Five Firebase I/O Sessions I'm Excited About

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had many of you approach me with questions like, “Hey Todd! I’m super excited to be going to I/O this year! What sessions should I go to?” And my answer has always been the same: “Who are you, and how did you get into my apartment?”

But yeah, I can understand that picking sessions at I/O can feel overwhelming. Between the VR awesomeness and the new Android O stuff, Google I/O has a lot to offer. And while the Firebase VR Data Viewer is still a work-in-progress, there’s still plenty of great Firebase content for you to check out this year.

Of course, asking me to pick my favorites among all the sessions is like asking me to pick my favorite child — I love all of them equally1. But with that said, here’s a few Firebase sessions that I’m certainly looking forward to next month:

The Talks

Supercharging Firebase Apps with Machine Learning and Cloud Functions

This combines two of the most intriguing (for me, anyway) technologies happening in cloud-land. First, you’ve got Cloud Functions for Firebase, which essentially allows you to run server-side code based on events happening within your app, and then there’s Machine Learning, which is still basically, “We’re living in the future” kind of wizardry as far as I’m concerned. Combine them together, and you can pull off some really cool features to enhance your mobile app. Or, in this case, a giant crowdsourced game.

Firebase Analytics: Overview and Updates

Apparently, launching StreamView wasn’t enough for the Analytics team. They’ve got a whole bunch of other new features popping up, including what might be the most commonly-requested feature since they launched last year. (No, it’s not changing all the fonts to Papyrus. That’s just my most-requested feature.) What is it? You’ll just have to swing by the session to find out.

Zero to App: Develop with Firebase

This is one of our most popular sessions from last year, and it’s been brought back for 2017! We’re gonna bring up four Firebase engineers for a realtime cross-platform app development deathmatch! But… uhhh… without the “death” part. HR wouldn’t allow it. I’ve been told this year, there will be some Cloud Functions involved and possibly some other new twists and turns to keep things interesting. Will they end up with a real app by the end of the session? Or will Mike be unable to compile his code because he forgot a semicolon? Only time will tell!

AdMob and Firebase Analytics: Better Together

Remember those Reese’s commercials from the 80’s, when people apparently walked around with open jars of peanut butter all the time? Well, this talk is a little like that, but instead of resulting in a delicious candy, you end up with some solid ad-driven analytics-backed monetization strategies for your app. Which you can then use to go and buy your own peanut-butter cups.

Shipping Santa Tracker: Carefully Rolling Out a Feature to a Million Users

What happens when you’ve essentially got one day to launch an app to millions of people around the world with a whole slew of features that you’ve never really tested before in front of a large audience? You would think “mass chaos and hysteria”, but in Santa Tracker land, things were as smooth a baby elf’s bottom. Come by and listen to Sam and Dan tell you how they were able to pull it off. I know it’s an early session, but they promised me there’d be costumes. So that might be worth rolling out of bed for.

So there ya go!

Five Firebase sessions you should definitely keep an eye on. Not able to make it to I/O in person? Don’t worry! All of our presentations will be available either in the livestream that day, or in the Firebase YouTube channel a few days later.

  1. Well, except you, Janice. Are you really going to use emacs over vim? You’re breaking your mother’s heart.