Thursday, May 31, 2007

Google Developer Day AU Highlights

Australia’s Google Developer Day has drawn to a close with a presentation from Michael Ashbridge on KML and Google Earth. The full rundown of talks is at, but I thought I’d share some of my own highlights.

  • The great Google Gears announcement. You could hear the wheels turning in hundreds of web developers’ brains in the audience thinking about how they could use this in their applications.

  • Aaron Boodman’s “Look, no wires” demonstration of Google Gears. Aaron demonstrated his product’s efficacy by dramatically unplugging his laptop from the network in the middle of his talk.

  • Bo Majewski invades England. Bo Majewski gave a talk on the Google Maps API, demonstrating its abilities by putting pushpins with his face on them all over the English countryside, creating a surreal, Being John Makovich-esque effect.

  • Zhen Wang’s short but densely-packed talk on Google Gadgets which not only gave us a whirlwind introduction to a very popular Google tool but left us 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

  • James O’Loghlin getting progressively nerdier as the day went on, even bantering about “alogarithms”.

  • Lars’ excellent talk on Open Source, Google APIs and GWT – really summing up the reason why we’re all here and showing off Google’s efforts to build a developer community around its products.

  • One developer in attendence commenting on Prakash Barathan’s talk: “Hrmm, gdata RESTyness looks tasty.”

  • Michael Ashbridge’s lovely Irish accent and habit of pronouncing “URL” as “earl”. Also, the sheer coolness of his giving a talk about KML in Google Earth using Google Earth as the sole presentation platform.

  • Seeing examples of how developers are using Google APIs in ways the original designers never imagined.

  • Free, good food. I wouldn’t have liked to have seen 500-ish developers in a room together had we not provided tasty food and free coffee.

But the biggest highlight for me was meeting a whole bunch of Australian software developers. I personally hope that we can continue to develop the relationship between Google Australia and the Australian development community, and to keep hearing about new technology coming out of Australia.

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