Tag Archives: Google Developer Groups

Announcing DevFest 2021

Posted by Erica Hanson, Global Program Manager for Google Developer Communities

GIF with blue background and text that reads DevFest 2021, Google Developer Groups

DevFest season has officially started! From now through the end of the year, developers from all around the world are coming together for DevFest 2021, the biggest global event for developers, focusing on community-led learning on Google technologies. Hosted by Google Developer Groups (GDG) all across the globe, DevFest events are uniquely curated by their local GDG organizers to fit the needs and interests of the local community.

The mission

This year, DevFest 2021 inspires local developers to learn and connect as a community by exploring how to use Google technology to accelerate economic impact. In light of COVID-19, the global economy has shrunk and millions of jobs have been lost. Developers are the backbone of technology, and they play a pivotal role in the recovery of the global economy. In fact, expanding the impact of developers has never been more important!

Luckily, DevFest is the perfect opportunity for Google Developer Groups to show up for developers and their communities during such a challenging time. At DevFest 2021, GDGs and attendees will have the opportunity to explore how to use technology for good where it’s needed most.

Accelerating local economic recovery looks different across the globe, and GDGs hosting DevFest events are encouraged to consider the challenges their specific regions may be facing. For example, GDGs may choose to focus their DevFest events on building solutions that help local businesses grow, or they may prioritize upskilling their community by sharing technical content to help developers become industry ready. Whether it be through technical talks delivered in local languages or by simply meeting fellow local developers, DevFest 2021 will leave attendees feeling empowered to drive positive change in their communities.

What to expect

One of DevFest’s greatest strengths remains the passionate speakers who participate in DevFest events all across the globe. These speakers, often developers themselves, come from various backgrounds, perspectives, and skill levels to create a rich and rewarding experience for attendees. DevFest sessions are hosted in local languages in many different parts of the world.

This DevFest season, attendees will receive career support and mentorship opportunities from senior developers, including speakers from Google, Google Developer Group leaders, Google Developer Experts, and Women Techmakers.

Hands-on demos, workshops, and codelabs will cover a wide variety of technologies, including Android, Google Cloud Platform, Machine Learning with TensorFlow, Web.dev, Firebase, Google Assistant, and Flutter. Through these events, developers will learn how Google technologies help them build solutions that make a difference.

Google Developers is proud to support the community-led efforts of Google Developer Groups during this flagship annual event. DevFest is powered by a global network of passionate GDG community organizers who volunteer their time and efforts to help developers grow together, and this event wouldn’t be possible without them.

GIF with red background and text that reads hashtag DevFest, Register Now, and Google Developer Groups

Coming together

During DevFest 2020, 125,000+ developers participated across 700+ DevFests in 100+ countries. DevFest 2021 is already in full swing, with thousands of attendees across the globe collaborating with like-minded developers, learning new technologies, and building solutions to uplift their communities. Whether you’re looking to explore the latest Google technologies, level up your career, or innovate for impact, there is a DevFest event for you.

Find a DevFest near you here, and use #DevFest to join the conversation on social media.

GDG NYC members apply their skills to help a local nonprofit reach higher

Posted by Kübra Zengin, Program Manager, Developer Relations

Image of Anna Nerezova and GDG NYC meetup on blog header image that reads GDG NYC members apply their skills to help a local nonprofit reach higher

Google Developer Group (GDG) chapters are in a unique position to help make an impact during a time where many companies and businesses are trying to shift to a digital first world. Perhaps no one knows this better than GDG NYC Lead, Anna Nerezova. Over the past year, she’s seen firsthand just how powerful the GDG NYC community can be when the right opportunity presents itself.

GDG NYC levels up their Google Cloud skills

In the past few years, Anna and other GDG NYC organizers have hosted a number of events focused on learning and sharing Cloud technologies with community members, including Cloud Study Jams and in-person workshops on Machine Learning Cloud-Speech-to-Text, Natural Language Processing, and more. Last year, GDG NYC took Google Cloud learning to the next level with a series of virtual Google Cloud tech talks on understanding BigQuery, Serverless best practices, and Anthos, with speakers from the Google Cloud team.

Image of GDG NYC members watching a speaker give a talk

A GDG NYC speaker session

Thanks to these hands-on workshops, speaker sessions, and technical resources provided by Google, GDG NYC community members are able to upskill in a wide variety of technologies at an accelerated pace, all the while gaining the confidence to put those skills into practice. Beyond gaining new skills, Google Developer Group members are often able to unlock opportunities to make positive impacts in ways they never thought possible. As a GDG Lead, Anna is always on the lookout for opportunities that give community members the chance to apply their skills for a higher purpose.

