On Google Developer Day (or, How I broke GoogleMail)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

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Well, the Developer Day sessions have come to a close and it was a fun, code-packed and, at times, manic day. It was great to see so many people come together from so many different places, but even better to see how much they had to talk about. Just observing casual conversations in the halls and igloos as well as over the long lunch, it was really inspiring to see what can happen when you get so many great minds in a room together.

There were some great apps started in the code labs, the winners of which got Chrome comic books. We really look forward to seeing the development thereof. It was also cool to hear from Hyves and Netlog that the OpenSocial family has now grown by 10% (40M new users!) with the addition of their social networks as container sites. Thanks to Viadeo and MySpace for their great presence as well in the OpenSocial sessions, as well as the Met Office for sharing their maps experience. Lastminute.com, Rummble and ITN really provided some colour to the OpenSocial and Gears for Mobile talk as well. And last to Carl-Gustaf Harroch, who provided the real Android developer perspective. So thank you to our partners!

The road to get here was not perfect, though, and I thought I would share a few of the fun potholes we hit. My favourite was when Google Mail thought I was spamming our attendees by sending too many confirmation emails in one day. While I was reassured of the strength of the product as a Google Mail user myself, there was still a short-lived panic when questions were flooding in and the send function was disabled!

We also had a hiccough with UK customs and our customised Lego USB men loaded with code labs masterials. We planned every delivery for the day from the stages and video equipment right down to bags of crisps and the Guitar Hero. We just never factored in the 30-day customs holding period. Fortunately the little men made it in about 17 hours before the start of the event!

We made a short video to recap the day, which will be up shortly, alongside the keynote and the rest of the content on the Google UK YouTube Channel. There are loads of photos in these picasa web albums. For all those who could not make it, stay tuned to see all the session content - presentations and videos - in the next couple of days on the code site. But for now, I'll leave you with GDD in numbers. Up next will be some of Tom Stocky's thoughts.

  • 1800 candy bars eaten (inspiring Twitter conspiracies about why we had so much chocolate.)
  • 550 developers in attendance
  • 60 Megabytes of internet (that never crashed!)
  • 24 Google speakers
  • 24 Google volunteers
  • 20 partner speakers (Hyves, Netlog, Rummble, Lastminute.com, ITN, the Met Office & the head of the Android User Group.)
  • 6 feet worth of stacked giant Jenga pieces
  • 2 giant screens that had powerpoint & code throughout the day, then Wii and Guitar Hero for the party.
  • 1 great day by had by us and, we hope, by you.
Liz Ericson
Product Marketing Manager - Developer Programmes


NickFitz said...

Thanks to everybody at Google for putting on such an excellent event - and for the CurlyWurly :-)

Jimc said...

Another big shout for the Curly Wurlies. Inspired. That's my diet screwed.

Al Sutton said...

It was a great day, I got to meet some interesting Google & non-Google people, and I look forward to going again next year.

Thanks & well done to all involved.

Pat Galea said...

A very informative and entertaining day. Thanks to all at Google for setting this up!

Now I just need to work out what cool apps to build...

Google Fanboy said...

This was a great day and I enjoyed it very much. Because of the variety of subjects it was sometimes hard to choose. Furthermore, the location was great, but I must say last year in the Brewery was also very nice.

Thanks again and the flight from Amsterdam to London was worth it !!

See you next year.

(see http://www.googlefanboy.com/2008/09/google-developer-day-london-here-we-are.html for my live blogging of this day)

E. H. said...

Thanks for a great day with interesting talks and people! It's easy getting ideas for new apps and changes to old ones on a day like that.

I put some photos on http://picasaweb.google.com/ehunefalk/GoogleDeveloperDay2008#

bill chadwick said...

Yes a great, and inspiring day out. I came away with several new ideas inspired by the talks.

An idea for another gathering would be a 'Meeting Post' where delegates could leave a time when they will return to meet up with a named person they want to meet with, perhaps only known by online ID (I was looking for mapperz but never found him).

Thanks to all.


hjwatso1 said...

Cracking day ... way too many curly wurlies. Learnt a lot and more importantly came home with many ideas. Thank you for all your hard work Liz.

squiggs said...

I was snacking on fingers of fudge all afternoon. Much more palatable.

Thanks for a great day out! The venue was excellent (it even got me some exercise) and the talks were just right, both time-wise and in content.

My only complaint was the lack of waffles for breakfast - and if that's my only complaint you're certainly doing well :)

Al. said...

Photos at,


Blog posts at,


derkmdt said...

Thanks Google for a great day. Usually lame room names, not this day, btw "Space Invaders" still rocks ;) We are looking forward seeing the movie (you presented at the end) online. If anybody has a cool OpenSocial app for Hyves, send me a e-mail.

zeta said...

Wow, "60 Megabytes"! That was really a green day...

Developer Guys said...

The wrap-up video is available on YouTube: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SLFXUj6yqhE

Nick said...

Thanks to everyone for making the day so awesome, really enjoyed it and looking forward to next year!