· 3 min read Posted by olin

April's Meetupception

We’d be pretty bad human beings if we didn’t host a meetup at Meetup, the team bringing people together for just about anything since 2002.

We’d be pretty bad human beings if we didn’t host a meetup at Meetup, the team bringing people together for just about anything since 2002. Kevin’s been organizing our Android meetup since 2011, and since then it’s grown to over 3,400 members with consistent showings of 80-100+ devs every month! We’re loving our community and are so grateful. For April, our group converged at Meetup’s event lounge, surrounded by vibrant wall art and a giant brain floating above our heads.

Kevin Galligan, our beloved meetup organizer and touchlab President, welcomed the group with his unique sense of humor (is there a synonym for charmingly awkward?). He gave a recap of Droidcon San Francisco (it went well!) and announced our May meetup, featuring a pre-IO talk from Mark Murphy of Commonsware and updates on mutative design from Liam Spradlin.

With chilled drinks and hefty pizza slices in hand, our members tuned into our talks from Edison Wang (MoLabs), Matthew Lim (Spotify), Jeff Lee (Insensi) and Larry Ng (Meetup). Rashad Cureton and Michael Kwon, graduates of General Assembly’s three-month long Android Immersive course, also demo’ed their final projects.

Our first speakers, Matthew and Jeff, walked through PaperCraft, a space shooter game designed for the Android Wear watch. Matt and Jeff covered game loops and animations, but primarily focused on using the Canvas API. Check out Matt’s repo and his slide deck here.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Murphy @laurennor Photo courtesy of Lauren Murphy @laurennor

Rashad and Michael demo’ed their final project apps right after. Rashad showed how his DATENYC app helps users browse date ideas, filter by specific days/times, and go through venue reviews. The group was also impressed by Michael’s music player, the Kwon Player, especially when the music kicked back into the action right after a phone call ended.

Michael’s top three tips for aspiring Android devs? “One: keep coding… you have to keep practicing to maintain it. Two: be open to criticism. It’s easy to get protective of your first app or first block of well-functioning code, but there’s no such thing as perfect code and you should always be on the lookout for ways to improve.” He also added, “Three: ask for help. It’s so easy to get tunnel vision but someone… has already encountered that same problem and is more than willing to help.”

You may know Edison from his previous talks at Droidcon NYC and SF. At the meetup, he spoke about async tasks, advising our group to “use an async library that makes you not think about app lifecycle, any of them.” Check out his slide deck here.

Last but not least, Larry talked about managing data synchronization and explained how the Meetup team used RxJava to rebuild their new app. For RxJava beginners, Larry suggests, “After going through the tutorials and intros that are out there, definitely familiarize yourself with the [operators](http://reactivex.io/documentation/operators.html) and [subjects](http://reactivex.io/documentation/subject.html) that are available. Each one *will* be useful to you at some point. Knowing they exist will provide you with plenty of “lightbulb moments” as you’ll find yourself saying “Oh, I can just use {operator} to solve this!” If you’re experienced with RxJava, Larry’s demo source is available at https://github.com/meetup/DataSyncDemo.

Thanks to Mike and Michelle for coordinating, and to Meetup for hosting (and also making this entire group possible). We hope everyone learned something new from our knowledgeable speakers. See you in May!

Photo courtesy of Amha Mogus @amha. Photo courtesy of Amha Mogus @amha.