Tag Archives: Google Developer Groups

From Code to Community: Why developers call DevFest home

DevFest Banner
Ricardo on the left with fellow GDG lead planning DevFest Coimbra

Ricardo Costeira is a Software Engineer from Coimbra, Portugal. For the first time last year, he attended DevFest, the largest developer community-led movement hosted by Google Developer Groups across the world. To celebrate DevFest 2019, we want to share with you Ricardo’s story and how he went from writing code to finding community.

Ricardo (left) and a fellow GDG Lead plan DevFest Coimbra.

1. How did you first hear about DevFest? What inspired you to join?

In 2018, after living in Coimbra for 3 years, I didn't have any friends outside of work that were software developers. I longed to fill my life with more people that understood my passion and decided it was time to make a change. So I took to social media to see how I could connect with more like minded thinkers. Eventually, DevFest showed up on my feed. Out of nowhere, I saw this crazy event in Coimbra packed with bold leaders, energizing speakers, and profoundly creative exercises. I never expected that being with a community would get me so excited. I got a ticket on the spot.

2. Can you tell us about your first experience at DevFest?

It was exhilarating - out of this world. When I first walked in, everyone talked to me as if we had known each other for years. Big smiles, loud laughs, and deep kindness were all around me. As someone who is relatively shy and a loner by nature, I was stunned when I felt myself saying, "I belong here, I'm home." That very same night, I looked up the next event I could attend. Since then, I have attended 2 other events, signed up for 6 more, and have become a GDG Lead. In other words, I’m hooked.


So how did this all change me? To be honest, DevFest brought forward a shift in my personality. I now want to be part of a community - that is a new feeling in my life.

“As someone who is relatively shy and a loner by nature, I was stunned when I felt myself saying, "I belong here, I'm home."

3. What from DevFest 2018 are you looking forward to seeing again this year?

The booths. DevFest Coimbra has booths where you can talk with different companies. It’s exciting to learn about all the opportunities to grow so close to home. In my case, it was thrilling to see just how quickly Portugal is scaling and how so many companies come to DevFest eager to talk with the best talent. Forming these relationships is what can make the difference when finding the right opportunity for you.

4. Leading up to DevFest 2019, what are you most excited for?

Lighting a spark in new attendees. I recently joined the organizational staff and I’m excited to give new attendees that feeling I had when I first walked into DevFest. I’ve found such meaning in working with my fellow GDG Leads to bring together attendees in a sense of shared awe.

5. Any advice for those attending DevFest 2019?

Just say hi. You will be surprised with how far it will take you. DevFest is not only about the talks or workshops, it’s also about the people. This community knows the extrovert and understands the introvert, and warmly welcomes both. That is to say, no matter who you are or how you code, there is a place for you here.

“DevFest is not only about the talks or workshops, it’s also about the people.”

Want to find a DevFest event near you? Check out devfest.withgoogle.com to join our community, meet other developers and learn about Cloud, Android, Flutter, Machine Learning and more.

#DevFest #Community

Increasing Diversity: Cloud Study Jam for Women Techmakers in Europe

Posted by Franziska Hauck, DevRel Ecosystem Regional Lead DACH

When we look at the community landscape in programming in 2019, we find people of all backgrounds and with expertise as varied as the people themselves. There are developer groups for every imaginable interest out there. What becomes apparent, though, is that the allocation is not as equally balanced as it might be. In Europe, we observe that more programming women are in front-end development and active in the associated groups.

But what about in cloud? Recently, Global Knowledge published a ranking that showed that Google Cloud Certification is the most coveted achievement in the labor market. We knew that the interest was there. How could we capture it and get more women and diverse poeple involved? [Indeed, we had seen women succeed and in this chosen field at that. It was time to contribute to seeing more success stories coming our way.]

Immediately the Cloud Study Jam came to mind. This campaign is a self-study, highly individualized study jam for Google Developer Groups (GDGs) and other tech meetups. Organizers get access to study materials to help them prepare for their event, register it on the global map and conduct the activity with their attendees in any location they choose. Attendees receive free Qwiklabs credits to complete a number of courses of their choice. The platform even offers a complete Google Cloud environment - the best training ground for aspiring and advanced programmers!

GDGs form one pillar of our community programs. One of the other cornerstones is the Women Techmakers program with which we engage and involve organizers interested in increasing diversity worldwide. Cloud Study Jams in the local groups, with dedicated Women Techmakers, seemed like the most natural fit for us. And, as we soon realized, so thought the organizers.

For us - Almo, Abdallah and Franziska - that was the start of a great initiative and an even bigger road trip. Together with local volunteers from Google and the groups, we held 11 Cloud Study Jams all over Europe in March and April.

Over 450 attendees, 80 % of them women, learned about Cloud technologies.

This was some of their feedback:

“This made me aim for the Cloud Certificate exam as my next goal in my career!”

“I found useful everything! The labs are interesting... and I would like to have more meetups like this.”

“The labs are interesting, at least both that we did. I would like to have more meetups like this!”

As surmised, many attendees were indeed front-end developers. It was amazing to see that, with the courses, they “converted” to Cloud and are now going forward as ambassadors. We also saw quite a big number of data scientists and back-end developers. All in all, it was a great mix of enthusiastic participants.

Cloud Study Jams are a great way to engage group members by guided materials. The way they are designed makes it easy for the organizers to focus on the participants. Since attendees follow their chosen courses on their own organizers act as facilitators. They need only jump in when organizational questions arise.

If you would like to hold a Cloud Study Jam with your group or organization you will find more information here. Register your event via the link to get access to the free Qwiklabs credits for your attendees.

We are very much looking forward to supporting you!

Almo, Abdallah, Franziska & the European DevRel Ecosystem