The main secret of Google I / O 2019, which can not be found on the Internet

    The title conference of the largest advertising business giant has been dead for a week already, and some are still writing articles. Since everything that could be written about the program and the main novelties has already been written ( hello phillennium ), what remains to the humble visitor? Just tell everything that is hidden, expose the dark corners and understand what is generally happening in sunny California these three days a year.

    It so happened that I was at a previous conference and even wrote an articleabout it. Therefore, on the one hand, the task becomes more complicated, because no one wants to read the same thing twice, and on the other, it becomes even more complicated. I would not like to turn the text into a report in the spirit: “visitors increase: + 20%, milk yield fell by 3%, the staff is in a good mood,” so let's agree: you will have an artistic description of personal experience and some objective information.

    Attention, this is not a detailed analysis of the program, but a kind of virtual tour of the conference. Nobody likes cheated expectations, right? All reports are on YouTube.

    Where does it all start?

    I wrote how to get to I / O the previous time , and you know, this year nothing has changed. This is still not an easy task. But not impossible. You just need a little more. A little more money for the plane and accommodation, a little more time to wait for tickets, a little more luck. Here I am not your adviser. Suppose that one way or another, there are plane tickets, where there is life (and not even under the bridge), the coveted QR code is waiting for its day in the mail.
    But here's what I personally did not take with me or did not take enough - this is patience.

    If someone tells me that America has a problem with unemployment, I will laugh in his face. Yes, millions are starving, homeless people on the streets of San Francisco are asking for alms (with an iPhone in their pocket), but we will put just two employees on passport control at the airport. After all, queues are what you want after a 12-hour flight. Well, seriously, of course, I had sat up, but to stand another two hours due to the fact that you cannot add more officers is somehow too much. Although, perhaps, terrorists are cut off in this way - they simply die of boredom without stepping on American soil.

    In short, I advise everyone to fly through San Jose or Oakland. This is all considered the Bay Area, the second, however, on the other side of the bay, but from it you can just as well get to your next stop. And this is most likely:


    As the classic said: “The housing problem spoiled people.” Progressive countries have deteriorated earlier, so you have to sweat in choosing a decent place to live. Here are some suggestions:

    • take housing near the conference in the early days, and then move to San Francisco (if you have never been there). Living in the city and traveling for three days in a row to Mountain View in the morning will mean a rise at 6 in the morning and a coma in an electric train. Only Google employees with a salary of 200k per year can afford this.
    • hotels will rip you off as sticky
    • make friends and rent a big house. It's cheaper, and ... you will make friends

    So, there is housing, a few words about:


    The site is within walking distance from Google offices, in Mountain View. But going far enough from San Francisco is 12 hours.

    As it turned out, (surprisingly) Silicon Valley is rather big. Starting from the Federation Council and to San Jose, huge complexes, offices, lockers and cellars of various companies and startups are scattered here and there. It would seem that here all the power of the world, all the money here, the wireless monorails of Elon Mask, walking speed robots by Jim Bezos, clockwork monkeys and other miracles of thought. But, in fact, you can get from point A to point B in just a few ways:

    Uber Pool and Lyft Live

    UberX and Uber African American that have reached us are nothing compared to the variety that is available on the taxi market in the Valley. Here and Comfort (only new large cars), and SUV (6 seats) and on. They say that once Uber even offered helicopters. But the most popular rates are Pool and ExpressPool (and similar in Lyft). What it is? If you've ever had to ride a bus - this is it. Only an ordinary Pool will still pick you up, but before Express you have to stomp on foot. But there and there you will not go right where you need, you will have companions. However, it is worth it: save up to two times, and saved means earned.
    Travel time:unpredictably. In the morning, 8,000 people go to the conference, and thousands more Google employees work around the corner, and this wonderfully creates traffic jams. And these fellow travelers ...

