I have been working on an outside project at work that is part of ‘practice development and training’ that is required each fiscal year. One of the main purposes, is to teach others and learn new things for yourself as you prepare the material. I also knew it would be a great opportunity to get some experience talking about my code and information gathered with others as I know this is a good skill to have.
You can pick a variety of topics where you contribute to other projects outside of what you are currently working on or create projects that you can share with your co-workers (and management) that might be beneficial to the company. Since I was initially hired because of my java experience and the fact that they were looking to capture some work in the Android space, I talked with my manager about creating an Android ‘Brown Bag’ presentation that would serve as an introduction to Android at a high level for those in the office that were interested in Android development. It would cover the Android architecture, basic widgets, layouts and how to set up a project in Eclipse. I would also take these concepts and create a couple of sample demos and show them during the presentation (by hooking up the Xoom tablet to the projector).
The thing was, I had never done any Android development before but as already mentioned, I had a good background in Java development. I’ve also had lots of experience writing custom GUIs and using various other frameworks such as Qt and WxWidgets so I was fairly confident that I could put together something really nice.
I spent a couple of weeks looking through the Android docs and various examples and used that to help me get a few small demos up and running quickly just so that I could have a better feel for the how the layout system works. After about a month, I had a keynote presentation pretty much finished (did I mention that I LOVE keynote?) and a couple of small demos written that consisted of different views on the screen using several different layouts available. This way I had something to show off that could tie in nicely with the presentation side of things.
Even though you can’t see it in the slides I have some pretty awesome animations going on here (did I ever tell you that I LOVE keynote?), which made the presentation that much more interesting. Anyway, I had a few sample demos (mini-demos I called them) finished but I knew that I had time to go the extra mile and create an awesome app that would put all the topics discussed into something a little more advanced than just a small demo. The brown bag was scheduled for March 27th and March 28th (two presentations to get in 2 full groups of people) and I had to have everything done by then on account that my wife and I were pregnant (ok well I wasn’t but you get the idea) and I knew shortly after this date, I would be going on paternity leave.
What followed was an awesome app that I wrote that I know will speak to everyone’s stomach. Please refer to the Android page to find out more!