Google Dev Library Letter: 17th Edition

Posted by the Dev Library Team

We are highlighting the best projects developed with Google technologies that have been shared on the Google Dev Library platform. We hope this will spark some inspiration for your next project.

Android – Content of the Month

Transformers by Daichi Furiya

See the Android transformation library providing a variety of image transformations for Coil, Glide, Picasso, and Fresco.

Camposer by Lucas Yuji Yoshimine

Learn how the camera library in Jetpack Compose which supports taking photos, recording videos, flash modes, zoom ratio, and more.

Read more on DevLibrary

ChatGPT Android by Jaewoong Eum

Integrate ChatGPT on Android with Stream Chat SDK for Compose.

Read more on DevLibrary

Read More

Introducing the Earth Engine Google Developer Experts (GDEs)

Posted by Tyler Erickson, Developer Advocate, Google Earth Engine

One of the greatest things about Earth Engine is the vibrant community of developers who openly share their knowledge about the platform and how it can be used to address real-world sustainability issues. To recognize some of these exceptional community members, in 2022 we launched the initial cohort of Earth Engine Google Developer Experts (GDEs). You can view the current list of Earth Engine GDEs on the GDE Directory page.

Moving 3D image of earth rotating showing locations of members belonging to the initial cohort of Earth Engine GDEs
The initial cohort of Earth Engine Google Developer Experts.
What makes an Earth Engine expert? Earth Engine GDEs are selected based on their expertise in the Earth Engine product (of course), but also for their knowledge sharing. They share their knowledge in many ways, including answering questions from other developers, writing tutorials and blogs, teaching in settings spanning from workshops to university classes, organizing meetups and conference sessions that allow others to share their work, building extensions to the platform, and so much more!

To learn more about the Google Developer Experts program and the Earth Engine GDEs, go to https://developers.google.com/community/experts.

Now that it is 2023, we are re-opening the application process for additional Earth Engine GDEs. If you’re interested in being considered, you can find information about the process in the GDE Program Application guide.

GDE Digital badge logo - Earth

Solution Challenge 2023: Use Google Technologies to Address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

Posted by Rachel Francois, Google Developer Student Clubs, Global Program Manager

Each year, the Google Developer Student Clubs Solution Challenge invites university students to develop solutions for real-world problems using one or more Google products or platforms. How could you use Android, Firebase, TensorFlow, Google Cloud, Flutter, or any of your favorite Google technologies to promote employment for all, economic growth, and climate action?

Join us to build solutions for one or more of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These goals were agreed upon in 2015 by all 193 United Nations Member States and aim to end poverty, ensure prosperity, and protect the planet by 2030.

One 2022 Solution Challenge participant said, “I love how it provides the opportunity to make a real impact while pursuing undergraduate studies. It helped me practice my expertise in a real-world setting, and I built a project I can proudly showcase on my portfolio.”

Solution Challenge prizes

Participants will receive specialized prizes at different stages:

  • The top 100 teams receive customized mentorship from Google and experts to take solutions to the next level, branded swag, and a certificate.
  • The top 10 finalists receive additional mentorship, a swag box, and the opportunity to showcase their solutions to Google teams and developers all around the world during the virtual 2023 Solution Challenge Demo Day, live on YouTube.
  • Contest finalists – In addition to the swag box, each individual from the seven teams not in the top three will receive a Cash Prize of $1,000 per student. Winnings for each qualifying team will not exceed $4,000.
  • Top 3 winners – In addition to the swag box, each individual from the top 3 winning teams will receive a Cash Prize of $3,000 and a feature on the Google Developers Blog. Winnings for each qualifying team will not exceed $12,000
 

Joining the Solution Challenge

There are four steps to join the Solution Challenge and get 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 our event platform.
  2. Select one or more of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals to address.
  3. Build a solution using Google technology.
  4. Create a demo and submit your project by March 31, 2023. 

    Google Resources for Solution Challenge participants

    Google will support Solution Challenge participants with resources to help students build strong projects, including:

    • Live online sessions with Q&As
    • Mentorship from Google, Google Developer Experts, and the Google Developer Student Club community
    • Curated Codelabs designed by Google Developers
    • Access to Design Sprint guidelines developed by Google Ventures
    • and more!
    “During the preparation and competition, we learned a great deal,” said a 2022 Solution Challenge team member. “That was part of the reason we chose to participate in this competition: the learning opportunities are endless.”

    Winner announcement dates

    Once all projects are submitted, our panel of judges will evaluate and score each submission using specific criteria.

    After that, winners will be announced in three rounds.

    Round 1 (April): The top 100 teams will be announced.

    Round 2 (June): After the top 100 teams submit their new and improved solutions, 10 finalists will be announced.

    Round 3 (August): The top 3 grand prize winners will be announced live on YouTube during the 2023 Solution Challenge Demo Day.

    We can’t wait to see the solutions you create with your passion for building a better world, coding skills, and a little help from Google technologies.

    Learn more and sign up for the 2023 Solution Challenge here.

    I got the time to push my creativity to the next level. It helped me attain more information from more knowledgeable people by expanding my network. Working together and building something was a great challenge and one of the best experiences, too. I liked the idea of working on the challenge to present a solution.