Building a Positive Planet

Anna identified one such opportunity for her community via Positive Planet US, a local nonprofit dedicated to alleviating global and local poverty through positive entrepreneurship. Positive Planet International, originally formed in France, has helped 11 million people escape poverty across 42 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa since its inception in 1998. Just last year, Positive Planet US was launched in New York City, with a mission to create local and global economic growth in underprivileged communities in the wake of the pandemic.

Anna recognized how the past few years' emphasis on learning and leveraging Google Cloud technology in her GDG chapter could help make a transformative impact on the nonprofit. A partnership wouldn’t just benefit Positive Planet US, it would give community members a chance to apply what they’ve learned, build experience, and give back. Anna and fellow GDG NYC Lead, Ralph Yozzo, worked with Positive Planet US to identify areas of opportunity where GDG NYC members could best apply their skills. With Positive Planet US still needing to build the infrastructure necessary to get up and running, it seemed that there were limitless opportunities for GDG NYC community members to step in and help out.

Volunteers from GDG NYC quickly got to work, building Positive Planet US’ website from the ground up. Google Cloud Platform was used to build out the site’s infrastructure, set up secure payments for donations, launch email campaigns, and more. Applying learnings from a series of AMP Study Jams held by GDG NYC, volunteers implemented the AMP plugin for WordPress to improve user experience and keep the website optimized, all according to Google’s Core Web Vitals and page experience guidelines. Volunteers from GDG NYC have also helped with program management, video creation, social media, and more. No matter the job, the work that volunteers put in makes a real impact and helps drive Positive Planet US’ efforts to make a difference in marginalized communities.

Positive Planet drives community impact

Positive Planet US volunteers are currently working hard to support the nonprofit’s flagship project, the Accelerator Hub for Minority Women Entrepreneurs, launched last year. As part of the program, participants receive personalized coaching from senior executives at Genpact and Capgemini, helping them turn their amazing ideas into thriving businesses. From learning how to grow a business to applying for a business loan, participating women from disadvantaged communities get the tools they need to flourish as entrepreneurs. The 10-week program is running its second cohort now, and aims to support 1,000 women by next year.

Screenshot of participants of Positive Planet US’ second Accelerator Hub Program in a virtual meeting

Some participants of Positive Planet US’ second Accelerator Hub Program

With Positive Planet US’ next cohort for 50 women entrepreneurs starting soon, Anna is working to find coaches of all different skill levels directly from the GDG community. If you’re interested in volunteering with Positive Planet US, click here.

Anna is excited about the ongoing collaboration between Positive Planet US and GDG NYC, and is continuing to identify opportunities for GDG members to give back. And with a new series of Android and Cloud Study Jams on the horizon and DevFest 2021 right around the corner, GDG NYC organizers hope to welcome even more developers into the Google Developer Group community. For more info about GDG NYC’s upcoming events, click here.

Join a Google Developer Group chapter near you here.

Google Developer Group Spotlight: A conversation with GDG Juba Lead, Kose

Posted by Aniedi Udo-Obong, Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Lead, Google Developer Groups

Header image featuring Kose with text that says meet Kose

The Google Developer Groups Spotlight series interviews inspiring leaders of community meetup groups around the world. Our goal is to learn more about what developers are working on, how they’ve grown their skills with the Google Developer Group community, and what tips they might have for us all.

We recently spoke with Kose, community lead for Google Developer Groups Juba in South Sudan. Check out our conversation with Kose about building a GDG chapter, the future of GDG Juba, and the importance of growing the tech community in South Sudan.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a village-grown software developer and community lead of GDG Juba. I work with JavaScript stack with a focus on the backend. Learning through the community has always been part of me before joining GDG Juba. I love tech volunteerism and building a community around me and beyond. I attended many local developer meetups and learned a lot that led to my involvement with GDG Juba.

I am currently helping grow the GDG Juba community in South Sudan, and previously volunteered as a mentor in the Google Africa Developer Scholarship 2020.

Why did you want to get involved in tech?

I hail from a remote South Sudan's village with little to zero access to technology. My interest in tech has largely been driven due to an enthusiasm to build things and solve farming, agricultural economics, and social issues using technology.

I am currently researching and working on a farmers connection network to help transform our agricultural economics.

What is unique about pursuing a career as a developer in South Sudan?