    Awkward situations that you will not experience in Russia, but which are constantly encountered in the USA:

    • you open the door of Uber (with tinted), and some dude is looking at you in shock
    • in no toilet throughout the vast territory of the United States you will not find a brush, but you need
    • a crazy homeless man pledges to kill some Susie all over the street, and then apologizes to you that he prevented you from going through


    In our opinion: the train. A two-story colossus, which drags a monstrous diesel locomotive, devouring the annual oil supply of a small European state. Rides on schedule, which is good. It travels extremely slowly, which is bad. The most normal way to travel in terms of time / money.
    Time : if you live near the station, then go to the conference for norms, at least you can predict the travel time. From the station to the site go google shuttles.


    Or the subway. Or overhead. Or "hey there are only homeless people in the car and it smells bad." Doesn’t drive around the Valley, the last stop is generally Warm Springs, you don’t need to go there.
    Time: if you need to move somewhere within the SF - then the norm, if you are squeamish - it is better not to sit on the seats.

    Rented car

    Richly expensive. But Americans are an automobile nation. It’s difficult here without a car. The problem with this particular conference was that it was announced as a “no-parking event”. The reasons, of course, were the desire to save the planet, and give the future to our children ( go on foot, your strong legs will then feed the children ). However, this did not save from traffic jams, and the parking in the end was just a little further than the conference venue and was not particularly advertised.

    By the way, according to rumors, because of the desire to "green" the conference, there was nowhere so beloved swag. No stickers, no t-shirts and other non-biodegradable waste from humanity. Instead of all the bad things on the racks, you could get badges. Metal with paint, apparently, does not harm the planet

    Regarding car rental, I can recommend such an application (not advertising, the post is not paid, I used it myself), like Turo. The point is that people in America buy cars that they don’t need. A loan must be paid. Therefore, they rent them out, to "ride". Of the differences from the usual rental, it seems to be cheaper, but what certainly isn’t is filling out a million pieces of paper, standing in line and other things. Just registered, found a car, arrived, took the keys. So for the first time in my life I rode on such a thing:

    This is the best that

    Tesla humanity has done - this is really the coolest thing I've tried in my life! Unfortunately, in Russia it is not so easy to take advantage of its benefits .

    Well, pretty much about all sorts of nonsense. To business! What was at the conference and what has changed compared to the previous one?

    Day 0

    The best thing you can do the day before the official opening of the conference is to eat and drink for free. No, of course, this can be done perfectly and without going anywhere, but have you seen the current dollar rate? Typically, large companies, such as Intel or Netflix, conduct something like a pre-party, where everyone can come (after registering) and hang out a bit. The main thing is to register in advance. You can usually google for "Google i / o zero day party" or something like that. This year I was at a get-together Intel:

    Hangout Intel

    It is clear that companies do this for a reason. For example, Intel put up a number of stands with employees, having talked with whom, it was possible to get a "token". And by collecting 25 of these tokens, you could get a bag with souvenirs. I can’t recommend it, some spent an hour and a half to collect coins, and then it turned out that it wasn’t worth it, and souvenirs weren’t so exciting. Better have fun, meet new people, drink beer. However, here everyone decides to whom beer tops and who souvenir roots.
    Attention : at all events where they give alcohol, it is mandatory that you are over 21 years old. Somewhere they give you a special bracelet, somewhere they don’t let you in without ID.

    But now, you have returned home, safe and sound, have slept well and are ready for:

    Day 1

    The main holiday, a feast of the spirit, for which God knows where everyone comes from - this, of course, is the opening report from Sundar Pichai, which this year was ... ordinary. Not Sundar, of course, but a report. Well, a lot of things were announced , but there was no wow effect. To each his own, snickering, sir, MDE.
    True, I can not fail to note that at the conference there were much more Flutters, which personally pleases me the most.