    ~2022 Solution Challenge participant

    From GDSC Lead to Flutter developer: Lenz Paul’s journey

    Posted by Kübra Zengin, North America Regional Lead, Google Developers

    Switching careers at age 30, after eight years on the job, is a brave thing to do. Lenz Paul spent eight years working in sales at Bell, a large Canadian telecommunications company. During that time, he found his interest sparked by the technology solutions that helped him do his job more effectively. He decided to follow his passion and switch careers to focus on engineering.

    “I found I had a knack for technology and was curious about it,” he says. “Sales has so many manual processes, and I always proposed tech solutions and even learned a little programming to make my daily life easier.”

    At 30, Lenz entered Vancouver Island University in Canada to pursue a computer science degree.

    Becoming a GDSC Lead

    When his department chair, Gara Pruesse, emailed students about the opportunity to start and lead a Google Developer Student Club at the university, Lenz jumped at the chance and applied. He was selected to be the GDSC Vancouver Island University lead in 2019 and led the group for a year. He hoped to meet more technology enthusiasts and to use the programming skills he was learning in his courses to help other students who wanted to learn Google technologies.

    “It was my first year at university, starting in the technology field as a career transition, and I was hoping to network,” Lenz recalls. “I read the [GDSC] description about sharing knowledge and thought this would be a way to use the skills I was learning in school practically, meet people, and impact my community.”

    As part of his role as a GDSC lead, Lenz used Google workshops, Google Cloud Skills Boost, and codelabs to learn Google Cloud and Flutter outside of class. Google provided Cloud credits to GDSC Vancouver Island University, which Lenz shared with his seven core team members, so they could all try new tools and figure out how to teach their fellow students to use them. Then, they taught the rest of the student club how to use Google technologies. They also hosted two Google engineers on-site as speakers.

    “GDSC helped me with personal skills, soft skills, such as public speaking and leadership,” Lenz says. “The highlight was that I learned a lot about Google Cloud technologies, by holding workshops and delivering content.”

    Working for Google’s Tech Equity Collective

    Following his GDSC experience, Lenz worked as a contractor for Google’s Tech Equity Collective, which focuses on improving diversity in tech. Lenz tutored a group of 20 students for about six weeks before being promoted to an instructor role and then becoming the lead teacher for Google Cloud technologies.

    “My GDSC experience really helped me shine in my teaching role,” Lenz says. “I was already very familiar with Google Cloud, due to the many workshops I organized and taught for my GDSC, so it was easy to adapt it for my TEC class.”

    Becoming a Flutter developer

    Lenz began using Flutter in 2019, when the technology was just two years old. He points out that there is nobody in the world with ten years of experience in Flutter; it’s relatively new for everyone.

    “I love the ecosystem, and it was a great time to get started with it,” he says. “It’s such a promising technology.”

    Lenz says Dart, Flutter’s programming language, is a powerful, modern, object-oriented language with C-style syntax that’s easy to learn and easy to use.

    “Dart is clean, easy to scale, can support any size project, and it has the backing of Google,” Lenz says. “It’s a great language for building scripts or server apps. It allows for building mobile apps, web apps, and desktop apps, and it even supports embedded devices via the Flutter Framework.”

    Lenz used Google Cloud Skills Boost and Google codelabs to learn Flutter and is now a full-time Flutter developer.

    “I’m excited about the future of Flutter and Dart,” he says. “I think Flutter is going to continue to be a big player in the app development space and can’t wait to see what the Flutter team comes up with next.”

    In August 2022, CMiC (Computer Methods International Corporation) in Toronto, a construction ERP software company, hired Lenz as a full-time Flutter developer. He’s a Level 2 software engineer. CMiC builds enterprise-grade apps using Flutter for iOS, Android and web from a single code base. Flutter also helped him further his understanding of Google Cloud. As he used Flutter and learned more about backend services and how they communicate with frontend apps, he increased his knowledge of Google Cloud.

    While learning Flutter, Lenz built several apps using Firebase backend as a service (BaaS) because Firebase provides many Flutter plugins that are easy to integrate into your apps, such as authentication, storage, and analytics.

    “Firebase will help you get your app up and running quickly and easily,” says Lenz. “I also used Firebase app distribution to share the apps while I was developing them, which allowed me to quickly get feedback from testers without having to go through the app stores.”

    Lenz encourages new developers looking to advance in their careers to try out Google Cloud Skills Boost, codelabs, six-month certificates, and technical development guide.

    “The experience I gained as a GDSC lead and at Google’s Tech Equity Collective prepared me for my software engineer role at CMIC in Toronto, Canada, and I thank GDSC for my current and future opportunities,” Lenz says.

    What’s next for Lenz

    Right now, Lenz is focused on mastering his full-time role, so he’s pacing himself with regard to other commitments. He wants to make an impact and to recruit other Canadians to the technology field. The Tech Equity Collective’s mission is amazing and aligns with his values of enabling community and sharing knowledge. He’d like to continue to participate in something that would align with these values.

    “It’s the greatest feeling when I can make a difference,” he says.

    If you’re a student and would like to join a Google Developer Student Club community, look for a chapter near you here. Interested in becoming a GDSC lead like Lenz? Visit this page for more information. Don’t have a GDSC at your university, but want to start one? Visit the program page to learn more.

    Meet Android Developers from India keen to learn and inspire

    Posted by Vishal Das, Community Manager

    This year the Google Developer Educators India team launched the “Android Learn and Inspire Series” for Android Developers who were eager to learn Jetpack Compose and inspire others to upskill. Meet the developers who completed the series and hosted workshops on Jetpack Compose to find out their motivation to teach others!

