Android & React Native developer. Conference Speaker. Beer & coffee snob. Berliner in training.

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I thoroughly enjoyed my last night in Berlin a little over a week ago; so much that I didn’t notice my phone was missing until the end of the night. Shake your head and say it couldn’t happen to you. I thought the same thing until it did. Normally, I keep my phone in one of my front pockets, but I was wearing a coat that covered the pocket, making it a bit more difficult to grab my phone quickly to check Google Maps.

It was an honor to speak at and attend MCE Conference in Warsaw last week. I participated in a workshop where I learned about prototyping with Android and Arduinos. I attended talks about Groovy, Kotlin, Proguard, design, scaling apps for emerging markets, and some handy new libraries. That alone easily makes MCE one of the best conferences I’ve been to. On top of all that, the networking with fellow speakers and attendees was a personal highlight.

A few months ago, I posted about how to use Gradle tasks to “delombok” code using Lombok annotations before generating Javadocs. My solution for running the delombok task used Ant and was based on what I found after the requisite Google & StackOverflow searching. This worked just fine until Android Studio 1.0 and the associated Gradle build tools were released at the end of the year. The crux of the problem appeared to be a change in the way dependencies are merged during compilation.

The end of another year means it’s time for the annual Top 10 Favorite Albums list. Ty Segall - Manipulator While not the leader in sheer track plays via my Google Play Music account, this album is perfect all the way through. It certainly spent a lot of time on my turntable as well. Nothing - Guilty of Everything A wonderful example of the specific brand of rock music I love.

I started developing Music Library about four years ago when I wanted an app for organizing my record collection. Armed with my Nexus One, Eclipse, and a copy of Apress’ Pro Android, I spent my nights and weekends learning the inner workings of my now-favorite mobile OS. Over the years, Music Library has been a playground of sorts for exploring various open source libraries, patterns, and best practices. While there is still a fair amount of code I would write differently today (I’m looking at you, ContentProvider), the app has been and continues to be an enjoyable side project.

This is my third year to attend and present at the Big Android BBQ. My talk this year showed how to prepare an Android app for automated testing using mocking, dependency injection, and Google’s super fast Espresso test runner. You can find the presentation on Speaker Deck and the sample code on GitHub.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m developing an SDK at work. The libraries I use most frequently in my apps are all included as Maven dependencies. Adding a line to my build.gradle file is much preferred to downloading a JAR file. To make the SDK as easy as possible for developers to include in their projects, I wanted to deliver it the same way. Maven Central is the de facto repository for open source library hosting.

I recently had my first experience working with Javadoc to generate documentation for an SDK I’ve been developing at work. In general, I’m in the “clean code doesn’t need comments” camp, but SDKs tend to be a limited view into a larger abstraction, so good documentation is a necessity. Javadoc has been around since the introduction of the Java language, so I won’t include a primer here. If you want to learn more, Oracle has you covered.

Since Android Gingerbread (v2.3), loyalists know that each version has an Easter egg that can be accessed by repeatedly tapping the version number on the Settings > About screen. The Android “L” Preview is no exception. While test driving the new version, I naturally had to see what Google had hidden for me in their latest release. Previous versions have had everything from gingerbread zombies to Nyandroids and a pile of jelly beans.

I got my LG G Android Wear smart watch earlier this week and dove right into developing for it. My first project was Deutsch Uhr, a text-based German language watch face inspired by my favorite Pebble watch face. I had fun adding animations for the hour/minute/day changes and learning what makes a Wear app tick (pun intended, I always do). A big thanks to my friend Daniel Ward for help getting started.