Reps/SIGs/Evangelism Reps/Conference participation/GDG BCN 2013

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Conference details

GDG Devfest is a free event organised by user groups and fans of Google technologies in Spain. Although it's held in Barcelona it's organised by people from all over Spain which flew into town for a couple of days. Around 900 people signed up but only about half turned up.

Your goals

Show that JavaScript can do much more than validate CMS forms. Also, introduce Firefox OS to the Barcelona community.

Audience type and size

About 450 people.

Mostly Java developers (back end side) or Android/iOS developers for phone apps.

My JS talk probably had 90 people. The Firefox OS + Brick workshop might have 20 people.

Mozilla's participation at this event

We didn't do anything other than introducing Firefox OS + Brick in a workshop. I tried to get some stickers or some goodies but it was too close to the Summit and the person in charge didn't answer my email :-P

Audience reactions

Many people said they weren't aware JavaScript "could do all that". Others said they felt very inspired to start playing with JavaScript, graphics and audio.

On the Firefox OS side of things, no one knew how Firefox OS worked and the wi-fi wasn't up to speed, so the workshop turned to be more of a conference than a workshop. They were interested in the idea of anything Firefox because they love the "brand" and the concept, but they also looked to be either not quite following me or just not having enough knowledge about HTML or apps, so I didn't go too deep in some aspects because they seemed confused (too many new concepts at the same time). They also weren't familiar with many JS technologies, sites and libraries we take for granted. Maybe there are similar sites in Spanish that they use and I do not.

Evening event/party

There was a closing party in a central location (Mobile World Centre-a sort of alliance/spin off of Mobile World Congress+Telefonica) where a "communicator" tried to give us an overview on how she saw the state of the art in apps. Sadly I think this was a bit of an error as she was going through things at a tad too shallow/simplified level and although it was funny at the beginning it turned out to be a bit tedious at the end. I'd suggest to balance carefully the consequences of putting someone not quite technical to speak in front of quite technical people before doing so :-)

Materials (eg. slides, presentations, audio clips, photos etc…)

Other notable presentations

A talk about app architecture in the Tuenti app.

Other open projects attending (if applicable)

An evangelist from Blackberry was there too, he said they have excellent HTML5 support and maybe I should have a try at making my web audio stuff work in BB devices. We agreed the point of the web is to be able to access it with any device so there was no point in "fighting" over which device/browser you use, as long as the API support was there.

Organization rating (1: bad - 10: excellent)

8 - everything they did in site was well done and they managed around sudden events nicely, but they have this nasty Spanish habit of contacting people too late, so we don't get enough time to prepare things better.

Overall feel of the event

People seem to like the idea of open but they are very pragmatic. They seem to go for "proven" technologies rather than experimental things that might break. That's why they weren't familiar with new and upcoming things such as JS features/Apis/libraries or put it simply, Firefox OS.

They were quite interested in learning about the general Mozilla process. How source code was managed, etc.

This event helped us…

Get the word out on Firefox OS and "advanced" HTML5+JS features.

Was it worth it? Should we participate again?

If we're nearby and it's handy, it could be interesting. If only to poke them to do fancier stuff.


Apart from the BB evangelist I also spoke to people from a company specialised in accessibility which might be worth contacting in the future.

Reprs from other Google Developer Groups were interested in having me come to their events and "talk about cool stuff", but I didn't sign up for anything in particular!