Community leaders upskill themselves and find new roles with Elevate by Google Developers


Posted by Kübra Zengin, GDG North America Regional Lead

Image of participants in a recent Elevate workshop.

The North America Developer Ecosystem team recently hosted Elevate for Google Developer Groups organizers and Women Techmakers Ambassadors in US & Canada. The three-month professional development program met every Wednesday via Google Meet to help tech professionals upskill themselves with workshops on leadership, communication, thinking, and teamwork.

The first cohort of the seminar-style program recently came to a close, with 40+ Google Developer Groups organizers and Women Techmakers Ambassadors participating. Additionally, 18 guest speakers – 89% of whom were underrepresented genders – hosted specialized learning sessions over three months of events.

Elevate is just one example of the specialized applied skills training available to the Google Developer Groups community. As we look ahead to offering Elevate again in 2021, we wanted to share with you some of the key takeaways from the first installment of the program.

What the graduates had to say

From landing new roles at companies like Twitter and Accenture, to negotiating salary raises, the 40 graduates of Elevate have seen many successes. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

“I got a role at Accenture as a software engineer because I used the learnings from Elevate when applying and interviewing for the job. I can’t thank the Google team enough!”

“The interactive workshops truly helped me land my new job at Twitter.”


“After the Elevate trainings on negotiation, I successfully secured a higher salary with my new employer.”

Whether it’s finding new jobs or moving to new countries, Elevate’s graduates have used their new skills to guide their careers towards their passions. Check out a few of the program’s key lessons below:

Bringing your best self to the table

One major focus of the program was to help community leaders develop their own professional identity and confidence by learning communication techniques that would help them stand out and define themselves in the workplace.

Entire learning sessions were dedicated to specific value-adding topics, including:

  • How to use persuasive body language;
  • Finding a networking, presenting, and storytelling voice;
  • The best practices for salary negotiation.

Along with other sessions on growth mindsets, problem solving, and more, attendees gained a deeper understanding of the best ways to present themselves, their ideas, and their worth in a professional setting – an essential ability that many feel has already helped them navigate job markets with more precision.

A team that feels valued brings value

“Who is on a team matters less than how the team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions.”

The advice above, offered by a guest speaker during a teambuilding session, was one of the quotes that resonated with participants the most during the program. The emphasis on how coworkers think of each other and the best ways to build a culture of ownership over a team’s wins and losses embodies the key learnings central to Elevate’s mission.

The program further emphasized this message with learning sessions on:

  • Giving and accepting clear feedback;
  • Bias busting and empathy training in the workplace;
  • Conflict management and resolution.

With these trainings, paired with others on growth mindsets and decision making, Elevate’s participants were able to start analyzing the effectiveness of different work environments on productivity. Through breakout sessions, they quickly realized that the more secure and supported an employee feels, the more willing they are to go the extra mile for their team. Equipped with this new knowledge base, many participants have already started bringing these key takeaways to their own workplaces in an effort to build more inclusive and productive cultures.

Whether it’s finding a new role or improving your applied skills, we can’t wait to see how Google Developer programs can help members achieve their professional goals.

For similar opportunities, find out how to join a Google Developer Group near you, here. And register for upcoming applied skills trainings on the Elevate website, here.

Solve for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals with Google technologies in this year’s Solution Challenge.


Posted by Erica Hanson, Global Program Manager, Google Developer Student Clubs

Solution Challenge image

Created by the United Nations in 2015 to be achieved by 2030, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon by all 193 United Nations Member States aim to end poverty, ensure prosperity, and protect the planet.

Last year brought many challenges, but it also brought a greater spirit around helping each other and giving back to our communities. With that in mind, we invite students around the world to join the Google Developer Student Clubs 2021 Solution Challenge!

If you’re new to the Solution Challenge, it is an annual competition that invites university students to develop solutions for real world problems using one or more Google products or platforms.

This year, see how you can use Android, TensorFlow, Google Cloud, Flutter, or any of your favorite Google technologies to promote employment for all, economic growth, and climate action, by building a solution for one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

What winners of the Solution Challenge receive

Participants will receive specialized prizes at different stages:

  1. The Top 50 teams will receive mentorship from Google and other experts to further work on their projects.
  2. The Top 10 finalists will receive a 1-year subscription to Pluralsight, swag, additional customized mentoring from Google, and a feature in the Google Developers Blog and Demo Day live on YouTube.
  3. The 3 Grand Prize Winners will receive all the prizes included in the Top 10 category along with a Chromebook and a private team meeting with a Google executive.

