Google I/O 2018

This year I was fortunate enough to attend my first Google I/O event in Mountain View, California on behalf of The Washington Post. It was three days packed full of demos, sessions and networking. I’ve wanted to attend a Google I/O for a long time now but wasn’t lucky enough to get chosen in previous years.

Google IO Badge

I primarily followed the web and accessibility tracks that were offered and spent the time inbetween checking out some of Google’s latest offerings. One talk which really stood out for me was this one by Rob Dodson who talked about a new CSS pseudo class called :focus-visible which allows you to apply properties to an element when it’s focused, but only when a user is using a keyboard. Something I feel is a happy medium for designers and accessibility conscious developers.

Conference Talk

State of the Union Conference Talk

In the Google Pay tent they had an interactive store demo which allowed you to order from a bakery they had setup purely using Google Assistant. Once you were done with the demo you were given the biscuit you ordered, naturally I got the aeroplane on it because I spend a lot of time on them.

Aeroplane Biscuit

There was a booth setup for Waymo, Alpahabet’s self-driving car company. Sadly you weren’t able to have a demo or even go inside of them which I was a little disappointed by.

Self-driving Jaguar by Waymo

I really wish I had one of these Pigeon stickers.

Pigeon Stickers

There was a bunch of neat stuff laid out around the Google I/O venue, including these giant Android statues.

Giant female android

Giant Startrek themed android

Giant diner themed android

Google was pushing their assistant technology quite heavily throughout the event. There was a big focus on supporting AMP, as one of the benefits of doing so is that your content will be readable by the assistant technology. I have no real excuse to not be conscious of this now as Google provided all attendees with a Google Home Mini and an Android Things starter kit.

Google home mini and android things starter kit

The Android Things starter kit comes with a bunch of components such as a touch screen, wifi antenna, camera module and more. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with this but I really enjoy maker culture and exploring new things so I’m excited to test it out.

Inside android things starter kit

Google I/O was a great event that celebrated many corners of the developer community. It was nice to connect with like minded engineers who are trying to solve similar problems as we are at The Post, and I’ve come away feeling refreshed and inspired to put what I’ve learned to use.

After all three days were said and done a beer was required.

Beer!

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