Put simply Google IO 2011 sold out in under an hour. Given that tickets were just short of $500 this is a real commitment and enthusiasm not seen before.
Google's IO event is the place where Google tells the programming community about the new things it is doing and explains what it has already done. It is important if you are a Google-using developer but ... not super important. Well that seems to have changed. Google IO 2011 was announced on the 7th Feb and it was sold out in under an hour. Google IO has always been a sell out event and the rate at which this happens has been increasing - in 2009 it took 90 days, in 2010 it took 50 days; in 2011 just 59 minutes.
What is going on?
Of course if you are a developer you might not find this so surprising. Google has been inserting itself into your kit bag more and more over the past few years, whether you liked it or not. And now we have Android possibly, no fairly certainly, the platform of the present and future. Of course you need to go to Google IO if you possibly can just in case they reveal something that will give you the edge.
Android is the top mobile platform according to most surveys. It is about to be the top tablet platform according to most predictions and pundits - and Windows on the desk top - what's a desktop? We really need to know what Google is up to.
To quote the Google Code blog:
The focus of I/O 2011 will be all about the cloud, and feature the latest Google products and technologies including Android, Google Chrome, App Engine, Google Web Toolkit and Google APIs. There will be many opportunities to meet members of Google’s engineering teams and take deep dives into the technologies with more than 100 technical sessions, roundtables and more.
It isn't just Android either. There are lots of Google APIs that represent significant opportunities to make money by developing innovative applications and their number is increasing. All Google really lacks is a flagship language to add to its API framework and flagship operating system (you can't count Go its still too young and immature).
There have been suggestions that the reason that IO 2011 sold out so fast was that last year Google gave away laptops and this year well they might just give away a phone or two... This is of course just icing on the cake. The reason we go to Google IO like lemmings toward the edge of a cliff is not for material presents but the gift of knowledge.
We really want to know what Google is doing next. If this doesn't make Google the leader or trend setter if you like of the programming community I don't know what does!
More Information (but probably no tickets!)
Google IO 2011