    Below is a little about FLutter, if you are not interested - you can skip, but I will not forgive you


    In general, it's nice to see that the Dart language (which we have been using at Wrike for many years ) has finally found a decent frame. Like a raw diamond, it shone in the darkness until ... Well, enough, otherwise it will cause unnecessary holivars, it is better to follow them in our cozy chat . But Flutter was really quite a lot. Reports, Study Jam, sessions and your own pavilion - this is growth. They also announced Flutter for web, however, having lost such a cute name “Humminbird” along the way. Well, home devices like Home Mini now write an interface on Flutter. Which of these will be - wait and see. And I’m carrying a handful of badges and a bird for the community. The bird is a

    bit thick, only the paws climbed. Catch me on some event for a badge, or go visit Wrike

    About reports

    All activities, like last year, focused on four formats:

    Papers as Papers

    Classics with slides, video recordings and more. Everything is on YouTube , so, in principle, they are not that directly obligatory to visit. Touch the legends and learn everything before the others - perhaps. However, I advise everyone to reserve seats in advance through the I / O website or through the official app. Otherwise, legends can only be seen on the mobile screen, standing in line at the entrance.

    Main scene

    The harsh reality made the Russian-language conferences also harsh: both participants and speakers. And even coffee breaks are usually harsh (try to break through). Russians don't smile, as the locals say. Have you ever seen a pack of wolves hungry in winter? I don’t, but it seems to me that if someone from the stage tried to tell us something like “Hello World”, they would have bitten us.
    However, on Google I / O, oh, a very large part of the reports were very, very light. “Look guys this is the browser.” Of course, this is the specifics of what to do. However, if you are not a newcomer to the industry, a veteran of web development, chewed up by life, or shell-shocked Android in battles, then it is likely that you will be bored


    Like in the fairy tale about Aladdin - Behind this door there will be a large room full of gold, precious stones, weapons and clothes. Take for yourself what you want, and bring me only the old copper Pixel 3a .
    At the conference there were several zones made as circus tents and packed with a variety of entertainments. Magicians, jugglers, bearded women. Stands on AR, artificial intelligence, Chrome and more. The beauty of this was that the very people who did these things stood on the stands. I mostly hung around in the Web and Flutter zones, but already there I came off completely. I touched Addy Osmany , breathed into the back of my head Jake Archibald and even said: “Hi, man” to Paul Irish (he did not notice me).
    Aside from jokes, it was a great opportunity to talk with all of the main people in Google’s development. Already at least it was worth going.

    Android marquee

    Office hours and App review

    Imagine that you are writing a term paper in physics, come to defend yourself, and Einstein sits there and says: “Oh, you have a typo on the third page, my friend. Nope . " Well, or something like that. In the specially allotted hours, you could bring your applications (web, mobile, etc.) and show them to Google engineers so that they would review them. The thing is not for everyone, but the opportunity itself is interesting.


    It was also possible to touch Android Auto, but there was such a queue that I decided not to even get involved. Moreover, the iPhone is cooler . Also, several interactive zones and zones for Lightning Talks were scattered throughout the territory. True, because of the California sun, they were not popular. And, of course, the Community Lounge, where various groups constantly gathered, from WTM to GDG of all stripes. There was a meeting of Russian-speaking communities, where gloomy Russian-speaking developers said that there were no stickers and gifts this year.
    In general, there was something to do, and you could also pass the time, standing in line for lunch.

    A small portion of the Russian-speaking community on Google I / O

    About food

    Who likes cold sandwiches? Who is ready to eat them for three days in a row? I have good news for you! I wrote about food at that time , and nothing really changed. No, I’m not complaining, to feed 8,000 people so that no one is crushed in the crowd, and everyone remains more or less well-fed - the task is not easy. So it’s a sin to complain, especially since there were a lot of snacks, including those cucumbers in the bag!

    Various snacks: chips of all kinds, dried pineapples, nut bars, cookies and fig (like fruit) biscuits.

    Dinners were a bit strange, for example, on the first day there was a chicken in a sweet! waffle! horn! On the second day they gave something more interesting, but I don’t remember drinking beer.
    In short, you will not stay hungry, and thanks for that. However, for lovers of something special, it was better to take food with them. Walking to Mountain View for lunch is something more fun.
    Probably already the impression is that I write only about food and reports. But, the second day was ...