    Alankrita Shah, Lead Android Developer, Bolo Live

    How did you get started with Android Development?

    My journey with Android started back in my 3rd year of my undergraduate studies. I got an internship in a startup where I learned to develop an application that lets users watch videos. It was a simple application but that helped me start exploring android development. I was always in awe of the capabilities of Android applications.

    What keeps you motivated to learn and stay up to date ?

    In Android development, there are frequent updates that help developers write fast and efficient code. Keeping up with it would help build good quality products. Becoming part of communities where you can discuss and share best practices is an interesting way to learn and grow.

    Which method of knowledge sharing did you find most effective?

    I experimented with a few methods in the Android Learn and Inspire series. There are a few that I found quite effective.

    • Adding some fun activities helps in bringing energy to the session. You can put up some fun activities that will include the learnings of the session in a fun way.
    • Write up for the topic covered : Post the session, you can share a blog and/or code for the same. The members can access it if they want to revisit what they learned.”


    Amardeep Kumar, Android Engineer, Walmart

    How did you get started with Android Development?

    I completed my Engineering in Information Technology from Siliguri Institute of Technology back in 2011. I was one of those unlucky 10% of students who graduated without any job offer. After a few months of struggle, I got a job offer from a company called Robosoft (this time I was one of the 3 selected out of 2,000+ candidates). Hence, I started as an Android developer from day 1 of joining Robosoft from the Honeycomb and Ice cream sandwich.

    What keeps you motivated to learn and share?

    One thing was consistent in my Android journey and that was connecting with good Android developers. BlrDroid, GDG Bangalore, Udacity Nanodegree and the Android community helped me to connect with people and learn every day. Solving tech problems and Android tech discussions are part of daily life. I like to develop Android apps because of its reach in countries like India. Open source is also one of the reasons to love Android. I got trained in my first job from my seniors on Android and that motivated me to share my Android knowledge in the community.

    Which method of knowledge sharing did you find most effective?

    One tip I would like to share is let’s bring those good engineers in Android who are expert in solving Android problems but shy in sharing knowledge.

    Dev Library Letters: 16th Issue

    Posted by the Dev Library Team

    Welcome to the 16th Issue! Our monthly newsletter curates some of the best projects developed with Google tech that have been submitted to the Google Dev Library platform.  We hope this brings you the inspiration you need for your next project!

        Content of the month

    How to exclude stylesheets from the bundle and lazy load them in Angular

    by Dharmen Shah

    Learn how to load stylesheets only when needed without making them part of an application bundle.

        Check out content from Google Cloud, Angular, Android, ML, & Flutter


    Android

    • Check out this Android library that offers dialogs and views for various use cases built with Jetpack Compose for Compose projects by Maximilian Keppeler.

    • Learn how to create and publish your own Android Library with JitPack by Matteo Macri.

    Angular

    • Dive into into composition and inheritance in Angular by Dany Paredes featuring an example focused on forms that highlights why you should be careful using inheritance in components.

    • Read “Angular dependency injection understood” by Jordi Riera to gain a broader perspective of how it works, why it is important, and how to leverage it inside angular.

    Cloud

    • Learn how Iris automatically assigns labels to Google Cloud resources for manageability and easier billing reporting in this post by Joshua Fox.

    • Check out Glen Yu’s hack for those in regions without access to native replication in “Pulumi DIY GCS replication” – some of these solutions will require understanding of the fundamental building blocks that make up the Google Cloud Platform.

    Flutter

    • Learn how to make Flutter projects scalable by using a modularization approach in R. Rifa Fauzi Komara’s article, “Flutter: mastering modularization”.

    • Check out Let’s Draw by Festus Olusegun, a simple app made with Flutter that enables users to draw art with freehand, line, and shape tools.

    • Explore how to use Cubits from the Bloc library to manage states and get the benefits and drawbacks of this approach in Verena Zaiser’s article.

    Machine Learning

    • Get an overview on Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs, ConvNets), why they matter, and how to use them in Henry Ndubuaku’s tutorial, “Applying CNNs to images for computer vision and text for NLP”.

    • See why you should add deep learning framework Jax to your stack and get an intro to writing and training your own neural networks with Flax in this introduction tutorial by Phillip Lippe.

    Want to read more? 
    Check out the latest projects and community-authored content by visiting Google Dev Library.
    Submit your projects to showcase your work and inspire developers!

    A Decade of Kick Start

    Posted by Julia DeLorenzo, Program Manager, Coding Competitions

    Kick Start is celebrating 10 years! Kick Start is a great tool for newcomers looking to grow their competitive programming skills. Whether you’re brand new to coding competitions or a programmer who is looking to level up, there is something for everyone.

    If you haven’t heard, Kick Start is a global coding competition made up of online rounds consisting of fun algorithmic and mathematical programming challenges. Participants can partake in any or all of the rounds throughout the season, because there are no eliminations!

    When Kick Start launched in 2013, it was a regional competition in Asia that consisted of only 3 rounds and 13 problems. Today, Kick Start has grown into a global competition with more than 110,000 participants, 8 rounds, and 32 Googler-created problems (that’s 32 chances to grow your skills!).

