Thursday 12 March 2015

Droidcon Tunisia

I just got back from my very favourite event of the year so far. That event was Droidcon Tunisia which was held in the beach resort of Hammamet, an hour from Tunis! It was my first time in Tunisia and in fact my first time in Africa so this made the trip all the more exciting. Of the event itself, I really wasn't sure what to expect but it turned out to be excellent.

I had the keynote and talked about the major technological developments of the last three decades, highlighting IoT as the most significant development of our time, one which historians will write about in years to come. IoT is unquestionably the biggest opportunity that developers of all sorts have had in a long time and certainly the biggest opportunity mobile developers have had since the smartphone was invented. Naturally, this being Droidcon I also "got technical" and showed the audience how the Android APIs can be used to create applications which exploit Bluetooth Smart, the killer enabler of IoT.

The audience were wonderful. The room was wonderful. Attendees were mostly university students and there was over 700 in total with standing room only during the keynote.

I also had the honour of meeting Tunisia's Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy, Mr Noomane Fehri and enjoyed watching his rather inspiring opening speech. There's a good deal of positive patriotism and national pride in Tunisia which given recent history is not surprising. There's an optimism too and a determination to succeed, and Mr Fehri's speech exemplified this. I met some *really* bright young people at the event so there's every reason to believe Tunisia has an equally bright future.

The Droidcon franchise is well supported by an informal group of respected speakers and I had the pleasure to meet some impressive and very likeable people from amongst the speakers. I expect to meet some of them again, beginning with Droidcon Italy next month.

It wasn't all work either. I had the opportunity to see Carthage and to wander around a Medina in old Tunis and drink lots of delicious mint tea :-)

And I also managed to take a short walk to the beach about 100 metres from the venue and marvelled at the highly obedient... possibly not completely real.... cats in the trees inside the venue :-)

That's it! Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to be invited back next year. I hope so.

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