Latest Tech Trends
A great way to keep up with the latest and greatest is by attending conferences and hearing all the news straight from people at Google and other great tech companies.
In 2022, our team visited four conferences: Droidcon San Francisco, New York and Berlin and Android Makers Paris. A lot of talks were related to Jetpack Compose because it remains a big topic for all of us — but there were plenty of other themes, including architecture, modularization and baseline profiles.
So, which of the conferences was the best?
Well, the best catering was in San Francisco; the tacos were supreme. But conferences last only a few days, which is not enough time to taste all the beers in the neighborhood — which is why, after the conference, some of us took a road trip from SF to LA or spent a month in Mexico.
Learning new things is fun but giving back is just as rewarding. Last year, we went all out on that front.
Sharing What We’ve Learned At All Times
Our team held an Android Academy, this time dedicated to Android beginners. Throughout 10 lessons, we tackled all the basics needed for building an Android app and even built a simple movie app. And of course, we also had some fun after the lessons on our rooftop at Scrollbar.
The next stop on our journey was Mendel University in Brno, where our Android experts taught a few classes. Unfortunately, no rooftop bar in this case — but the discussions after each class were equally interesting. Turns out, you can have a good time even without a view.
Last but not least, we organized Q&A events in both our Prague and Brno offices. These were more chill sessions with pizza and drinks while talking about whatever interesting topic was brought up (by us or our guests) and meeting incredible new people.
Some Team Building Fun Goes a Long Way
To support the good ol’ team spirit, we hit up some activities dedicated solely to the Android team itself.
We started in a very old-fashioned way: medieval sports. Think throwing axes at a target and nail-hammering competitions. Nobody got hurt and our score was magnificent, so we counted it as a solid win. Fun fact: We had to sign a non-liability agreement before we could start. Still not sure why…
Our second get-together was almost as tough as the first one because it included tinkering. In other words: we created our own IoT device. During the workshop, we combined Arduino with an e-ink display and put it all together in a custom box printed on our 3D printer. With a bit of tinkering and programming, we made a nice little device that can display present stock market quotes or data from a Google Sheet.
Those two activities were quite intense, so we had to calm down. During the summer, we chilled next to the river in Prague’s Zlute Lazne. Just drinks, beach volleyball and tender floating on the water. A few months later, once it was too cold to have drinks outside, we visited a wine cellar in Milotice and absorbed some wine wisdom (and the wine itself).
Messing Around With Tech on the Daily
Shockingly, not all of our Android team’s time is dedicated to wine tasting. If you’re more interested in our technology ventures, here you go.
In 2022, we were able to adopt Jetpack Compose at full throttle. We started several new apps which were fully Compose and, even in all the legacy code, we started to use Compose for new features — and it’s honestly just great compared to the old view system.
We also extensively experimented with KMM, which is a captivating technology. And although native Android apps are our main expertise, we’re always open to different technologies — like Flutter. This year, our Flutter enthusiasts joined forces with iOS engineers and created an internal social app, which has really resonated with all of us (a.k.a., lots of hype around it!).
There was a lot more on our plate last year but as you know, the internet’s not endless. Better not overwhelm it. So I’ll end this wrap-up here.
Looking at where we are now, 2023 will be a similarly wild ride. Come by our events, reach out or just pop in the office if you’re curious to see what’s cooking!