    In 2020, Kick Start piloted a new program called Coding Practice with Kick Start, which is a great option for those newer to competitive programming who want to gain familiarity with coding competitions, and in 2022 introduced this program to Coding Competition’s global audience. 

    Coding Practice with Kick Start is a series of multi-day practice sessions held throughout the season that allow participants to get familiar with the Kick Start platform and problems in their own time. There is no timer or scoreboard and starter code is provided. At the end of the practice session we share detailed solution walkthrough videos to help you learn how to solve the problems.

    Kick Start is powered by a passionate Program Manager, a dedicated core team made up of 20% engineers, and nearly 1,200 amazing Google volunteers who write and test the problems our participants see each season! Hear from the team below:

    Lizzie Sapiro Santor, Kick Start Program Manager 


    Lizzie Sapiro Santor, headshot, smiling
    “I was initially introduced to competitions through Code Jam when I became the coordinator back in 2014. I really enjoyed being part of the team and learning about the competitive programming space. It was different from any type of program I’ve ever planned, as it was fast paced, challenging, constantly evolving and super exciting. After a few years planning local tech events, in 2017, I didn’t stay away for long because I became the Program Manager for Kick Start, formerly known as Code Jam Kickstart. Kick Start was founded in APAC and in partnership with the local University programs team, I was able to scale the competition globally, so anyone around the world could partake.

    My favorite thing about Kick Start is the people. After 5+ years of being involved with this competition, I’ve enjoyed working and meeting so many passionate, intelligent and creative people. I love to hear stories from participants about how Kick Start has helped them in their career, University, or coding journey. It’s fun to meet people face to face at local practice events or world finals. I also appreciate working with the Kick Start engineering team, who helps me host Kick Start. Without them, the competition would not be possible and I so admire all their hard work and inventiveness, ensuring a high quality competition for our users.

    My best piece of advice to folks looking to improve their competitive programming skills is to keep practicing! It’s so important to keep trying out past problems when you have down time and participating in upcoming rounds. That’s why we host rounds throughout the year, so you have a lot of chances to practice and improve. I hear so many people say “I didn’t do well, so I am not going to participate again.” And I really encourage you to not to be discouraged and keep going. Coding Practice with Kick Start is a great way to keep practicing. This multi-day practice session provides you with resources, 24/7 Google support, starter code, and detailed problem walkthrough videos. We will host three sessions throughout the 2023 season, so I definitely encourage you to join the practice sessions to grow those skills and prepare for the next Kick Start round.”

    Bartosz Kostka, Software Developer and Kick Start volunteer 

    Bartosz Kostka, headshot, smiling
    “I was always interested in competitive programming. As a student I tried my luck in Code Jam from 2013 (but sadly I never advanced to the World Finals). I participated in Kick Start when it became a global competition (in 2017). I was also a Hash Code finalist. During my internship at Google in 2019 I proposed my first problem Parcels, which was later used in Kick Start 2019 Round A. I always knew that I wanted to continue being involved in Coding Competitions, so when I joined Google again as a full-time employee in 2020 I became a member of the team running Kick Start.

    I like the educational aspect of this contest. A lot of people that I talked with who participated in Kick Start, felt that it helped them learn new things and advance in their careers – and that is all without huge pressure. Kick Start has a very friendly atmosphere as we have multiple rounds in which we don’t eliminate people so everyone can participate in as many rounds as they want. We also try to make sure that everyone will find something for themselves. For example, we launched Coding Practice with Kick Start to cater to people that want to start their journey with competitive programming. We want to make these first steps as easy and enjoyable as possible.

    My biggest piece of advice is to never give up! Even if you fail, you learn something new that will surely help you in the future. And whenever you are ready, join us in one of the Kick Start rounds!”

    Stay Tuned

    Over the next few weeks, keep an eye on the blog – we’ll be spotlighting each of Google’s Coding Competitions in a series of blog posts to help you understand the ins and outs of each competition. Code Jam is up next! In the meantime, learn more about Kick Start at g.co/kickstart. Registration for the 2023 season will open on February 1, 2023.

    Developer Journey: December 2022

    Posted by Lyanne Alfaro, DevRel Program Manager, Google Developer Studio

    Developer Journey is a new monthly series to spotlight diverse and global developers sharing relatable challenges, opportunities, and wins in their journey. Every month, we will spotlight developers around the world, the Google tools they leverage, and the kind of products they are building.

    In December, we are continuing our #DevJourney by providing members of our community with a platform to share their stories through our social platforms. This month, it’s our pleasure to feature three members spanning products, including Google Developer Experts. Enjoy reading through their entries below and be on the lookout on social media platforms, where we will also showcase their work.












    Carlos Azaustre

    GDE, Web Technologies

    Madrid, Spain

    YouTube: youtube.com/@CarlosAzaustre

    What Google tools have you used?

    I usually work as a web frontend developer. My principal tool is JavaScript as a programming language using some frameworks. Due to my job, I work with React.js and in the past, I’ve worked with AngularJS. And one of my favorite Google technologies is Firebase. I’m a heavy user of Firebase Authentication, Cloud Firestore as Database, and Cloud Functions for making Serverless web apps.

    Which tool has been your favorite to use? Why?

    I love Firebase because its services allow me to have the functionalities of a backend without the need of a lot of configuration. I’m a primary frontend developer, so the backend is not one of my great skills. Firebase makes it so easy to have a Serverless Backend with all the services that they provide year by year. The last update on Firebase Hosting makes the platform powerful.

