Take a look at Gaston Saillen, who is a Google Developer Expert in Android and Firebase.
Uh-LaLa! app building
Before Gaston went to a local food delivery truck to pick up dinner, the server asked him, “Why don’t you make a food delivery app for the town, since you’re an Android developer?” There aren’t any food delivery apps here, but there are a lot of them in the city.
The owner of the food truck said that he was new to the area and needed a way to boost sales. Gaston was up for the challenge, so he came up with a simple delivery app for Cordoba restaurants called Uh-Lala! It’s up to the restaurants to set up the app, and there’s no charge for the app. As Gaston says, “My plan was to deliver this service to this community and start making some progress on the technology that they use to deliver it.” Many other food delivery services started to use the app after that.
A food delivery app for a big company is like the base app. For Cordoba restaurants, Gaston made the app first, and it took him a long time to finish it. It’s still the only food delivery app in town, though. When he released the app, it started getting attention right away, with people ordering things. His friends joined, and the app got bigger. “As an Android engineer, I’ve made a lot of apps. This is the first time I’ve made one that had such an impact on my community.”
He had to figure out how to let people know when food was ready for delivery right away. I found it hard at first, but then I learned more about the backend and all of the other features. This allowed me to use many new things.
This was not the only thing he had to teach. Restaurant owners and customers had to learn how to use the app, and they had to change their habits of using phones for calls instead of apps.
Gaston says that seeing people use the app makes him feel like he’s doing good things for his community.
When I first started using Uh-LaLa!, I didn’t think it would become so popular. It was a big help to the communities that used it, too.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants had a hard time keeping their sales up. A local pub owner ran a promotion on Instagram to use the Uh-Lala! App for 10% off, and their sales came back to where they were before COVID. That is a good storey. They were very pleased with the app.
Become a GDE
In the last seven years, Gaston has been a GDE (a person who helps people). When he was working on his last startup, he kept getting asked about Android development and Firebase on StackOverflow and writing blog posts and making YouTube videos for developers. When he found out about the GDE programme, he thought it was a great way to keep sharing his Android development knowledge with more people. Once he was chosen, he kept writing blog posts and making videos. Now, they reach a wider audience.
“I made a course on Udemy that I keep up to date, and I’m still writing the blog posts.” There is a group called the GDG in Cordoba, and they try to have a new meeting every month.
It’s fun for Gaston to be part of the GDE community and talk about Firebase and Android with other developers. For Firebase developers to talk about the service, they set up a WhatsApp group called “Firebase Developers.” It’s fun to be a Google Developer Expert because I can meet people in the community who do the same things that I do. It’s a great way for me to keep learning and meet other people who love Android as much as I do. I also get to meet people who make videos and blogs about Android, too.
The Android platform gives developers the best tools to make apps for people to use. Firebase lets developers build and release apps quickly and easily without having to deal with infrastructure. They can also use analytics, A/B tests, and messaging campaigns to get more people to use their apps.
During the next few years, I’ll be
Developing Uh-La-La and making more apps is what Gaston wants to do next. He wants to make a coworking space reservation app that shows users the hours and locations of nearby coworking spaces and lets them reserve a space at a certain time. Aside from his work with Distillery, he is also working on Android apps.
It’s Gaston’s advice for people who are going to make new apps.
“Keep moving forward, please.” During your career, you will have to deal with a lot of bad things. The more problems you find and solve, the more you will learn and move forward in your career.