Interview with Mario Bodemann

Mario Bodemann - Contentful

Mario Bodemann's business card reads Java and Android ecosystem developer. November will mark his two year anniversary here at Contentful and he usually spends his days working on our Java SDK. He’s also an active member of Berlin’s Android community. I got the chance to sit down with Mario to ask him questions on SDK development, his passion for VR and much more.

You are responsible for Contentful’s Java SDK. What would you say are the most important features of version 2 that came out some time ago?

For me the most important feature is the direct file upload functionality. So with this new feature I can for example upload a picture I just took with my phone straight to Contentful. Before this new version you had to create a workaround to make that happen. Now it’s more like: here’s the file, you upload it and then it’s accessible for everyone.

Highlight something that was of importance when creating the latest version of the SDK

I wanted to make sure that the user can always see what options are available at any given moment. So that when you start typing client., you’ll see what you can do with this SDK. And also make sure that the user has access to all the necessary information. The IDE helps you out with this kind of stuff quite a lot.

In general, what would you say about Java’s status at Contentful?

That’s a super interesting question. The way I see it is that we have our Java SDK, we develop it, and ship it to our customers. This means that we have big customers that are using the SDK and that in turn makes Java important for Contentful.

You’re an active member of Berlin’s Android developer community. What can you tell us about that?

I’m part of a group that’s organizing events here in Berlin. The events are focused on Android. Every week we meet at our GDG Berlin Android meetup where we sit together and code. We don’t necessarily work together on one joint project. It’s more like everyone working on their own projects and asking for help or advice whenever they feel like they need it.

From time to time we throw some teaching into these sessions on things like new Google features. Google sometimes provides us with teaching materials for those sessions and occasionally some swag.

In our community we also have the monthly meeting where we have talks about what’s going on in the Android community. These sessions have the traditional tech user meetup setting where there’s sometimes food, sometimes drinks and you basically learn from each other while having fun.

What I like about our community is that we are a diverse group of people. For example, some are completely new to Android development and we get to teach them what they need to know.

We also co-operate with other user groups in Berlin in sharing information on what works, and what doesn’t work, when it comes to meetups and teaching sessions.

Tell us about your passion for VR on Android

The first thing I did when I was learning earlier versions of the SDK was to create an app that uses Contentful to upload 3D models that you can later see in VR. The interesting thing is that Contentful is a content delivery platform that makes it easy to use VR inside your apps. This is because we don’t technically limit the type of content you can upload. So then you can of course upload VR content.

And building a cardboard app with Contentful technology is also what got me into giving talks. I for example went to New York and talked at Droidcon NYC in 2016 on Virtual Reality in Android.

One last question - what’s your opinion on the future of Java?

It was recently announced at I/O ‘17 that Android is now officially supporting the Kotlin programming language for native apps. This means that on Android there might be a move away from Java.

But I can assure you we will continue to support Java. We'll also see how we can incorporate Java 8 and maybe 9 features into the SDK, without sacrificing the current user base.

Join Mario and Contentful today

Contentful is currently on the lookout for new talent. There are a number of open position throughout the company. We would love for you to head over to our careers page and join our growing team in either Berlin or San Francisco today.

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