Why I Volunteer For The Big Android BBQ: Asher Simonds

This is the first in a series of posts on the topic of why the folks who make up the BABBQ team volunteer their time to organize this awesome event. First up, Mr. Asher Simonds.

A Celebration of Connection and Contribution

On a fateful day in May of 2009, I received an email from Paul O’Brien of MoDaCo congratulating me for winning a small giveaway the site was running with Palringo, a then popular group chat service. My prize was an HTC G1. After telling him that I was on the Sprint Network and I would be buying a prepaid card for the new phone, he offered to give me the value of the phone - then $350 - as an option since I couldn't use it as my main device. Looking back, I think I still made the right choice, replying “Ha ha thanks, the phone will be fine.”

Since then I've been tinkering, breaking, and fixing trying to fix things on these wondrous devices with the intention to make my experience with them the best possible. But quickly I knew that wasn't enough. My earlier days of Windows Mobile shenanigans on everythingq.com (now everythingwm.com) reminded me that somewhere out there a community of like-minded tinkerers were helping each other to create new and exciting possibilities using the little green robot. I had to find them.



And find them I did. All over. Android was starting to gain a strong following among the “innovator” crowd and root, ROMs, and crazy apps were beginning to pop out of places like XDA. I loved all the energy around the platform but had little development knowledge to contribute. I did, however, have a talent to use: design. Over the past few years I've worked with many people to make their creations just that much better by providing anything I could - advice, iconography, layout assistance, and even branding to make the community shine. Even my own projects, like the Fluxed ADW theme, helped people make their devices truly unique and personal.

Then the Big Android BBQ happened. The physical representation of the enthusiast and developer community. A place where everyone was on the same level and could enjoy each other’s company. My first event was in 2011 and it was a whirlwind of food, Android, and some of the finest people you’ll ever meet. That’s when I knew this was something special.

I began helping Aaron Kasten and the crew in small projects for the 2012 event and now work as a full-fledged staff member helping bolster the identity of the BBQ. I’m also a third of the crazy team building the BBQ’s first full app, which is an experience all its own. Just like the work I've done since I opened the box of that little chinned phone, I want my work for the BBQ to bring you one of the most enjoyable and unique experiences you’ll ever have.

The BBQ is so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s more than a conference, a networking event, and a cookout - it’s a gathering of great minds, willing learners, and those who are both in love and in awe of a technology that is truly changing the way we live. Regardless of your profession or contribution, you’ll find camaraderie, insight, and joy for our connected world.

I invite you to join us as we take another weekend to celebrate our community, our passion, and living life on the cutting edge. Oh, and the food’s pretty good too.

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