    Please share something you have built in the past using Google tools.

    I built the frontend of my past startup using Angular, and some Firebase Services, Auth, and Database mainly.

    What advice would you give someone starting in their developer journey?

    My principal advice is to not give up. Some days you can feel frustrated or like an imposter, but it is okay. I used to feel this way every day. Celebrate your small wins and focus on the big picture on your journey.
















    Loiane Groner

    GDE, Angular

    Davenport, FL

    Twitter: @loiane

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@loianegroner

    What Google tools have you used?

    I’ve been working as a software developer for over 15 years. Throughout my journey, I had the opportunity to develop hybrid mobile apps for the Android platform, but my expertise lies in full-stack development, especially using Angular. I’ve also created projects that use Firebase and Google Cloud services, such as CloudRun.

    Which tool has been your favorite to use? Why?

    I’m very passionate about Angular. Given my Java background, I enjoyed learning Angular with TypeScript, and it felt very familiar. Angular makes it easier to develop complex frontend applications as it’s a complete framework. It provides tools such as the Angular CLI to scaffold a project quickly, create components, services and other file types, and build the project for production deployment. It does not matter if you are building an extensive application or micro-fronts; Angular has you covered with whatever you need. I like Angular Material for the UI part, which provides modern UI components and accessibility features. And last but not least, Firebase. Firebase is a great platform, from hosting web applications to providing direct access to a real-time database and secure authentication, and fast-tracking project development.

    Please share something you’ve built in the past using Google tools.

    Besides the applications I’ve developed at work, I’ve built a training portal using Angular, Angular Material, and Firebase. This training portal collates all the free courses I host on Youtube in Portuguese, and students can track what lessons they’ve watched. And at the end of the training, they get a certificate of completion so they can use the hours and present at the university or their employer. I’ve passed the 100k students mark, and it’s incredible how easy it is to scale a project in Firebase, from hosting capabilities to access to Firestore. Even with more than 100k users, it costs less than a fast food meal (monthly)!

    What advice would you give someone starting in their developer journey?

    Be a part of a community. The beauty of working in tech is that we have amazing people willing to help!

    Although seeing so many different technologies and acronyms might be scary, don’t worry about learning everything immediately. Focus on understanding the basics so that you can have a strong foundation. Also, focus on one topic at a time; once you’re done with that topic, incrementally add new concepts or learn the next topic on your list.

    And finally, in tech, we’re students eternally. So always be curious.












    Merve Noyan

    GDE, Machine Learning

    Paris, France

    Twitter: @mervenoyann

    What Google tools have you used?

    Tools within the TensorFlow ecosystem.

    Which tool has been your favorite to use? Why?

    TensorFlow with Keras. It’s very easy to build machine learning models and take them to production using TensorFlow Extended!

    Please share something you have built in the past using Google tools.

    I’ve built an information retrieval model using TensorFlow Keras and Hugging Face Transformers. It was used to extract information from academic papers to automate a repetitive task for researchers.

    What advice would you give someone starting in their developer journey?

    They should find the nearest Google Developers community. It helps you grow and meet other developers using the same stack as you do.

    Lynn Langit: Turning a passion for learning into online courses viewed by millions

    Posted by Kevin Hernandez, Developer Relations Community Manager

    Lynn Langit is not only a Cloud GDE – she’s one of the first ever GDEs to join the program. Despite joining the GDE program early after its establishment, she got a relatively late start with development. Lynn is a self-taught developer that started coding when she was 38 years old – before we had the advent of online educational resources that we do today. To teach herself how to code, she relied on certifications and books and went to her local electronics store to buy equipment to build her own server. Through this process, she found that she was a talented developer and became inspired to try her hand at teaching. She started out with teaching basic topics such as user applications. Today she has 28 Cloud courses on LinkedIn and has an audience of 5 million students. With this immense reach, Lynn runs into her students at various conferences around the world and has even had students recognize her from her voice. She mentions,“Before the pandemic, I used to travel and work globally and it was so gratifying to meet all my students because they would want to come and talk to me. It was incredible to meet students from all over the world.”

    Getting into teaching

    When Lynn left her corporate job, she started her own consultancy in 2011 with two ideas: technical teaching and building. She started out in a classroom with these two ideas but as traditional learning started to usher in a new era of online learning, Lynn followed suit and started to put her lessons on YouTube. This caught the attention of Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning) where she was asked to become an author.

    Teaching has proven to be rewarding in several ways. It allows Lynn to have an impact on learners interested in Cloud and dive deeper into topics she’s interested in, all while getting paid for her academic pursuits and instructing. She states, “I can’t say I’m an expert in all the services, but I know a lot of the services across all the Clouds. So while I’m learning, I might as well teach and get paid for it.”

    Choosing lessons

    Lynn is in the constant pursuit for knowledge and in the ever-changing world of Cloud, there is always something new to learn or teach and in Lynn’s case, both. “Oftentimes I’ll create a course in something that I am genuinely interested in that doesn’t have an existing course. It’s so that I can focus my energies, learn it, and then teach it,” she adds. A recent example is with a book club she led last year in quantum computing. “I’m just really taking baby steps into it and as part of that, I started exploring the vendor Cloud quantum offerings. Then I decided to share that as a course,” she says.

