I attended Google I/O for the first time in May 2017 and had an absolute blast! It is by far the best conference I’ve attended. Google listened to the gripes of last year’s I/O at Shoreline and fixed all the niggles.  But what does it costs to attend? I’d estimated a total cost of around £2K after totalling up receipts, I’m reasonably happy to see that I was near in the estimate.

Of course this is highly individual based on my experiences this year and current USD to GBP ratio but I hope it serves as indicator for others. Here’s the rough and rounded the numbers.

  • Flights LHR to SFO:  ~£450  
  • Airport transfers UK: £50
  • Airport transfers US: £60
  • AirBnb (split between 4):  £350
  • Taxi/Uber to/from Shoreline: £55
  • Other food/beer (not at I/O): £150
  • I/O Ticket price £950*  

Total: ~£2065

*Disclaimer: As an GDE for Android I am fortunate to get a complementary I/O ticket. However I thought this article would be more useful if I included the ticket price in the main total.


  • I was able to share uber a few times to cut down some of the travel costs.
  • Didn’t factor lost earnings for the 5 days not working (or the reduced efficiency the week after with jet lag)
  • Haven’t included some leisure activities at weekend like bike hire, Makers faire and travelling to/from San Francisco as I figured it’s purely what I got up to and not indicative of costs for others.

Tips and tricks to cut costs:

  • Remembers it’s near unlimited free food, drink, snacks and beer/wine at Google I/O so on a I/O day you shouldn’t need much else.
  • After researching flights, I discovered you can fly into San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC). SJC is closer but SFO is often cheaper. I did a fair bit of checking of different flight options to get the flights for £450. This is £200 cheaper than LHR to SJC
    • Also see if flying back on different day helps, I found that returning on the Sunday night saved £1000!!! Over flight on the Friday evening.
  • Book accommodation nearer to bus drop off locations i.e  Mountain view caltrain. This is so I could take advance of the free Google I/O buses.
  • Sharing AirBnb brought the accommodations costs down. Nearby hotels wanted $200 per night.
  • If you’re in a permanent role try to convince your employer to cover some of the costs in exchange for things like blog articles and knowledge transfer sessions.
  • If you’re independent contractors consider working the weekend to recover some lost earnings.
  • Monzo card for fee free payments in USD and ATM withdrawals (always pay in USD and don’t let the ATM/ePOS do the conversion)


Not heard of Over The Air(OTA)? it’s an awesome hack-a-thon/conf in Bletchley Park, MK more info


This list definitely has a Android developer bias. Did I miss anything?

Hacking gear

  • Laptop – fully charged and loaded with music, large files and docs on APIs needed
  • Power supply
  • dev Android smartphone
  • dev Android tablet
  • Phone with 3G tethering / 3G dongle
  • usb hub
  • x3 usb cables
  • x2 Network cables (2meter) – useful if wifi dies
  • x2 usb pen drives – useful for sharing files


Know one likes a stinker! and crap loads of coffee, redbull, beer and junk food is gonna make for some interesting BO

  • x2 T-shirts
  • Hoodie
  • Underwear/socks
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Washkit
  • Towel


Plenty of brain food and caffeine

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Muesli bars
  • Red bull

What are you taking?

Now to think of  killer app idea!

After judging the Bristol Uni Computer society Appathon a couple of weeks ago, several students approached me with career related questions and I thought I’d collect them up and post them. These are purely my personal views not that of Mubaloo. When I’m talking about App developer I’m meaning native app development.Treehouse_QA

Also I jotted this down in a hurry as the students needed to include some of the comments in an assignment. So expect spelling mistakes!!

What’s your favorite and worst aspect of your job?

Best bits:

  • Developing apps used by millions of people (having great designer to make them look great)
  • As head of Android I’m the go to person for Android and I shape how the company approaches the density of devices.
  • working in team with motivated and talented people – it really makes a difference when team mates are all pulling to the same goals.