    Day 2

    And a few more cultural differences: remember, I was talking about a pack of hungry wolves? Just imagine that the wolves also had a hangover, and did not get enough sleep. That would be something that would look at you if you made the first report of the second day at 8:30 in the morning. Also, as luck would have it, an interesting report. And then there’s nothing, someone didn’t come, someone was swollen, but, in general, everything was crisp.
    I won’t describe the second day entirely; basically, it didn’t differ from the first, except ...


    Suppose you have money. Suppose you have a platform, equipment, light, sound. And you have eight thousand people. How to make them breathe together and say, “Wow!”? Right, give them all the Pixel 3a . But the phones didn’t somehow grow together this year, so on the evening of the second day, he performed on the main stage: “an alternative music group from Oklahoma City, USA, the most important representatives of the non-psychodelic scene” , The Flaming Lips . If this name does not tell you anything, then me too. However, an American friend assured me that they were legends and icons! Well, we take a word, but they made a very ... specific show. Hand lasers, the American anthem, a luminous horse, psychedelic veterans can be seen immediately.


    Under the howls of guitars and "Sorry, no beer after 10pm" we rolled down to ...

    Day 3

    The third day, like a potato to a burger: I don’t feel like eating anymore, but it’s a pity to throw it away. A couple of good reports, communication, but the day, rather, is designed to negotiate with someone, finish something and watch it. Nothing special.

    About networking: there are so many people at the conference that even if you are familiar with a hundred or two, you can walk in circles and not meet anyone. This is a big ambush, well, only if you are not so annoying sociable person who can go up to a stranger and start chatting with him. So, if you want to chat, but scary, choose dinner. People are defenseless for awkward jokes when they have food in their mouths.

    A little bit about gifts

    As I already wrote, some visitors were annoyed by the lack of gifts or any prizes this year. All three days in the chat were timid sayings: “Well, maybe tomorrow”, but as “tomorrow” came, hopes melted. Someone thinks that with a ticket price of 1000 bucks, you can also give something, someone objects that: “Google owes you nothing”, however, the statistics so far are:
    In 2014 - hours, 2015 - Nexus 9, 2016 - ¯ \ _ (ツ) _ / ¯, 2017 - Google Home, 2018 - Home mini, 2019 - ¯ \ _ (ツ) _ / ¯. Alas, my friends . Maybe next year Google will go to the second round and will give phones. By the way, the press did give out Pixel 3a.

    In addition to the icons, there was nothing to get hold of at the conference.

    Here the conference came to an end and the most important question:

    What has changed?

    Feels like a bit. But what to expect from a conference of such magnitude? What will be cardinal changes every year? It seems to me that it was good, it remained good, there was not much bad. The scope has certainly become more, more reports, more demos. Well, yes, they didn’t give Pixel, so that's not the point. My opinion: the conference is moving towards marketing, showing new products and shows. Yet technical stuff seamlessly migrates to Android Dev Summit or Chrome Dev Summit .

    Is it worth it to go and is it worth it to go a second time?

    I answered the first question that year , but whether to go again is a good question. The following story is noteworthy here:
    На обратном пути после первого дня конференции я воспользовался шатлом до относительно ближайшей ко мне точки. Тогда нас было человек 20 в автобусе. Разговорившись, мы узнали, что 20 человек, сидящих в автобусе, родом из 20 разных стран! Никто не повторился. Начался разговор про конференцию, а закончился тем, что молодой человек из небольшой Африканской страны рассказывал, как он учит детей программировать.

    It seems to me that the first time you go to get emotions from the conference, but the second time you go to get people. For the opportunity to chat with smart, interesting people from all over the world, from different parts of the world who live, program, create, with whom you can find a common language in just half an hour while you are traveling together on the bus.

    Thanks for attention!

    PS Hello to all the GDE, GDG that I met, as well as new friends and old friends. And by the way, if you read this, then the main secret of I / O - I / O is the cool people around you who will make the world and you better.

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