    She also mentions that there is a preconceived notion that online content has to be super polished. She believes it’s important to put your lessons out there and more importantly, to learn together. “We’re one community and we need to share when we discover something,” she observed.

    Teaching style

    Every instructor has their own teaching style and for Lynn, her brand is a conversational style of instruction. Very much like our interview, her lessons feel as if she’s talking to the audience one-on-one. This is in part by design – Lynn doesn’t write a script and she imagines someone sitting across from her. She can also sprinkle in some useful case studies from her consultancy work and can draw from some real-world examples.

    When asked about effective educators, Lynn says, “Don’t be a jerk. The point is not to show how smart you are. The point is to communicate information that you have found useful, that you think other people will find useful and in a way they can understand.”

    Advice for educating online

    Lynn has met a lot of educators in her career and has had the fortune of being able to see published and unpublished content. One thing she noticed is that the problem with a lot of content is that it just simply doesn’t see the light of the day. Some content creators feel as if there is a missing piece or their content needs to be ultra polished but Lynn’s advice is to just click “publish”. She also notes that this can be attributed to imposter syndrome, which shows emotional intelligence, but as a counterpoint she advises, “There’s value in the learning, not just the result. That is probably the biggest insight I’ve gained over my years because I always thought you just had to show polished content.” Lynn believes that your audience wants to go along with you on your journey and since people are busy, they think of you as a curator of knowledge.

    She also advises to start small. She is particularly fond of “snack-sized” pieces of content such as the short-form articles on Dev.to. These “snacks” are easier to produce and in reality, it’s easier on the audience. She says, “It’s funny because people want to make a course but this is not a Hollywood movie, I am sorry to break it to you, but people are not going to be rapturously glued to your screen for two hours no matter who you are. So just make little snacks.” If you find something interesting, just put it out there. Over time, as you get practice, you can start to produce longer-form content.

    Advice for GDEs

    Lynn offers valuable advice to any present or future GDE. She encourages, “Really get to know the GDEs. We’re all kind of doing the same thing and just jump right in. The bar is high to become a GDE and it’s a great community that I’ve learned a lot from.” There is a wealth of knowledge offered by your community. Maybe you’ll learn how to create an Android app, build a ML model, or build an online course with the guidance of Lynn. Just jump right in.

    You can check out Lynn’s LinkedIn courses or find her on LinkedIn or Substack.

    The Google Developer Experts (GDE) program is a global network of highly experienced technology experts, influencers, and thought leaders who actively support developers, companies, and tech communities by speaking at events and publishing content.

    Dev Library Letters: 15th Issue

    Posted by Garima Mehra, Program Manager

    Our monthly newsletter curates some of the best projects developed with Google tech that have been submitted to the Google Dev Library platform. We hope this brings you the inspiration you need for your next project!

    Content of the month

    Check out our shortlisted Content from Google Cloud, Angular, Android, & Flutter

    Google Cloud

    Solve the common question, “who parked their car in my spot?” with this clever tutorial.

    Designing a data schema 

    by Mustapha Adekunle

    Better understand what aspects come into consideration when designing a data schema.
    Learn how to set up aggregated logging in an organization that has VPC Service Controls and find a Terraform module that lets you automate the setup for your own Google Cloud infrastructure.

    Explore how to generate accurate business forecasts at a large scale using state of the art ML capabilities on the Google Cloud Platform.

    Angular


    Understand how to implement the Compound Component Pattern in Angular using Dependency Injection and Content Projection to create an excellent API for your components.

    Android


    Design patterns and architecture: The Android Developer roadmap — Part 4 

    by Jaewoong Eum
    Check out the 2022 Android Developer Roadmap- a multi-part series covering important Android fundamentals like Languages, App Manifest, App Components, Android Jetpack, and more.

    Geofencing:boost your digital campaign 

    by Veronica Putri Anggraini

    Read this fun application of geofencing to manage the dilemma of where to eat lunch based on which restaurant has the best deal.

    Flutter


    Data structures with Dart: Set 

    by Daria Orlova

    Get over your fear of data structures and algorithms with this helpful and snappy how-to focused on the Set.


    Want to read more?
    Check out the latest projects and community-authored content by visiting Google Dev Library.
    Submit your projects to showcase your work and inspire developers!


    Experts share insights on Firebase, Flutter and the developer community

    Posted by Komal Sandhu – Global Program Manager, Google Developer Groups

    Rich Hyndman, Manager, Firebase DevRel (left) and Eric Windmill, Developer Relations Engineer, Firebase and Flutter (right)

    Firebase and Flutter offer many tools that ‘just work’, which is something that all apps need. I think you’d be hard pressed to find another combination of front end framework and back end services that let developers make apps quickly without sacrificing quality.” 

    moving images of Sparky and Dart, respective mascots for Firebase and Flutter
    Among the many inspiring experts in the developer communities for Firebase and Flutter are Rich Hyndman and Eric Windmill. Each Googler serves their respective product team from the engineering and community sides and has a keen eye towards the future. Read on to see their outlook on their favorite Firebase and Flutter tools and the developers that inspire them.

    ===

    What is your title, and how long have you been at Google?

    Rich: I run Firebase Developer Relations,, I’ve been at Google for around 11 years

    Eric: I’m an engineer on the Flutter team and I’ve been at Google for a year.