When you talk about technology in South Sudan, we are relatively behind compared to our neighbors and beyond. Some challenges include the lack of support, resources, and mentorship among the few technology aspirants. The electricity and internet bills are so costly that an undetermined hustler won't sacrifice their days' hustle for exploring and learning the tech spectrum.

At the same time, there are a lot of areas technology developers can dive into. Finance, hospitality, agriculture, transportation, and content creation are all viable fields. As a determined techie, I tasked myself with allocating 10% of everything I do and earn to learning and exploring technology. This helped me to have some time, money, and resources for my tech journey. As for mentorship, I’m building a global network of resourceful folks to help me venture into new areas of the tech sector.

How did you become a GDG lead?

I’ve always been that person who joined tech events as often as I could find registration links. In my college days, I would skip classes to attend events located hours away. I would hardly miss Python Hyderabad, pycons, and many other Android meetups. It was during the International Women's Day (IWD) 2018 event organized by WTM Hyderabad and GDG Hyderabad that I was lucky enough to give a short challenge pitch talk. I saw how the conference folks were excited and amazed given the fact that I was the only African in the huge Tech Mahindra conference hall. I met a lot of people, organizers, business personalities and students.

Kose shakes hand with woman at stage

Kose takes the stage for International Women's Day (IWD) 2018

At the end of the conference and subsequent events, I convinced myself to start a similar community. Since starting out with a WhatsApp group chat, we’ve grown to about 200 members on our GDG event platform, and have event partners like Koneta Hub and others. Since then, GDG Juba is helping grow the tech community around Juba, South Sudan.

How has the GDG community helped you grow in the tech industry?

From design thinking to public speaking and structuring technical meetups, the GDG community has become a resourceful part of organizing GDG Juba meetups and enhancing my organizational skills.

As a community lead, I continuously plan the organization of more impactful events and conferences, and network with potential event partners, speakers, mentors, and organizers. Being part of the GDG community has helped me get opportunities to share knowledge with others. In one instance, I became a mobile web mentor and judge for the Google Africa Developer Scholarship 2020 program.

What has been the most inspiring part of being a part of your local Google Developer Group?

As a tech aspirant, I had always wanted to be part of a tech community to learn, network, and grow in the community. Unfortunately, back then there wasn't a single tech user group in my locality. The most inspiring thing about being part of this chapter is the network buildup and learning from the community. I notably network with people I could have never networked with on a typical day.

Kose standing with 10 members at GDG Juba meetup

Kose at a GDG Juba meetup

A lot of our meetup attendees now share their knowledge and experiences with others to inspire many. We are seeing a community getting more engagement in technology. Students tell us they are learning things they hardly get in their college curriculum.

As a learner myself, I am very excited to see folks learn new tech skills and am also happy to see women participating in the tech events. I’m especially proud of the fact that we organized International Women's Day (IWD) 2021, making it possible for us to be featured in a famous local newspaper outlet.

What are some technical resources you have found the most helpful for your professional development?

The official documentation from Google Developers for Android, Firebase, and others have been and are still helpful for my understanding and diving into details of the new things I learn.

In addition to the cool resources from the awesome tech bloggers on the internet, these links are helping me a lot in my adventure:

  1. Google Developers Medium articles
  2. Android Developers Training courses
  3. Udacity Android/ Firebase courses
  4. GitHub code review
  5. Google Developers India YouTube channel

What is coming up for GDG Juba that you are most excited about?

As part of our Android Study Jam conducted earlier this year, we are planning to host a mentorship program for Android application development. The program will run from scratch to building a fully-fledged, deployable Android app that the community can use for daily activities. I am particularly excited about the fact that we will be having a mentor who has been in the industry for quite a long time. I hope to see people who read this article participating in the mentorship program, too!

What would be one piece of advice you have for someone looking to learn more about a specific technology?

Be a learner. Join groups that can mentor your learning journey.

Ready to learn new skills with developers like Kose? Find a Google Developer Group near you, here.

Meet the students coding their way to a better world

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

Student headshots from the top 10 finalist teams of the Google Developer Student Clubs Solution Challenge

What have we learned from the challenges that we’ve faced over the past year and continue to face today? How absolutely vital it is to protect our planet and the people living on it.

Enter the Solution Challenge, our annual contest inviting the global Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSC) community to develop solutions to real world problems utilizing Google technologies. This year’s Solution Challenge asks participants to solve for one or more of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, intended to promote employment for all, economic growth, and climate action.

