Things to have in mind as the deadlines for the Google Android Challenge Approaches

As the deadlines for the Android Challenge approach we should bear the following in mind:

July 1st is the first deadline, this means that latest by this weekend, you should have settled on your ideas as you will have less than a month to put it all together for the first submission (which is less than a day in developer land)

If you feel that your project idea is small enough for just you or a small team (that you should have already selected) to work on then you are good to go and should have already gone far in hashing out your app.

If on the other hand you think that your idea is something that is bigger than you given the timeframe, you may want to consider looking for team mates that would help you acheieve your goals faster. Several of us have put up links that can help us put our ideas out there and source for team mates (remember, time is short, you should have finished this step by now, in case you have not, you can look here and here),

If your team has three or more members, you may want to look at ways in which you can work together remotely. A good idea would be to set up a repository online (you can use git or any one of your choosing depending on your needs)

Again if you are in a team and like many people are tied up in school work or work-work and can hardly find time to collaborate, you may want to consider organizing a mini-hackathon preferably on weekends to get things rolling. This will come in particularly handy in the initial stages of the project as you struggle to overcome inertia.

Depending on what the response is, the Lagos GTUG could organize a hackathon for interested parties to polish up their code sometime after G-Nigeria where we could try and get our resident Android gurus to assist those who may have questions as they code.

Again, if you are in a team or trying to form one, remember that you may need more than just android skills in your project, particularly if your project has a cloud component. Skills like PHP, python, J2EE, html and even technical writing (yes, documentation is key) could come in handy.

Also take out time to learn the best practices in Android application development, many of them are spelt out in the videos on the Anroid developer challenge CD. Like we said before, a limited number of these CDs are available for collection/copying. For information on how to get/copy it send an email to gtuglagos@gmail.com. Note that the contents of the CD are also available online, so if you have a fast internet connection, you can also download the content online.

We would like to wish everyone well as they embark on their projects, looking forward to seeing interesting submissions.

Anrdroid Challange Open House, Unilag

The Lagos Google Technology User group (Lagos GTUG) held its Andorid focused open house on Saturday the 23rd of April 2011 at the Centre of information Technology Systems in the University of Lagos. It was a well attended event with 57 attendees. The attendees included people from Ibadan and our neighboring GTUGs (Akure and Abeokuta).

From Lagos_GTUG_AndroidSSA

The event kicked off at about a quarter past three in the afternoon with a welcome address from Emeka Afigbo, the manager of the Lagos GTUG. who explained what the event was all about and ran through a the agenda for the day. He then handed the mic to our first guest speaker Chinedu Efoagui, a developer with System Specs who took us through a lecture on Google Maps to whet the appetite of the audience in prepration of things to come.

From Lagos_GTUG_AndroidSSA

The lecture covered the basic aspects of Google Maps such as :

  • Proximity Detection.
  • Geocoding.
  • Directions Services
  • Calculation of Distance
  • Markers (Clustering),InfoWindows,polylines.
  • Location Detection.

One good thing about the presentation was that he gave us insights as to how to apply Google Maps which brought to light that fact that many applications of Google Maps did not need to have a map displayed.
He also showcased a site that he had created: The Very Place that applied a number of features of Google Maps.

From Lagos_GTUG_AndroidSSA

Next up was the Android Trivia Quiz, where the audience had to split themselves into groups of 8 and answer 21 questions on relating to the Google Android Platform. As Emeka reeled out the questions, team members scrambled to provide the answers. After all the team members had submitted their answers, we moved on to the high point of the occassion which was a talk introducing the Google Android platform delivered by Bolaji and Bobola of the Fans Connect Online Team. Their talk covered the introductory aspects of the Android platform and also how to use the Android SDK to develop a “Hello World” application on Eclipse. They also gave us some useful tips and tricks to use when developing Android applications such as the android garbage collection model. They then took us through an Android application which they had developed called Naija Places.
After the talk it was finally time to announce the winners of the Android quiz and the honors went to the Minders team.

From Lagos_GTUG_AndroidSSA

For their troubles the eight team members each left the event with special branded Android T-Shirts.
The last talk was by Emeka who took the audience through an overview of the Android Challenge which included things like:
What the challenge was meant to achieve
The prize money (obviously!)
The important dates
. The audience was encouraged to form teams so as to stand a better chance of winning.
Attendees went home with some branded Google goodies such as Android stickers, bags and key holders to cap off a fun filled evening
We would like to thank the following for making the event possible:

  • Google for all the swag and support
  • Staff of the CITS in the University of Lagos for being there even on Easter Saturday
  • Chinedu Efoagui for his talk and helping with some of the pictures and videos
  • Bobola Oniwura , Bolaji Olawoye and the rest of the Fans Connect Team for their talk and support
  • Parkway Projects Ltd for sparing some of their staff to make this event happen
  • and White Chapel and Partners for handling a lot of the logistics

You can see the slides from the Open House here

Pictures of the event are available in the picasa album below:

Lagos_GTUG_AndroidSSA

You can also see some videos of the event below:

What to expect at the Lagos Google Technology Open House on 23rd April 2011

Its almost here people, the much talked about open house that will pave the way for the Big One (G-Nigeria)
will be taking place on the 23rd of April at the University of Lagos at the Center for Information Technology.

Like we have said earlier, the event will be focused on Android and mobile technologies (with a trickle of other Google technologies thrown in)
As usual , the event promises to be a great forum for networking and keeping up with the latest in Google and Open source technologies.
The Program will be as follows:

  • Welcome Address and General Introductions
  • Android Trends & Brief Discussion based on a special announcement from Google
  • Talks on Google Android from subject matter experts including Fans Connect Online (developers of the Naija Places Android Application)
  • A talk on Google Maps from Chinedu Efoagui (developer of theveryplace.com)
  • Refreshments & Networking

Who is invited?

  • Mobile developers , android fans and of course people who are interested in Google Technology.
  • Students will be required to register online at http://sites.google.com/site/lagosgtug/

What do i need to come with ?

  • Yourself (compulsory)
  • As much knowledge about Android as my brain can carry (Compulsory)
  • Laptop with internet connection (optional)
  • Flash drive for copying code and tools (optional)

How long would the event last ?
Kick off time is 3pm prompt and we intend to be there for at most 3 hours. So we should be done by 6.00pm

We look forward to having you there…it will be fun