Hi, friends. While looking through old blog post I have written, I discovered that I wrote my first blog post about Google developer group ten years ago. I have enjoyed the journey. In this blog post, I wanted to explore some of my personal motivations, stories and feelings toward supporting our local Google developer groups. For my kids and my community, I enjoy advancing the mission of helping “students young and old to love learning through making, tinkering, and exploration.” I appreciate the GDG community enabling me to explore this mission using Google tools and the culture of open innovation.
Growing Students: In the past month, I had bumped into this cool episode on the Google Cloud Platform Podcast with one of my mentors, Dr. Laurie White.
Dr. Robert Allen and Dr. White invited me to join their Google Developer Group(GDG) while I lived in Macon, GA. The GDG of Macon focused on serving the students of Mercer University and the Macon community. I think they sensed my curiousity for teaching software engineering and invited me to teach some of my first sessions. (Google app engine, Firebase, JS, etc.) The experiences amplified a corner of my soul that enjoyed helping college students jump into the crazy world of software engineering. In the podcast, Dr. White unscores that traditional computer science education has many strengths. The average CS program, however, does not address many critical topics desired by engineering teams. (i.e. working with a cloud provider, engineering software for easy testing, test automation, user centered design, etc.) These gaps become blockers to early stage developers seeking work. I found joy helping connecting these students to address these gaps and connect them with opportunities around AI, web, mobile and open source stuff. In the Google ecosystem, there are tribes of mentors who want to help you become successful.
Growing a community of professionals: For many developer community organizers, we recognize the opportunity and promise of software craftmanship. We live in amazing industry not blocked by atoms and the need of physical source material. In the world of software, you can start a business with a strong concept, persistence, and good habits for incremental learning. In the world of software, you can find a good technology job by becoming a little bit better every day AND connecting with a supportive community. For many, software engineering helps real people feed and elevate themselves and their families. I believe that’s an important mission. I believe our GDG communities hit a high mark in helping professionals to grow and making the experience “excellent.” As GDG organizers, we’re passionate about helping you and your teams become successful with your cloud strategies, mobile/web apps, empower creators with AI and design culture. I have had the blessing of many mentors. Dr. Allen gave me my first Google Cardboard and introduced me to Unity3D. I now work with a wonderful design firm focused on creating learning experiences with virtual and augmented reality. It’s important to remember that small sparks can grow to bigger things. It’s important to give back and grow the next generation. We seek to become sparks for others.
Growing future startups: I continue to believe that small businesses will continue to become our engine of economic growth. The news often paints sad picture of our world as broken. We love to support startups who believe they can meaningfully improve the world and help others become successful too. To that end, I love that Google helps startups become successful through their various growth programs like Google developer groups, women tech makers, startup.google.com and student groups. Google’s learning team has put a lot of care into growing an open learning ecosystem through codelabs.google.com, web.dev/learn, Flutter.dev, kaggle.com/learn and other product guides. Learning becomes more joyful when you can learn as a tribe. Why go solo?
Invite to DevFest Florida
If you’re looking for supportive mentors and a growth oriented meetup community, I extend a warm invite to you to DevFestFlorida.org. Working with my fellow GDG organizers across Tampa, Miami, and Orlando, we’re organizing one of the largest local dev conferences in the south to help you learn and grow. It’s an experience designed by developers for our local developers. DevFest Central Florida is a community-run one-day conference aimed to bring technologists, developers, students, tech companies, and speakers together in one location to learn, discuss and experiment with technology. Lots of hands-on learning and fun.
Consider joinining us for DevFest Florida Orlando.
– WHERE: Seminole State College Wayne M. Densch Partnership Center in Sanford, FL
– WHEN: Oct 14th
– Check out the details on our tracks:
– Cloud and data
Learn more about DevFest Florida Orlando – Oct 14th
Use the following SECRETSALE code to get 10% off tickets