The top 50 semi-finalists and the top 10 finalists were announced earlier this year. It all comes down to Demo Day on August 26th, where the finalists will present their solutions to Google and developers all around the world, live on YouTube. Here, judges will review their projects, ask questions, and choose the top 3 grand prize winners!

You can RSVP here to be a part of Demo Day, vote for the People’s Choice Award, and watch all the action as it unfolds live. Ahead of the event, get to know the top 10 finalists and their incredible solutions below.

Cameroon - Flow, University of Bamenda

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation

Flow is a mobile app that helps users easily find clean water sources nearby using Google Maps. Selecting a water source location on the map will tell users the name of the location, the status of the water source, and the approximate distance to the water source from the user’s current location. Flow was built with Firebase, Flutter, Google Cloud Platform, and Google Maps Platform. The app was developed by Alouzeh Brandone Mahbuh, Chi Karl Junior, Meh Mbeh Ida Delphine, and Nuikweh Lewis.

“The lack of water and quest for clean water in my community inspired us to select this goal. Our solution is a mobile application which makes use of a ‘live location’ feature to help members in my community easily find clean water sources.”

Canada - Helppier, University of Toronto

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities

Helppier is an Android app that creates volunteering opportunities in local neighborhoods. With Helppier, you can volunteer to help out others, request a volunteer, and earn rewards. Unlike traditional volunteering positions with organizations, Helppier fosters a sense of community by allowing people to make a direct impact in their neighborhood. Helppier's ultimate goal is to make volunteering a regular part of peoples’ daily routines. The Android app was developed using Google Cloud Platform, Firebase, and Cloud Run by James Lee, Janice Cheung, Mohamed Amine Belabbes, and Oluwateleayo Oyekunle.

“With loneliness rates skyrocketing due to COVID, many people are feeling more isolated and in need of help, but may not have anyone in their neighborhood to turn to. Helppier facilitates the opportunity for people to connect with one another through acts of kindness, regardless of who they are or where they came from.”

Egypt - E-Owl, Future Academy

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 4: Quality Education

E-Owl is a virtual education platform that helps professors create virtual meetings, exams, and posts. With E-Owl, students can also check their grades and assignments online. The web application features focus detection and monitors real-time emotion of students to help instructors improve their students’ learning experience. E-Owl was created using Firebase, Google Cloud Platform, and TensorFlow by Ahmed Mostafa Ibrahiem, Kerolos Kamal Botros, Khaled Abdel-Fattah Ahmed, and Mahmoud Said Ramadan Gad.

“Our main target is education and well-being. We are working on how to maintain learners' attention and motivation in the virtual classrooms and also effectively managing the progress of each student online.”

Germany - SimplAR, Technical University of Munich

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

SimplAR is an app that utilizes the power of Natural Language Processing to translate any text (newspapers, books, manuals, etc.) into simplified language just by taking a picture of it. The app is catered towards people with functional illiteracy who sometimes have difficulty comprehending text. SimplAR delivers text following plain language principles that is easy to understand, making reading experiences more accessible for everyone. Almo Sutedjo, Maria Pospelova, Sami Wirtensohn, and Viviana Sutedjo used Flutter and Firebase to develop their app.

“Around 1 in 7 people worldwide have difficulties understanding complicated texts due to functional illiteracy. We want to enable people with functional illiteracy to gain understanding about any text in any form, and therefore giving them the chance to lead a more independent life.”

India - Eye Of God, K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions

Eye of God is an app featuring an easy-to-use navigation system that helps people with visual impairment navigate to their destination by themselves without needing the assistance of others. The Eye of God navigation system uses voice feedback through the user’s smartphone which is mounted on a VR Headset, and vibrational feedback through a custom-made waist belt, to guide users in both indoor and outdoor settings. The app is built with Firebase, Flutter, Google Cloud Platform, TensorFlow, and more, by Anish Pawar, Gayatri Vijay Patil, Jatin Nainani, and Priyanka Hotchandani.

“Being blind or visually impaired doesn’t need to mean the loss of independence of getting to and from places. The advancement of technology can make it possible to help people move freely within their environments and get around safely regardless of their amount of vision.”

India - Swaasthy, Chitkara University

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

Swaasthy is a medical app made to uplift user health and increase access to healthcare. It contains medicine reminder functionality and the ability to make an SOS call to nearby ambulances, get an appointment with a virtual doc, and more. The team behind the app believes that their all-in-one approach will go a long way towards bringing down the death rate faced by patients in India due to delays in health services. Additionally, Swaasthy promotes education and economic growth by providing first responders with valuable training opportunities when they sign up via the app. Bhavesh Goyal, Himanshu Sharma, Ishan Sharma, and Kushal Bhanot used Flutter and Firebase to bring their idea to life.

