Google Developers Group to Host Middle Georgia’s First-Ever DevFest


MACON – Mercer University's Google Developers Group (GDG) will host Middle Georgia's first-ever DevFest for artists, software developers and creative thinkers on Oct. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., in the Science and Engineering Building on the Macon campus.

GDGs across the world host DevFests – large, community-run events that may offer speaker sessions across multiple product areas, all-day hackathons, code labs and more – during the fall of each year.

Mercer's DevFest, launched with funding from Google, is free and open to all ages, and will be based on the theme “Crowdsourced Art.” Registration is available online, and the first 50 participants will receive a free T-shirt and lunch.

Through a keynote address, hands-on coding tutorials and a mini-hackathon, the festival will introduce Google's Firebase cloud database and show how it easily interacts with multiple devices simultaneously. Teams of artists and coders will assemble to create a shared graphics canvas.

“I am so excited to be a part of Middle Georgia's first DevFest,” said Dr. Bob Allen, professor and chair of computer science. “Technology is everywhere around us and touches so many parts of our lives. This festival will bring together a wide range of people, with wide ranges of experiences – women and men, young and old, creative and calculating. The power of collaboration will be demonstrated in real time as we work, or play, to produce digital beauty. My hope is that people will leave this event inspired to find more creative ways to incorporate technology into their everyday lives.”

Doors will open at 9 a.m., and the keynote will begin at 10 a.m. A Firebase tutorial will take place at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at noon. Participants will spend the afternoon using the software to create the collaborative art project.

Mercer's GDG, headed by Dr. Allen, is open to both students and community members and has been active for more than five years.

The goal of the group is to teach web and mobile developers about the various tools Google has available to help create great products more efficiently. Mercer's GDG also helps students at the University meet local developers and provides community-building activities for Middle Georgia IT professionals.

In addition to Google, Mercer's DevFest has received support from the Department of Computer Science and the Art Department in the College of Liberal Arts, as well as SparkMacon.

For more information on the DevFest, and to register, visit