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Planning XDA:DevCon – Part 1

Planning XDA:DevCon – Part 1

This is a multipart series on planning the XDA Development Conference to be held in Miami August 9 – 11 (http://www.xda-devcon.com). We want to give everyone a sense of what the event’s all about—and maybe some insight on what it takes to put on even a small conference.

Before we start, we want to apologize for stupidly using the same web “event” template (as well as some sponsorship language) as the Big Android BBQ. We’ve since changed our site, and we have no excuse other than that we’ve been focused on organizing a great event—and the website was the 100th thing on a long list of to-dos. In any case, the Big Android BBQ is still the premiere Android community event (which we still plan on sponsoring again this year)—and it is very different from our DevCon. So, please consider this an official apology.

First thing’s first: Putting on a conference is expensive: similar to a multi-day wedding, without all the flowers. This is a true community event. All the speakers are graciously contributing their time and expertise (for free). All sponsorships and ticket fees are being plowed back into the event, and we (XDA) are making up the difference. XDA moderators (and even some wives) will be organizing and staffing the event. It is our way of trying to give back to the development community that has made XDA so amazing. If there’s anyone out there who wants to attend but for whom the conference registration fee is too much, send a message to the DevCon contact email (xdadevcon@xda-developers.com). We’ll send you a code for a free ticket.

The hardest part of organizing a conference is making it different and memorable. Free food, fun, and giveaways can help (and we’ll have all that); but the key is being interesting, educational, and unique. Our goal with the event is to interactively cover a broad range of development topics, and attendees should be prepared to contribute actively to the discussion. We hunted for presenters who could go well beyond a PowerPoint to engage an audience while teaching. And in addition to all of those speakers, every attendee will have the opportunity to get on stage, present a project, ask questions, and solicit feedback. We expect to have attendees with all levels of development skills– so please don’t feel intimidated. XDA is all about community and learning. DevCon will be the same.

We’ll leave you with bios of just a couple of our speakers. All of this is on the DevCon website, but for those too lazy to click over, hopefully this will help you get interested:

Pearl Chen

From HTML to LEDs, or Android to Arduino — Pearl Chen takes on a cross-disciplinary approach to her work. With over 9 years of professional experience in web technologies, Pearl has a body of work that includes Facebook campaigns for Google Chrome and microsites for Nike. Pearl also tackles more unusual jobs such as modifying the guts of Nintendo Wii controllers and dynamically creating origami objects from SMS messages.

Pearl was most recently the Senior Manager Research & Technology at the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab and is now working independently as an educator teaching web development, Android, and electronics — while also building tools for other educators.

Alongside contributing to open source educational resources hosted on Github, Pearl is a published author and contributed the NFC and Open Accessory API chapters to Professional Android Sensor Programming published by Wrox.

Pearl enjoys building tools for other educators and her goal is to raise the bar for technology education by using collaborative platforms to help construct open source curriculums, and by creating engaging and effective educational user experiences.

Justin Case

Justin Case, known as jcase, is a mobile security researcher, CTO of Applied Cybersecurity LLC, a contributor to the popular Android blog AndroidPolice.com and the developer of many Android exploits.

Justin will be discussing vulnerabilities and common security shortfalls in Android applications and firmware. He will also be walking the audience through identification of a vulnerability, and development of an android root exploit. Additionally, he will be speaking about application and firmware security, citing and explaining common mistakes and how we can mitigate them.

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