    Tell us about yourself:

    Rich: I’ve always loved tech, from techy toys as a kid to anything that flies. I still get tech-joy when I see new gadgets and devices. I built and raced drones for a while, but mobile/cell phones are the ultimate gadget for me and enabled my career.

    Eric: I’m a software engineer, and these days I’m specifically a Developer Relations Engineer. I’m not surprised I’ve ended up here, as I like to joke “I like computers but I like people more.” Outside of work, most of my time is spent thinking about music. I’m pretty poor at playing music, but I’ve always consumed as much as I could. If I had to choose a different job and start over, I’d be a music journalist.

    How did you get started in this space?

    Rich: I’ve always loved mobile apps: being able to carry my work in my pocket, play with it, test it, demo it, and be proud of it. From the beginning of my career right up till today, it’s still the best. I worked on a few mobile projects pre-Android and was part of an exciting mobile tech startup for a few years, but it was Android that really kick-started my career.

    I quickly fell in love with the little green droid and the entire platform, and through a combination of meetups, competition entries and conferences I ended up in contact with Android DevRel at Google.

    Firebase is a natural counterpart to Android and I love being able to support developers from a different angle. Firebase also supports Flutter, Web and iOS, Firebase, which has also given me the opportunity to learn more about other platforms and meet more developers.

    Eric: I got into this space by accident. At my first software job, the company was already using Dart for their web application, and started rebuilding their mobile apps in Flutter soon after I joined. I think that was around 2016 or 2017. Flutter was still in its Alpha stage. I was introduced to Firebase at the same job, and I’ve used various tools from the Firebase SDK ever since.

    What are some challenges that you have seen developers being facing?

    Rich: Developers often want to get up and running with new projects quickly, but then iterate and improve their apps. No-code solutions can be great to start with but aren’t flexible enough down the road. A lower-code solution like Firebase can be quick to get started, and it can also provide control. Bringing Flutter and Firebase together creates a powerful and flexible combination.

    Eric: Regardless of the technology, I think the biggest challenge developers face is actually with documentation. It doesn’t matter how good a product is if the docs are hard to find or hard to understand. We’ve seen this ourselves recently as Flutter became an “official” supported platform on Firebase in May 2022. When that happened, we moved the documentation from the Flutter site to the Firebase site, and folks didn’t know how to find the docs. It was an oversight on our part, but it’s a good example of the importance of docs. They deserve way more attention than they get in many, many cases.

    image of Sparky and Dart, respective mascots for Firebase and Flutter

    What do you think is the most interesting or useful resource to learn more about Firebase & Flutter? Is there a particular library or codelab that everyone should learn?

    Rich: The official docs have to be first, located at firebase.google.com. We have a great repository of Learning Pathways, including Add Firebase to your Flutter App. We’re also just launching our new Solutions Portal with over 60 solutions guides indexed already.

    Eric: If I have to name only one resource, it’d be this codelab: Get to know Firebase for Flutter
    But Firebase offers so many tools. This codelab is just an introduction to what’s possible.

    What are some inspiring ways that developers are building together Firebase and Flutter?

    Rich: We’ve had an interesting couple of years at Firebase. Firebase has always been known for powering real-time data driven apps. If you used a Covid stats app during the pandemic there’s a fair chance it was running on Firebase; there was a big surge of new apps.

    Eric: Lately I’ve seen an interest in using Flutter to make 2D games, and using some Firebase tools for the back end of the game. I love this. Games are just more fun than apps, of course, but it’s also great to see folks using these technologies in ways that aren’t the explicit purposes. It shows creativity and excellent problem solving.

    What’s a specific use case of Firebase & Flutter technology that excites you?

    Rich: Firebase Extensions are very exciting. They are pre-packaged bundles of code that make it easy to add new features to your app from Google and partners like Stripe and Vonage. We just launched the Extensions Marketplace and opened up the ability for developers to build extensions for their own apps through our Provider Alpha program.

    Eric: Flutter web and Firebase hosting is just a no brainer. You can deploy a Flutter app to the web in no time.

    How can developers be successful building on Firebase & Flutter?

    Rich: There’s a very powerful combination with Crashlytics, Performance Monitoring, A/B Testing and Remote Config. Developers can quickly improve the stability of their apps whilst also iterating on features to deliver the best experience for their users. We’ve had a lot of success with improving monetization, too. Check out some of our case studies for more details.

    Eric: Flutter developers can be successful by leveraging all that Firebase offers. Firebase might seem intimidating because it offers so much, but it excels at being easy to use, and I encourage all web and mobile developers to poke around. They’re likely to find something that makes their lives easier.

    image of Firebase and Flutter logos against a dot matrix background

    What’s next for the Firebase & Flutter Communities? What might the future look like?

    Rich: Over the next year we’ll be focusing on modern app development and some more opinionated guides. Better support for Flutter, Kotlin, Jetpack Compose, Swift/SwiftUI and modern web frameworks.

    Eric: There is a genuine effort amongst both teams to support each other. Flutter and Firebase are just such a great pair, that it makes sense for us to encourage our communities to check out one another. In the future, I think this will continue. I think you’ll see a lot of Flutter at Firebase events, and vice versa.

    How does Firebase & Flutter help expand the impact of developers?

    Rich: Firebase has always focused on helping developers get their apps up and running by providing tools to streamline time-consuming tasks. Enabling developers to focus on delivering the best app experiences and the most value to their users.

