A talk with Giovanni Laquidara

by | Oct 25, 2016

Hi guys! We met Giovanni Laquidara @ Maker Faire surrounded by drones and robots. Giovanni is a Machine Teacher, Technical Leader of Rome Google Developer Group, Senior Software Engineer and Peekaboo Technology Guru. In this interview, our first Ambassador told us a bit about him and his experiences in the VR world and he explained us the reasons why he decided to invest his time and his energies in BLAST!

Tell me about yourself, what are your passions and your ambitions in the workplace?

I grew up as technologist since I was a child and received my first electronic present: a little computer device to learn words and numbers. I started to talk the language of the machines by developing small software and my studies and first jobs were about this wonderful field that now it’s a vital need of our modern society. Now I want to explore the world of Virtual Reality and Machine Learning, I hate repetitive jobs and I hope in the near future the machines will helps the human beings to express their full potential.

We know how important are communities for you, in which you are very present as a developer, and more. What communities mean for you and what is their added  value in your opinion?

Man is a social animal. Community is important in every field, the community speeds up the learning phase and makes the life more complete helping others to reach common goals.

Let’s talk about IoT: what is the current situation and in your opinion what are the possible developments?

Instead of IoT I like to think about IoE Internet of Everything, now we are at the beginning of a revolution. In the future everything will be connected and fully available to everyone for use.

When did your adventure at Peekaboo start?

I was the CTO of the first startup created by Peekaboo founders, was funny and instructive and from this experience a great team was born.

You attended several international and big events: could you tell us more about your experience? Which are the ones that have impressed you the most?

I attended numerous international and national events, especially in the tech world. I started few years ago from technical conferences for developers as Codemotion. These kind of events are a huge opportunity to learn new technologies and for networking. I remember, in particular, the Web Summit @ Dublin. I attended Web Summit as exhibitor and as attendee, and I can say it is an absurd place where you can breathe the startup atmosphere. I had the opportunity to collect many contacts from around the world, “active” contacts with whom I collaborate often. I also remember the Droidcon of Turin and London, where I improved my skills thanks to Android Top Player’s employees. One of my favorite event remains the Google I / O (I have been there for two years in a row). There, you can “feel” the Silicon Valley in the air, and you have the opportunity to talk with the creators of the technologies that we use every day.

Could you tell us more about your adventure @ Google Event in San Francisco? What struck you the most?

As I said, it is the only event where you can talk to the creators of Android, Chrome, Firebase, Gmail etc. You can ask them questions and learn from them, it’s the perfect environment if you work as a developer! This year the event took place directly at the Google home, at Mountain View, in the Shoreline Amphitheatre, an area often used for concerts. You could feel the festival atmosphere, full of tents each with a full program of lectures about Google world. I explored the neighborhood, the Google Plex, where I saw the self-driving car and the Google Bikes, colored bicycles that Googlers can use freely. I could not resist and I used them too 😉 Instead, at the Google I / O of two years ago I presented a revision of the app for the treasure hunt with smartphones, that has been developed starting from a Google App, with some friends of the Google Developer Group.

Treasure hunt and a great event. It tells you something? Tell us something about this weird combination!

Oh, yes! Some years ago, Google proposed a smartphone app that allowed you to play a tech treasure hunt with NFC tags. The problem was that three years ago almost no one had the NFC, which is well spread now. It was an open source app, so we took it, and we added QR code, so anyone with an Android smartphone with a camera could use it, it was a big success! We proposed it in several events, every time customizing a new version of the app and adding new features. This allowed me to visit many tech events by actively participating.

What about your future goals?

In my near future there are projects dealing with VR and Self Driving Car. We have recently founded a community on the VR in Rome and I am studying the applications that go beyond mere recreational purposes and that use the virtual reality of today’s viewers. Stay Tuned, probably I will present something at BLAST 2017! Regarding Self Driving Car, we have been selected by Udacity to attend the first Self Driving Car Nanodegree Program in the world, where I will have to follow a course of nine months during which I will be able to create a software to develop a Self driving car, which will be tested in California on dedicated cars. Are you ready for the future?

What you see in BLAST? How do you see your figure of Ambassador?

BLAST is the event that in Italy was missing so far, we can attend to quite similar events abroad, but I’m sure in Italy we will make the difference. I’m excited to be one of the first Ambassador of this MUST-TO-BE-AT event.

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