“When it comes to saving a life, every millisecond counts! One in 10 patients in India dies on the way to the hospital. And we're here to change that. We're Swaasthy! The only health app you'll ever need. Solving real-life problems isn’t easy, but at the same time, it's not impossible.”

Indonesia - Game Your Fit, Binus University International

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

Game Your Fit is an app that keeps track of your movements in real time using your smartphone's movement sensors. It promotes exercise and staying active by turning the experience into a game! The app features a variety of aerobic, anaerobic, and calisthenics exercises to target different areas of the user’s body. One of the app’s game modes, CardioCamera, uses Google’s MLKit AI library to detect movements that the user makes. The app is written in Kotlin and connected to a Firebase project, and was developed by Aric Hernando, Jason Christian Hailianto, Jason Jeremy Wijadi, and Monique Senjaya.

“We are interested in creating a solution for target 3.4, which is to reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote mental health. We aim to improve the health of many, specifically teens and young adults, by designing a gamified exercising application experience.”

Philippines - i-RISE, University of the Philippines in the Visayas

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 11: Sustainable Cities, Goal 13: Climate Action

Project Island Response and Intervention for Systematic Evacuation, or i-RISE, is a disaster risk management system that aims to bridge the information gap between local government units, disaster risk management offices, and the island communities of Tubigon, Bohol. The app includes tidal and weather information, evacuation warnings, rescue request functionality, climate change education, and more. i-Rise consists of a web app and mobile app, built with Flutter, Cloud Functions, Cloud Firestore, and Firebase. The project was built by Jian Hurl A. Asiado, Joerian E. Gauten, Patricia Marie C. Garcia, and Rex Ronter G. Ruiz.

“The Philippines is one of the world's most affected countries by climate change as it experiences the most frequent and strongest typhoons and sea level rise. The vision of Project i-RISE is disaster resilience as a national imperative where all Filipinos anywhere in the archipelago are inclusive of growth and are able to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.”

Singapore - DementiCare, Nanyang Technological University

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

DementiCare is an app equipped with a wide range of features to compliment caregiving for people living with dementia. With the app, caregivers can send notices to patients, access discussion forums, create a patient dashboard, and more. A user with dementia can send an SOS, access memories, view family data, and read notes from caregivers. DementiCare includes a simple interface for users living with dementia, and a feature-rich dashboard to help caregivers carry out their responsibilities without relying on any additional software. Aishik Nagar and Ritik Bhatia used Flutter and Firebase to build their app.

“Having personal relations suffering from Dementia and having cared for them several times, we knew firsthand how tough it was for patients and their caregivers to cope with Dementia. Our solution is DementiCare, a mobile application made to reduce, digitize, and revolutionize the barrier to skills, knowledge, and experience required for providing care to patients suffering from Dementia.”

Turkey - QRegister, Middle East Technical University

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production, Goal 15: Life on Land

QRegister is an app that removes the need for physical paper receipts upon transactions and instead encourages the use of QR codes for users to virtually keep track of all their receipts. The app reduces waste generation by eliminating paper receipts that usually end up as litter. BPA, a chemical often used in thermal receipts, can be absorbed through the skin and has been linked to a number of health concerns. By digitizing receipts, QRegister reduces the chemicals that we’re exposed to daily. QRegister was created with Firebase and Flutter by Alkım Dömeke, Deniz Karakay, Humeyra Bodur, and Murat Kaş.

“QRegister wants to raise awareness regarding the wastefulness of paper receipt production. Our team developed an environmentally friendly smart register that eliminates paper receipts and effortlessly stores purchase data.”

________________________

Feeling inspired and ready to learn more about Google Developer Student Clubs? Find a club near you here, and be sure to RSVP here to watch our upcoming Solution Challenge Demo Day on August 26th.

Meet the students coding their way to a better world

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

Student headshots from the top 10 finalist teams of the Google Developer Student Clubs Solution Challenge

What have we learned from the challenges that we’ve faced over the past year and continue to face today? How absolutely vital it is to protect our planet and the people living on it.

Enter the Solution Challenge, our annual contest inviting the global Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSC) community to develop solutions to real world problems utilizing Google technologies. This year’s Solution Challenge asks participants to solve for one or more of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, intended to promote employment for all, economic growth, and climate action.

