“My primary interest is web design. After taking one session here, I really get into Kotlin. Kotlin is very close to Java programming language, and I could easily understand it. I think that after today, I will learn Kotlin by myself through the Internet,” said Myat Htoo Maung, 17, a student majoring in computer science at college.
Android is one of the world’s most popular mobile platforms. Except for Apple, almost all other smartphones manufacturers use Android, the open source operating system made by Google. Also, Myanmar is no exception. There are lots more Android users in the country.
So, given its worldwide popularity, people are surprised to hear that DroidYangon is the first ever android developers conference held in Myanmar.
“This kind of conference has been held around the world for decades like in New York, San Francisco, and Japan. In the technology era, digital businesses have been blooming. For Myanmar to know what’s going around the world, we have to initiate the developer conference like DroidYangon,” Ko Ye Linn Wai, a director of the event, told the MIRadio in a press conference last month.
The Android event consists of various lecture sessions, practical code workshops, and lightning talks where attendees can exchange their experience and knowledge with others.
Kay Thari Myat Moe and Ma Yamin Khaing, 21, are among young participants who are eager to get hands-on training in the use of computer programming.
“What we learn at university is mostly about the concept. However, here we can see how to apply them to real companies. In the previous session, we were able to write a simple piece of programming codes under the guidance of the lecturer, so it was realistic and helpful for us. I think it’s wonderful that the codes I write have an impact on people’s lives.”
Lin Min Phyo, 23, a local experienced android developer who joined DroidYangon as a speaker, said that offline conferences like DroidYangon could play a role as a social network, and those need to be extended to cover more students from rural areas across the country.
“I am not from Yangon, but from a small town. At my town, there is a lack of teachers who can hand on tips and tricks to their pupils. Communities are growing, but still, it is much harder for us to learn new things.”
Despite the information gap between rural and urban areas, the availability of Internet access helps gradually narrow the distance. Now students can access the Internet and find online education materials and classes at home.
Iñaki Villar, 38, a foreign speaker and Android developer who came to Myanmar four times, has seen improvement over the years in the software sector.
“The first time I came here, I couldn’t see any improvement not only in software developers but local IT companies. I feel today’s event is very specific compared to previous conferences in this country I attended before. They are giving sessions on particular themes actively discussed in global tech companies, sharing future development as well as the current flow of the android community and what the developer can do to strive for more in the future. I couldn’t see it before.”
He encouraged the young generation who wants to be a software developer by sharing his experience.
“Studying gives us fundamental things to achieve your goal. Now we can get tons of information resources by surfing the Internet. All the resources are there. It is open to everybody. Ten years ago, I was sitting in the audience to learn something, and now I am a speaker.”