Around the World in 40 Days

by Peter_vdL Motorola 04-04-2011 04:26 PM - edited 04-04-2011 06:10 PM

In his excellent book, "A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail," Bill Bryson explains that there are two approaches to hiking very long trails (the Appalachian Trail is more than 2,000 miles long).  You've got your "Thru Hikers", who start at one end, and doggedly walk the entire length in one expedition of several months.   And you've got your "Section Hikers" who complete the trail by hiking a series of shorter segments, often spread out over a period of years. 


Bill doesn't say this, but you just know that Thru Hikers look down their noses at Section Hikers.   "Section Hikers lack commitment," a Thru Hiker would say dismissively, and "they're really just Sunday strollers".  This distinction came to mind when my manager asked me to go on a global tour, to help Android developers everywhere understand more about programming the XOOM tablet and the ATRIX mobile phone with the lapdock and desktop browser.


Maybe you've heard about this tour already - it headlines the MOTODEV page.  The tour is a series of App Summits in nine cities around the world, from now, through to May 2011.  My team-members and I will deliver a series of presentations that are rich with technical information about coding for the latest Motorola Android products.  And it's all free for app developers.  You can register here for the App Summit nearest you.  We go on the road in just a couple of days time.  First, we fly to Berlin, Germany, and hold the App Summit there on Monday April 11.   Then it's on to London, England, for an App Summit on Friday April 15.  If you live near Berlin or London, you should take a day off work, and come and join us.


Then... we all come home to California for a week, before starting out again for the Far East.   After holding App Summits in Beijing, Shanghai (China) and Seoul, Korea, we fly back to California for another two weeks.  Then it's off to Latin America, for the final set of App Summits in Sao Paulo (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Mexico City, Mexico.  We fly home after each leg, and complete our round-the-world trip in 40 days, rather than the "Around the World in 80 Days" of Phileas Fogg.


Motorola's Developer support team is based in Silicon Valley, which is an environment full of interesting stimuli.  For example, there's a Zeppelin operating out of a nearby airbase.  Here's a picture I took, as I walked by earlier this week.  (I'm a little surprised to see three fins at the stern, rather than the more conventional cruciform tail configuration.  Eureka is only a 12-passenger vessel, and I suppose 3 fins provide adequate empennage).


                   The Airship Ventures Zeppelin - I'm determined to get up in that thing sooner or later!


If you are an Android developer near any of the cities we are visiting, please complete a free registration to attend that App Summit, and be sure to introduce yourself to me at the event.  I'm hoping to meet lots of people who can tell me about their apps, and also their favorite places to visit for people who are new to that city.   What does your city have that is interesting, like a Zeppelin?  It's my intention to blog about each of the cities we visit in this series of App Summits.  So please help me find the unique local attractions.  In Berlin, I am hoping to visit the Zoologischer Garten - the largest zoo in Europe. 


I'm looking forward to this trip a lot.  And I'm also feeling a little angsty about it.  I suppose it's the trepidation that's normal when starting any great and important venture.  We're going to travel a lot of miles, present a lot of helpful information to developers, and essentially circumnavigate the globe.  But I know we won't get any respect from other globetrotters.  After all, we're just "section hikers".




Peter van der Linden

Android Technology Evangelist


by Eric Cloninger (EricC) Motorola on 04-05-2011 07:26 AM

Bom Dia, Peter!


I certainly hope it isn't bad form for a colleague to weigh in. From last years' MOTODEV Grand Tour, I managed a few bits of local culture.


The week we were in Beijing was one of the coldest on record, so I skipped most of the popular sites. I regret not seeing the Great Wall and Forbidden City, but as a southerner, I'm not equipped for cold weather. Those will have to stay on my bucket list a bit longer. I did experience the Temple of Heaven with our guide. I spent some time kicking a shuttlecock in a nearby park, which brought back fond memories of playing hacky sack between classes.


After the Mexico City event, a number of us toured the Anthropology museum, which is a short walk down the Paseo de la Reforma. I thoroughly enjoyed going there and I suspect you would as well, with your diverse interests. There are lots of artifacts from the Olmec, Aztec, and Maya civilizations. I think you would do a disservice if you missed Chapultepec Park, across from the museum. I didn't get to visit the Castle there and I'm looking forward to seeing it.


I don't think I slept more than a few hours at a time for wanting to get out and explore Buenos Aires. Of course you have to experience the tango, but there are so many wonderful things to see and do there. At least two nights, I found myself getting into the hotel after 4 a.m. and yet it didn't feel so strange. Buenos Aires never seems to sleep. I enjoy going to cemeteries and looking at the sculptures, so I hope to get to La Recoleta this time.


Last year, we had 1,000 very excited developers in Sao Paulo. The next day, one of my team members drove me a few hours outside the city and we went geocaching in a state park. I would love to go back to that park for a few days and explore, but I will probably confine myself to the city this trip. The MOTODEV Studio team is located an hour outside Sao Paulo, so I'm sure we'll have a chance to have a barbeque (Brasilian style) while we are there.


A wish for safe travels on this first leg. I'll catch up with you in Brasil.



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