How to get started on the Solution Challenge

There are four main steps to joining the Solution Challenge and getting started on your project:

  1. Register at goo.gle/solutionchallenge and join a Google Developer Student Club at your college or university. If there is no club at your university, you can join the closest one through the event platform.
  2. Select one or more of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals to solve for.
  3. Build a solution using Google technology.
  4. Create a demo and submit your project by March 31, 2021.

Resources from Google for Solution Challenge participants

Google will provide Solution Challenge participants with various resources to help students build strong projects for their contest submission.

  • Live online sessions with Q&As
  • Mentorship from Google, Google Developer Experts, and the Developer Student Club community
  • Curated codelabs designed by Google Developers
  • Access to Design Sprint guidelines developed by Google Ventures
  • and more!

When are winners announced?

Once all the projects are submitted after the March 31st deadline, judges will evaluate and score each submission from around the world using the criteria listed on the website. From there, winning solutions will be announced in three rounds.

Round 1 (May): The Top 50 teams will be announced.

Round 2 (July): After the top 50 teams submit their new and improved solutions, 10 finalists will be announced.

Round 3 (August): In the finale, the top 3 grand prize winners will be announced live on YouTube during the 2021 Solution Challenge Demo Day.

With a passion for building a better world, savvy coding skills, and a little help from Google, we can’t wait to see the solutions students create.

Learn more and sign up for the 2021 Solution Challenge, here.

Women Techmakers Summit Europe: Supporting Diversity & Inclusion in Tech

Posted By Franziska Hauck and Katharina Lindenthal , Google Developer Relations Europe

Once a year, we invite community organizers and influencers from developer groups that support diversity and inclusion in their local tech ecosystem to the Women Techmakers Summit Europe. The Women Techmakers Summit is designed to provide training opportunities, share best practices, show success stories and build meaningful relationships. The fourth edition of the WTM Summit in Europe took place in Warsaw, one of Europe’s most innovative tech and startup ecosystems.

Such positive energy! All 120 attendees of the WTM Summit Europe 2019Such positive energy! All 120 attendees of the WTM Summit Europe 2019

Expertise from the Community for the Community

The Women Techmakers Summit hosted 120 people, all women and men that are leading tech communities across Europe. With more than half of the sessions being delivered by community influencers, the group came together to share their best practices, learn from each other and discuss all things related to diversity & inclusion. “A fantastic opportunity to meet other community organizers across Europe and learn from each other.”

We also invited role models to draw inspiration and motivation from. Head of Google for Startups, Agnieszka Hryniewicz-Bieniek, and Cloud Engineer, Ewa Maciaś, demonstrated that stepping out of our comfort zone is something we should do more and more. No one has the right answers from the start but by trying out new ways, we can carve our individual paths. Fear of failure is real. It should not keep us from experimenting, though.

Google’s Natalie Villalobos, head of the Women Techmakers program, and Emma Haruka Iwao, record breaker for calculating the most accurate value of Pi with Google Cloud, gave a glimpse into their personal stories. Their insights? Sometimes we need to go through hard times. They equipped us with the right mindset to push through, become your boss and succeed.

This left the attendees with the right motivation to get back to their communities: “This was my first WTM Summit, and it was an incredible experience. I met some amazing ladies and role models, and will be happy to share the inspiration I got with my local community.”

Googler Emma Haruka Iwao sharing her journey to break the world record for calculating the most accurate value of Pi Googler Emma Haruka Iwao sharing her journey to break the world record for calculating the most accurate value of Pi

Building the Basis for Diversity and Inclusion

“Being at the WTM Summit felt like being inside a family. I felt really included like at no conference before.” To make everyone feel welcome, a code of conduct was visible for all attendees, and prayers and parents spaces were provided for all attendees. The itself needed to become the inspiration for community organizers and influencers to carry the learnings back to the communities.

Organizers working together to develop best practices to foster diversity and inclusion in their tech communities Organizers working together to develop best practices to foster diversity and inclusion in their tech communities

Women Techmakers: Changing the Narrative

One of the core elements of Women Techmakers is creating and providing community for women in tech. Women Techmakers Ambassadors thrive diversity and inclusion initiatives in their local tech community to help to bring more women into the industry. In Europe, more than 150 WTM Ambassadors from 25 countries support their local tech communities to close the gap between the number of women and men in the industry. Meetup organizers and community advocates who want to achieve parity can join the Women Techmakers program. As members, they are given the tools and opportunities to change the narrative.

If you are interested in joining the WTM Ambassadors Program, reach out to [email protected]