Android

Chicago Roboto 2020: A Virtual Success

January 19, 2021
Chicago Roboto 2020: A Virtual Success

Looking back on last year’s Chicago Roboto, it was a great opportunity to learn while spending time hanging out with teammates. So, when it was announced that this year’s event was going to be virtual, it was hard not to be disappointed. Then again, with so many great speakers lined up, there was still plenty to look forward to.

What was I anticipating most? Without a doubt, Jetpack Compose. The official definition from Google: “Jetpack Compose is Android's modern toolkit for building native UI. It simplifies and accelerates UI development on Android.” As a side project, I had played around with it in the beginning of the year but found that it hadn’t progressed enough to fit into my workflow. Since then, they’ve taken several large steps forward, including a version of a RecyclerView.

Knowing this, I could hardly wait for the back-to-back sessions on Compose from Vishnu Rajeevan, then Ben Oberkfell. And just like that, I was back in. If you want a taste of what’s possible with Compose, I highly recommend watching their presentations. Though it’s not quite production-ready (currently in 0.1.0-dev14), I expect developers to quickly migrate away from the “old way” as declarative UI continues to take off.


Scott working with the team pre-covid
Scott working with the team pre-covid


What surprised me most was a talk that came up the next day. As a team, we rely heavily on Rx programming. With mobile development so dependent on being asynchronous, our apps are often in a state where a user has tapped their screen and now the app needs to do something on the network to show them the result. Seems simple enough in theory, but it quickly gets complicated.

For the most part, I have been happy with using Rx in our applications. The only flaw is how useful it can be. It reminds me of the expression: “To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” It seems like there’s an Observable for every property in your app and, before long, things get out of hand.

This takes us to coroutines. Though I had already been wanting to work with them more, Ryan Pierce’s talk on Kotlin Flow really drove home the point. As a matter of fact, I plan to go all in for my next project. I’m excited to see the impact coroutines will have on unit testing.

While Chicago Roboto was a shift from normal, it was still a success. I’m already looking forward to 2021—hopefully in person.


Scott Schmitz
Scott Schmitz
Software Developer

Stay in the loop with our latest content!

Select the topics you’re interested to receive our new relevant content in your inbox. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you.

Tech Transformation Webinar
Business

Tech Transformation Webinar

July 12, 2021

Thank you for checking out the first ever webinar from MichiganLabs. It was great to hear from so many of you about how it helped you and your business. We have made the recording available below.

Read more
Clutch Names Michigan Software Labs as a 2019 Top Developer in U.S.A.
Business Team

Clutch Names Michigan Software Labs as a 2019 Top Developer in U.S.A.

November 14, 2019

Clutch is a B2B research, ratings, and reviews firm located in downtown Washington, D.C.. Clutch connects businesses with the best-fit agencies, software, and consultants they need to tackle business challenges together and with confidence. Clutch’s methodology compares business service providers and software in a specific market based on verified client reviews, services offered, work quality, and market presences.

Read more
Bringing Agile Home
Miscellaneous

Bringing Agile Home

August 26, 2020

My life often resembles a game of Whack-A-Mole. The moment I complete one task two more pop up. To avoid getting behind, I jump on new tasks almost immediately. Then at some point along the way my wife will innocently ask if I’ve scheduled my appointment with the Secretary of State. Realizing that an up-to-date driver’s license takes priority over a squeaky hinge, I put down my tools and book my online appointment.

Read more
View more articles