    Eric: Flutter is an app-building SDK that is a joy to use. It seriously increases velocity because it’s cross-platform. Firebase and Flutter offer many tools that “just work”, which is something that all apps need. I think you’d be hard pressed to find another combination of front end framework and back end services that let developers make apps quickly without sacrificing quality.

    Find a Google Developer Group hosting a DevFest near you.

    Want to learn more about Google Technologies like Firebase & Flutter? Hoping to attend a DevFest or Google Developer Groups (GDG)? Find a GDG hosting a DevFest near you here.

    From a personal notebook to 100k YouTube subscriptions: How Carlos Azaustre turned his notes into a YouTube channel

    Posted by Kevin Hernandez, Developer Relations Community Manager

    Carlos Azaustre, smiling while holding his Silver Button Creator Award from YouTube
    Carlos Azaustre with his Silver Button Creator Award from YouTube
    When Carlos Azaustre, Web Technologies GDE, finished university, he started a blog to share his personal notes and learnings to teach others about Angular and JavaScript. These personal notes later evolved into tutorials that then turned into a blossoming YouTube channel with 105k subscriptions at the time of this writing. With his 10 years of experience as a Telecommunications Engineer focused on front end development, he has a breadth of experience that he shares with his viewers in a sea of competing content currently on YouTube. Carlos has successfully created a channel focused on technical topics related to JavaScript and has some valuable advice for those looking to educate on the platform.

    How he got started with his channel

    Carlos started his blog with the primary mission of using it as a personal notebook that he could reference in the future. As he wrote increasingly, he started to notice that people were coming across his notebooks and sharing with others. This inspired him to record tutorials based on the topics of his blogs, but when he was beginning to record these tutorials, a secondary mission came to fruition: he wanted to make technical content accessible to the Spanish-speaking community. He reflects, “In the Spanish community, English is difficult for some people, so I started to create content in Spanish to eliminate barriers for people who are interested in learning new technologies. Learning new things is hard, but it’s easier when it’s in your natural language.”

    In the beginning of his YouTube journey, he used the platform for side projects and would post irregularly. Then, 2 years ago, he started putting more effort into creating new content and started to post one video a week while promoting on social media. This change sparked more comments, and his view and total subscribers increased in tandem.

    Tips and tricks he’s applied to his channel

    Carlos leverages analytics data to adjust his strategy. He explains, “YouTube provides a lot of analytics tools to see if people are engaging and when they leave the video. So you can adjust your content and the timing (video length) because the timing is important.” The data taught Carlos that longer videos generally don’t do as well. He learned the ideal video length for lecture videos where he’s primarily speaking is about 6-8 minutes. But when it comes to tutorials, videos that are about 40 – 60 minutes in length tend to get more views.

    Carlos has also taken advantage of YouTube Shorts, a short-form video-sharing platform. “I started to see that Shorts are great to increase your reach because the algorithm pushes your content to people who aren’t subscribed to your channel,” he pointed out. He recommends using YouTube Shorts as an effective way of getting started. When asked about other resources, Carlos mentioned that he primarily draws from his own experience but also turns to books and blogs to help with his channel and to stay up to date with technology.

    Choosing video topics

    Creating fresh weekly content can be a challenge. To address this, Carlos keeps a notebook of ideas and inspiration for his next videos. For example, he may come across a problem that lacks a clear solution at work and will jot this down. He also keeps track of articles or other tutorials that he feels can either be explained in a more straightforward way or can be translated into Spanish.

    Carlos also draws inspiration from the comment section of his videos. He engages with his audience to show there is a real person behind the videos that can guide them. He adds, “this is one of the parts I like the most. They propose new ideas for content that I might’ve missed”.

    Advice for starting a channel on technical topics

    Carlos’ advice for people looking to start a channel based on technical content is simple: just get started. “If you’re creating great content, people will eventually reach you,” he comments. When he first started his channel, Carlos wasn’t preoccupied with the number of views, comments, or subscriptions. He started his content with himself in mind and would ask himself what kind of content he would want to see. He says, “As long as you’re engaged with the community, you’ll have a great channel. If you try to optimize the content for the algorithm, you’re going to go crazy.” He recommends new content creators start with YouTube Shorts, and once they gain an audience they can create more detailed videos.

    It’s also necessary to spark conversation in the comments, and one way you can achieve this is through the title and description of your video. A great title that catches the attention of the viewer, sparks conversation, and implements keywords is essential. A simple way to do this is by asking a question in the title. For example, one of his videos is titled, “How do Promises and Async / Await function in JavaScript?” and also asks a question in the description. This video alone has 250+ comments with viewers answering the question posed by the title and the description. He’s also mindful of what keywords he’s including in his title and finds these keywords by looking at the most popular content with similar topics.

    When asked about gear and equipment recommendations, he states that the most important piece of equipment is your microphone, since your voice can be more important than the image, especially if you’re filming a tutorial video. He goes on, “With time, you can update your setup. Maybe your camera is next and then the lighting. Start with your phone or your regular laptop – just start!”

    So remember to just get started, and maybe in time, you’ll become the next big content creator for Machine Learning, Google Cloud, Android, or Web Technologies.

    You can check out Carlos’ YouTube Channel, find him live on Twitch, or follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

    The Google Developer Experts (GDE) program is a global network of highly experienced technology experts, influencers, and thought leaders who actively support developers, companies, and tech communities by speaking at events and publishing content.