  • Trying to estimate how long a app will take to make based on limited details/requirements
  • Personally I find logging time to projects tedious, it should be simple but the software is clunky at best – but in all the companies I’ve worked the time tracking tools have been subpar. – someone should write a easy to use app for it! 🙂
  • Being point of contact, has it’s downsides mainly lots of interruptions which can make focused development (the bit i really love) difficult.

How would you describe your company (business area, number of employees, approx number of Countries operated in)

errrm, RTM… check the website for that www.mubaloo.com

Day to day taks and in general what does a typical working day consists (design work vs paper work vs talking with clients vs actual coding etc)

  • reviewing design documents,
  • writing specification,
  • meetings with clients to dsicuss current project progress or future project developments
  • fixing defects raised in defect tracking system
  • Writing code meet specification/design

Continue reading

Andy, Craig and I made it in to company newsletter for our Mo Das Mo Movember team in November 2010. Sorry no autographs 😛 We actually raised £215 for the Prostate Cancer charity as we were allocate the company monthly £100 charity pot. For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please visit http://uk.movemberfoundation.com/research-and-programs.

Here’s my mospace.

If like me you’re eager to get the results of the Beta J2EE6 JSP/Servlet Developer Certified Professional Exam, the results were due end of Dec 2010,  just found out over at the JavaRanch, the results have delayed to mid/end Jan 2011.

Hope it’s worth the wait!

Update: results were announced yesterday, I passed!  I’m now a Oracle Certified Expert, Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 6 JavaServer Pages and Servlet Developer – it just rolls off the tongue. 😛

Sorry this is a little late coming, I’ve been chasing up the last few pounds and pennies of sponsorship.

4miles to go

I’m sure we’ve spoken or maybe you saw my facebook status? I successfully completed the 2010 London Marathon in 4h33m on 25thApril. The race went to plan without hitting the wall, although I did end up running an extra 2.5 miles due to the masses and not be able to stay on the optimum red line. I was over whelmed by the support from family and friends but also the local spectators for their cheers, jelly babies and bananas. It was an amazing event and I feel privileged to of participated. Fully recommend it to anyone, it’s well worth the early starts, miles of training and fund raising.

Along the journey I learnt

  • Drinking milk within 20 mins of exercise improves muscle recovery times (it really works!)
  • You can’t self examine your prostate! Go to your doctor (for the record I didn’t find out the hard way the Prostate Cancer website is very informative)
  • Cake sales yield the most money vs effort (if you have a great team of bakers)
  • Essential agree where your supporters are going to be, there so many people at the Marathon!
  • Stairs are not your friend post marathon

The money you’ve donated will help fund research in to Prostate Cancer treatment, help those live with Prostate Cancer and raise awareness. Helpfully you’re all better aware? Collectivity we (yes you guys!) managed to raise over £2,400 for Prostate Cancer and I genuinely could not of reached and surpassed my target (or indeed completed the distance) without your support, so a heart felt thank you!

[update] – Spoken to barclays and they confirmed this is an offical number it’s just not listed anywhere – helpful! – if in don’t call the regular customer services number.

Just got a call from person claiming to be Barclays, wanting to confirm some recent transactions on my card.  I was suspicions so asked how I could proves she was from Barclays, maybe she could tell me the 1st line of address or year of birth, but all they could say was call back on 0800 015 8601. Which is similar to a Barclays number if you check the Barclays contact us page but it’s not actually listed. So be aware this in a ID theift  SCAM!

See this thread too.

Ruth and I did this walk sunday and really enjoyed it, easy to follow with signs on almost ever gate, style etc.  It’s slightly further than the 6 miles noted in the national trust blurrb, we found was nearer 10 miles. You can park at the university of Bath of free on a sunday, bonus!

Link:  bath skyline walk

“The Bath Skyline walk is six miles of way-marked trails, passing through hidden valleys, tranquil woodlands and a patchwork of meadows rich in wildlife. It’s perfect for picnics, kite flying and to escape from the city.”

Bath Skyline Walk PDF