Google Cloud Onboard 2017

By Pierre Lemerle

One month after the Google Cloud Summit, which was a real success (you can find a summary of that event here), is the follow up event: Google Cloud On Board. Taking place in downtown Stockholm, this was the perfect next step in the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) world, a fantastic opportunity for Diabol to “get started” with four of our consultants attending the event. Even if three times smaller than “Summit” once again the event reached full capacity with 500 persons registered.

To be precise, 464 persons joined the training sessions and slightly less at the very end of this really intense event. Trying to introduce all the different tools and concepts available on GCP, the event was made up of the eight following modules of 1h each:

  • Introducing Google Cloud Platform
  • Getting Started with GCP: Projects and Products
  • GCP Infrastructure as a Service: Google Compute Engine
  • Containers on GCP: Google Container Engine
  • GCP Platform as a Service: Google App Engine
  • Storage Options on GCP: Cloud Storage, SQL and more!
  • GCP Big Data: BigQuery, DataFlow and Pub/Sub
  • Machine Learning APIs on GCP: Vision, Translate and more!

I am personally satisfied with this program and I think that on this aspect the event clearly succeeded to give us a full overview of GCP. To be fair, I also know from discussions that some attendees were disappointed to have only 1h on the really wide “Machine Learning” topic, for example. But regarding all the aspects I think that this schedule was well balanced and covered a little bit of everything. 

To illustrate these modules, 316 slides covering all the different tools and concepts available on GCP but also playing few videos. Usually on a funny tone (look for Google gnome or the self driving bike) they were giving a good illustration of the Google way of thinking. As they say themselves: “People say, the sky’s the limit… We think bigger”. Another thing that I appreciated is that these slides were almost always providing some link to more detailed online documentations and sometimes even available tutorials for people who wish to go further in a specific topic.

Above all the day was full of live demonstrations. Starting with the networking and security features with some basic demonstrations on how to generate private keys to secure access,  until the Machine Learning APIs with a high level demonstration on how to aggregate and interpret taxi ride’s data. All of these modules were mainly made of demonstrations which I think everyone really appreciated even if the “demonstration gods” were not always on Jerry Jalava’s side (our trainer for the day) as he mentioned himself.

Skipping on the difficulty to interact and ask questions as it is quite understandable regarding the full schedule and number of attendees, I would point out one negative aspect of this event: most of the content in the slides, at least the theoretical content, were the same as the online GCP fundamentals course (available on Coursera https://www.coursera.org/learn/gcp-fundamentals/home/welcome ) That I already did some time ago by myself.

In the past month, I have had the opportunity to start working on Google Cloud for Diabol so in my case this event was something I was looking forward to. It gave me some much needed feedback and a lot of small ideas to investigate further on my own. For example, from a Continuous Delivery aspect, I am quite interested in trying the Google Cloud Deployment Manager, to provide repeatable deployments through yaml files. Examples like this are very applicable to Diabol’s core business and makes participating events like this a great use of time.

Pierre Lemerle

Continuous Delivery Consultant

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