We had the second Dublin GTUG last night (<pedantry>although there seems to be a little bit of confusion regarding whether it is the second or the third – I’m going with the former, on the basis that the very first meet was before we agreed to proceed with a GTUG and hence was somehow a pre-GTUG meet</pedantry>).
We had a full agenda and a full house – I didn’t count, but I think there were about 30 people in attendance, which is very good by the standards of developer meetups in Dublin.
First up was Brian Brazil, an SRE at Google, who gave us some insight into the life of an SRE. He talked about some of the challenges faced by SREs in scaling up applications, understanding where bottlenecks lie and optimizing system performance. Achieving acceptable latency for service delivery is an important part of this job and requires understanding where delays arise throughout both the network external to Google and inside Google’s architecture – such is their dedication to delivering low latency services over wide geographies that sometimes even the speed of light becomes a problem! Brian did a particularly good job, as he was called in at 15 minutes notice due to a last minute change of plans as Nick Johnson unfortunately could not make it – respect!
Next up was Kevin Godden of Ridge Solutions talking about integration of Paypal and GAE. Kevin described how he had worked on a project in which it was required to use Paypal as a payment processor for a GAE hosted app. Kevin noted that GAE does not support HTTPS connections if you’re not using the appspot.com domain, ie if you’re running your GAE app from your-domain.com. This has implications for payments, naturally, and the only really workable solution for Paypal integration at present is to redirect the user to Paypal to take the payment (rather than taking the payment via the GAE app itself). Kevin talked about how Paypal’s redirect works and gave example Python code for integrating it with a GAE app. Link to Kevin’s slides.
After Kevin, there was a short, but impressive demo of an app built on GAE given by Ken Macleod of Aladdin Schools. Ken built Aladdin schools in a few months and the feature set that he put together was very impressive indeed. Everyone who had attended an Irish primary school got flashbacks when he showed the roll call functions on his app!
Finally, Jim O’Leary from Rococo Software talked about their experience in working with Bluetooth on mobile devices in general and Android in particular. Jim explained that BT on Android provides a limited set of the full range of BT functions, but this set has been well chosen and provides good coverage for most of the Bluetooth use cases. Working with BT on Android has not given rise to many problems in his experience, although he has one issue relating to making the device discoverable – Android imposes limitations on how long a device can be discoverable for.
The session in Google was rounded off with a Eoin giving out a couple of books for people to review and some swag for anyone who had earned it.
We then retired to the Schoolhouse for an engaging chat about all things G.
Overall, I was very satisfied with how it went – there was good engagement from everyone in the room, with lots of questions being thrown at the speakers and I know that I learnt a lot. Let’s hope we can keep this standard up as we go forward.
Thanks to everyone who stood up to to talk – great job by all – and thanks to Jean Joswig for being the Google contact who sorts out the room, pizzas and just generally making sure everything runs smoothly.
Looking forward to next month’s GTUG…