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.

Factors/Comments:

  • 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)

 

I have released a new open source library to wrap a Google Play services API called SafetyNet, which has been completely eclipsed by the recent Google IO and WWDC coverage 😉 safetynet_framed

Here’s a blog post that explains a bit about what is it and why and here’s the code on github.

I’ve also released the Sample app on the Google Play store so you can run the Safety Net test on your own device.

 

I love new smart bar search in firefox 3 but bugged by the fact it defaults to searching google.com, so here’s what I did to make it use google.co.uk

  1. In firefox3 URL/Smart bar type: “about:config” [this brings up the adv config of firefox, don’t cha know, click ok to void warrenty 😉 ]
  2. Use the filter to find the property called “keyword.URL”, and change the google domain suffix from .com to co.uk, hey presto!

    keyword.URL=http://www.google.co.uk/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=

all done!