First of all, the event was held in Google's San Francisco offices. That means I was drinking sodas from Google's fridge for employees, sitting in their office, presenting and being presented to. That was pretty surreal. Fun fact: did you know the lights in the office are tinted in Google colours? That's so incredibly awesome.
Second, the event was heavily attended by several members of Google's DevRel team. You know, that team I want to work for? I applied to be their intern this summer (Moishe, the engineer behind the Channel API that I've been working with for the past few months, referred me) and just found out today I was rejected. That's ok, I'll try again next year. But it was really cool meeting everyone from the expected (Van Riper, Steph Liu) to the unexpected and mildly jaw-drop-inducing (Tim Bray).
We went around the room and introduced ourselves in three words. Mine were: "I got lucky". They sum up how I came to be in that room, how I came into such close proximity to Google.
The sessions were fun, informative, and informal. I sat next to a Google Brazil team member and debated how to best organise people into a software project over the internet without much face-time. I got business cards for more Android developers than I knew existed. I presented to people on how to present, according to Batman. It was a blast.
After the barcamp, there was a dinner for everyone. We left the room we were meeting in and traveled to the Google dining area. This led us straight through the offices that Google engineers work in, past computers that undoubtedly hold secrets none of us can dream of. Dylan and I were careful to avert our gazes.
When we got into the dining area, we sat at tables and talked until dinner was ready. I realised that Dylan and I were sitting with an employee of T-Mobile, and got ourselves invited to parties from several of the largest companies in the mobile space. We got invited to a meetup about the Cr-48 laptops Google sent both of us. We talked with developers from all over the world. We also got cool GTUG t-shirts and magnetic pins.
When dinner was served, I didn't know what any of it was. So I took some of everything. Now, I'm a pretty skinny guy. I'm six feet tall and 120 pounds. There's a reason for that. I don't like eating. I never really derive pleasure from my food. I do it to stay alive, and that's about it. But the food Google served... I savoured every bite. It was amazing.
After dinner, we got dessert—again, amazing—and they gave all the organisers a GTUG jacket. It's a wonderful jacket—stylish, high quality. People started trickling out, and Steph came and sat at our table. She started talking with us, and then Van came over and sat next to us. Then a few more of the DevRel team came and joined us. And we sat and chatted. It was a bit surreal.
Then they wanted to know if Dylan and I knew each other before the event. We didn't know what to say, so we told the story of how we met.
Dylan and I met in an interesting way. He was watching the #googleio hashtag on Twitter, and I asked when the tickets would go on sale. Dylan then helpfully responded. In my paranoid way, I then wanted to know how Dylan found my tweet. So I began searching around, digging up information on him. I couldn't find an obvious connection, but I noticed he and I were very similar. So I just asked him, and he explained. From there, he and I friended each other on all of the social networks we used and formed #googleioparty, a loose group of students going to I/O. We talked more and more on Google Talk, used Google Wave (RIP) a bit, and generally became friends. And then he noticed something:When we had finished telling our story, the DevRel team was ecstatic. They loved that two people met through the hashtag for their conference and were now close enough to be confused for brothers. Steph asked Dylan and me to email her our story, because she wanted to blog about it. It was pretty awesome.
The at-the-time-android2cloud logo was atrocious. I designed it, and so it looked horrible. He wanted to redo the design, and submit it for a design competition at his school. I had talked about rebranding the project before, and so agreed to let him do the new design. I talked him through my thoughts on the rebranding effort, and he came up with a beautiful new set of logos and a great tagline.
At this point, we were past the point of no return. Dylan and I were set to be friends. After he made the new icon and tagline, I told him he was my hero. He told me he didn't have a cape, and I joked I'd make him one. He said if I made him one, he'd totally wear it at Google I/O. My joke suddenly turned serious, and I pledged to make him a cape.
But it didn't stop there. I got contracted to do some Android development for Kevin Purdy and 3ones, and wanted to do a great job for them, because of how vital Kevin has been to my professional development. I thought about it, and knew I would need help doing UI/UX for the project. I asked Dylan if he wanted to help. His response was something to the effect of "For Kevin Purdy? The Kevin Purdy? Hell yes!". So I sub-contracted Dylan to do the UI/UX work.
During this time, I decided that my goal for Second Bit was to assemble a small team that made great products. And I knew Dylan would be part of that team. Since then, I've been trying to get profitable enough that I could afford to hire Dylan.
We then proceeded to talk some more with the DevRel team, and they mentioned the after party was at a bar. I mentioned that Dylan and I weren't of age, and they all got confused. We explained that I was 18 and Dylan was 20, and they thought it was hysterical. They thought it was so cute that we were both drinking soda, instead of taking advantage of the beer and wine that we could've just picked up without a problem. They didn't think we were that young, and proceeded to make only-mildly-condescending "Awww!" noises at us. In good fun, of course. They then told us about Joseph, the youngest attendee of Google I/O. You have to be sixteen to attend I/O, but because his dad is a GTUG manager and he works with Google tech, they pulled some strings and made an exception for Joseph.
I, of course, ran over to him and dragged him back to our table to chat with us. He was a fascinating kid. I can't wait to see what he does in the future.
Finally, we talked about the Unicorn Summit. The Unicorn Summit is the code name for what is being publicly called the "Advocate Summit", but we all know Unicorn Summit is a much cooler name. I'm not sure how many details I'm supposed to share about that. I'll say it's invite-only, and it's an amazing opportunity. Even better, Steph allowed me to nominate Kevin for the event. Which was amazingly nice for her, and I think he'll be ecstatic when he checks his email in the morning.
We had to leave shortly after that, but on the way out, I noticed a slide. Yes, a slide. It seemed like the appropriate ending to a trip to the Google office. No, I did not slide down it. Unfortunately.