05 Aug, 2022 In Apps, Gadgets & ReviewsEducationSocial Media & the WebTechnology

From JC to droidcon in Berlin… James Gatt shares his experience!

James at DCBLN22

Were you aware that the average consumer opts to buy a new mobile device every 2 years?

Consequently, most Android device manufacturers prefer to cut Android support after 2 years.

With the ever-growing developments of Android, it’s not unreasonable to promote flashing unofficial firmware on your phone now, or further down in your device’s lifecycle.

James Gatt, a Junior College student, explains to us in detail about this issue and his experience with Android firmware development.

The idea behind Google’s mobile operating system, more specifically with respect to the way it was built from the ground up, sparked interest in James’ recent departure to Berlin!

At the age of 12, James was already showing invested interest in this advancement, to the point of eventually developing custom Android firmware for his device.

Later on, after much experimentation and error fixing, the Google Nexus 6P handset, helped James develop his first ever custom distribution of the Android firmware, more commonly known as a custom ROM – often used as an alternative to the pre-installed factory firmware.

James at Google I/O

Later this June, via the Google Developer Groups Malta, James gave his first ever speech in front of 25 people at Google I/O Extended Malta. The talk highlighted the benefits of this open-source nature of Android via AOSP.

droidcon, a global Android Community, had planned their annual droidcon Berlin conference this July. James thought that it would be a fruitful experience to apply to be one of the speakers, later getting accepted as the youngest speaker at the conference.

James at DCBLN22

"The environment and feeling around droidcon was welcoming and mutual. Everyone could share and express the same interests with one another. It's truly something I've never experienced before!", expressed James’ shortly after his arrival at the CityCube Berlin.

James continued by attending a busy schedule of events for the rest of the day including various meets and greets with sponsors and attendees at the venue.

On the second day, James delivered his talk entitled "Android is open source, what does that mean for us?"

Following up his talk, James supported previous speakers by attending their respective presentations.

James admitted that through this experience, he had put aside his fear of public speaking and was able to deliver a satisfying presentation to the audience.

He naturally followed his talks in an intuitive way by orienting the slides accompanying his talk.

Once the stage preparations were complete, a crowd of around 100 attendees were seated in the Hopper room to follow the presentation.

droidcon Berlin 22 - Talk
James at droidcon Berlin 22/droidcon.com

After the 20 minute presentation, many remained after the talk as a sign of appreciation and also to ask further questions pertaining to the subject matter, followed by an interview.

The presentation is available to watch online.

droidcon Berlin - Crowd
droidcon Berlin 22/siddroid.com

What's next for James?

After such a fruitful experience, James intends to keep learning about the uses of Android's open source nature and is open to giving more detailed talks at different conferences around the world.


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droidcon Berlin

Tampering with your device’s firmware and/or bootloader could void your warranty.
Ensure that any of the software utilised is coming from a reputable source/developer before installing, making sure to follow the instructions given in a careful manner.
Check with your device/s’ manufacturer regarding your warranty before proceeding.
Toppin' Up is not responsible for any liabilities / damages caused to your device/s.