Why I Volunteer For The BABBQ: Allie Ogden

Last year, I continually saw typographical errors on official emails and informational messages. This bothered me, so I complained about it. Aaron told me that if it bothered me so much, I could proofread future messages. So I did.

That’s how I became part of the BBQ team.

This isn't the reason that I volunteer for the Big Android BBQ, though. The reason I do it is that I really believe in the community and the opportunities it can provide if one chooses to embrace it.

I've always grown up not having any clue what I wanted to do. I've had lots of passions - sewing, quilting, knitting, latch hook, and woodworking, to name a few (what an old lady). I love just about any craft where you actually build something from raw materials. I had a hard time, however, finding any passion that I could turn into a viable career. I’m sure many of you can attest to how difficult it is when you are just about at the point of graduation from high school, and you still don’t know in what direction you should head to build a happy life for yourself. I even picked a major based on a comment one of my favorite teachers made about what a good profession for me would be. So I switched my major to business. What a terrible mistake. I should have stuck with math, as I have always loved the subject. I decided to switch because I just didn't see how a pure math major would be applicable to anything but academics.


I went through college switching majors seemingly continually. I stopped caring about a future career and just took courses that I found interesting, thinking that obtaining knowledge in interesting subjects would lead me to a career I found interesting. How I graduated in four years while doing this with two degrees and a minor? Let’s just chalk that up to me being an overachiever.

In 2009, it was my first semester in college, and I was still a business major, unfortunately. I was on the bus talking to one of the many friends one is bound to make on the long bus ride back to main campus. This friend was very excited about her new phone. She told me it had just been released earlier that day, and she had waited at the store to purchase it. This was my first time even hearing about this device. I learned that it was the original Verizon Droid by Motorola.

At this time, so many of the students around me had begun to adopt smartphones. As somebody who had finally convinced her mom to spring for any sort of texting plan the previous year, I had always been a bit of a late-adopter. The Droid did, however, pique my interest. I got back to the dorm and started using my high-speed university internet to search for any information I could find on the device.

Enter: Allie’s new obsession.

This was the greatest phone I had ever seen. Just look at everything it can do! And if I’m not happy with the current capabilities? I can root it and MAKE it do everything I want it to do.

What followed was five full months of looking up every bit of information I could on this device as I waited for my phone renewal date of April 2, 2010 to get here. The entire time I was warming my mom up to the idea of shelling out for the data plan. There was no way I was getting anything BUT this beauty of a phone.

Something similar happened when the Galaxy Nexus (Nexus Prime?!?!!?) was announced in October. The good news is that this time, it only lasted two months. Android had become a huge passion in my life. I love what it is trying to do as a product. I love what it represents. I love how it has created such an amazing community.

I love that it got me a job. I am now paid to play with my Android phone for most of the day.

Working on the Big Android BBQ seems to be a really thankless job so far. I have put in countless hours and had the difficult time of managing my schoolwork with BBQ work. Now I come home from my job and have to put in more hours of BBQ work (this is less a “balance” and more “not having free time”).

So, why do I do it? Why do I spend so much time and effort (especially emotional) on the Big Android BBQ when I am not even getting paid or thanked for the work I put into it? I do it because I still love Android. I still love the community. And I still love you guys.

I have spent so many years taking from the community and what it provides. This is my chance to give back to it.

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