Aug 11 AT 2:00 PM Eric Weiss 11 Comments

A Sense Of Community

Are you a developer for Android looking for a place to talk shop, people to bounce ideas off of, or just other people who speak your (programming) language? Are you an avid Android fan looking to meet others of your kind to trade tricks and tips and talk about the latest article over a cup of joe?

User groups are nothing new. It’s simple really, people with common interests getting together to help and meet each other. In my quest to find or start an Android Users Group in my area I found the Austin Google Tech Users Group, where else, but on Google Groups. The Austin GTUG was started in June by Jeremiah Akin and meets once a month at the Green Muse Cafe, a coffee shop near the University of Texas campus. The main focus of the group is for programmers using Google’s App Engine to meet, though it is welcome to any and all who have interest in Google and Google products.

The meeting started simply with introductions followed by a demonstration of Google Wave and Google Voice. Afterwards people were invited to show what they have been working on. People asked questions of the developer and offered suggestions.

One such project that caught my eye was “Next UT Shuttle” developed by Hanbing Liu. Before the meeting I would have considered it a simple application to know when to expect the next University of Texas Shuttle . But after hearing about how he had to manage the different schedules (weekends vs weekdays, school vs summer, etc) and different routes with different stops it became apparent what an undertaking it was to manage all that data and make it work within a user interface. He talked to me afterwards about his hopes of finishing the app and making it available for Android and iPhone. Since the meeting Hanbing has told me that because of some things he learned at the meeting he has been able to make some changes that improve how he pulls the data for the site. He has also started work on a version for the Capital Metro bus routes called “Next Austin City Bus!“.

I am not a programmer so some topics were over my head, though I never felt excluded or unwelcome. I enjoyed meeting like minded people who get excited about technology and getting to see their works in progress. I look forward to attending the August meeting as a member rather than a journalist.

After the meeting (which was around an hour and a half) people hung out, talked and exchanged contact information. It’s definitely worth looking into User Groups in your area and if you can’t find one… Start one!

If you are in the Austin area and would be interested in an Austin Android Users Group, let me know. Check out our forums and let us know about Android/Google user groups in your area or connect with others in your city and start your own.


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  • Derek

    You’re making me jealous. I’m originally from the Austin area, but I’m going to graduate school in Louisiana right now, and I’ve been developing Android apps in my spare time for about 6 months now. Ah well…sounds like a cool group.

  • Taylor Wimberly

    I would be interested in an Austin meetup. It’s only a short drive for me.

  • Joe Remo

    I live in Fort Worth, anyone know of a Dallas/Fort Worth Android Users Group or would anyone like to start one with me? If not, I will try and make it to some of the Austin meetings.

    • http://Website Rick Dusek

      I would be very interested in an Android users group in the Dallas / FT. Worth area. If there is any interest send me an email at [email protected]


  • Carlos Urreta

    I would absolutely LOVE an android users group. I’ll even help organize if you need some assistance. I am moving back to Austin Sept 1st (I took a few months to do some bike touring).

    Let’s get this going! Wooo

  • Clark Wimberly

    I’m in Austin. Android meetup sendoff party before the road trip?

  • nova

    Yes, there is a Dallas group.

    Check here:

  • TornadoTexan

    I’m in for an Austin users group.

  • omgjoz

    I’m down for an Austin users group. Lets do this.

  • Eric Weiss

    I have set up an Austin Android Users Group on Google Groups:

    Also on Twitter: @AustinAndroid

  • Gyuri

    We’ve got an Android/iPhone meetup group in the Washington D.C. area —

    I’m doing an intro to Android development presentation next week, and we hope to have plenty of new projects launched via the group. Stay tuned for more news.