The top 50 semi-finalists and the top 10 finalists were announced earlier this year. It all comes down to Demo Day on August 26th, where the finalists will present their solutions to Google and developers all around the world, live on YouTube. Here, judges will review their projects, ask questions, and choose the top 3 grand prize winners!

You can RSVP here to be a part of Demo Day, vote for the People’s Choice Award, and watch all the action as it unfolds live. Ahead of the event, get to know the top 10 finalists and their incredible solutions below.

Cameroon - Flow, University of Bamenda

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation

Flow is a mobile app that helps users easily find clean water sources nearby using Google Maps. Selecting a water source location on the map will tell users the name of the location, the status of the water source, and the approximate distance to the water source from the user’s current location. Flow was built with Firebase, Flutter, Google Cloud Platform, and Google Maps Platform. The app was developed by Alouzeh Brandone Mahbuh, Chi Karl Junior, Meh Mbeh Ida Delphine, and Nuikweh Lewis.

“The lack of water and quest for clean water in my community inspired us to select this goal. Our solution is a mobile application which makes use of a ‘live location’ feature to help members in my community easily find clean water sources.”

Canada - Helppier, University of Toronto

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities

Helppier is an Android app that creates volunteering opportunities in local neighborhoods. With Helppier, you can volunteer to help out others, request a volunteer, and earn rewards. Unlike traditional volunteering positions with organizations, Helppier fosters a sense of community by allowing people to make a direct impact in their neighborhood. Helppier's ultimate goal is to make volunteering a regular part of peoples’ daily routines. The Android app was developed using Google Cloud Platform, Firebase, and Cloud Run by James Lee, Janice Cheung, Mohamed Amine Belabbes, and Oluwateleayo Oyekunle.

“With loneliness rates skyrocketing due to COVID, many people are feeling more isolated and in need of help, but may not have anyone in their neighborhood to turn to. Helppier facilitates the opportunity for people to connect with one another through acts of kindness, regardless of who they are or where they came from.”

Egypt - E-Owl, Future Academy

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 4: Quality Education

E-Owl is a virtual education platform that helps professors create virtual meetings, exams, and posts. With E-Owl, students can also check their grades and assignments online. The web application features focus detection and monitors real-time emotion of students to help instructors improve their students’ learning experience. E-Owl was created using Firebase, Google Cloud Platform, and TensorFlow by Ahmed Mostafa Ibrahiem, Kerolos Kamal Botros, Khaled Abdel-Fattah Ahmed, and Mahmoud Said Ramadan Gad.

“Our main target is education and well-being. We are working on how to maintain learners' attention and motivation in the virtual classrooms and also effectively managing the progress of each student online.”

Germany - SimplAR, Technical University of Munich

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

SimplAR is an app that utilizes the power of Natural Language Processing to translate any text (newspapers, books, manuals, etc.) into simplified language just by taking a picture of it. The app is catered towards people with functional illiteracy who sometimes have difficulty comprehending text. SimplAR delivers text following plain language principles that is easy to understand, making reading experiences more accessible for everyone. Almo Sutedjo, Maria Pospelova, Sami Wirtensohn, and Viviana Sutedjo used Flutter and Firebase to develop their app.

“Around 1 in 7 people worldwide have difficulties understanding complicated texts due to functional illiteracy. We want to enable people with functional illiteracy to gain understanding about any text in any form, and therefore giving them the chance to lead a more independent life.”

India - Eye Of God, K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions

Eye of God is an app featuring an easy-to-use navigation system that helps people with visual impairment navigate to their destination by themselves without needing the assistance of others. The Eye of God navigation system uses voice feedback through the user’s smartphone which is mounted on a VR Headset, and vibrational feedback through a custom-made waist belt, to guide users in both indoor and outdoor settings. The app is built with Firebase, Flutter, Google Cloud Platform, TensorFlow, and more, by Anish Pawar, Gayatri Vijay Patil, Jatin Nainani, and Priyanka Hotchandani.

“Being blind or visually impaired doesn’t need to mean the loss of independence of getting to and from places. The advancement of technology can make it possible to help people move freely within their environments and get around safely regardless of their amount of vision.”

India - Swaasthy, Chitkara University

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

Swaasthy is a medical app made to uplift user health and increase access to healthcare. It contains medicine reminder functionality and the ability to make an SOS call to nearby ambulances, get an appointment with a virtual doc, and more. The team behind the app believes that their all-in-one approach will go a long way towards bringing down the death rate faced by patients in India due to delays in health services. Additionally, Swaasthy promotes education and economic growth by providing first responders with valuable training opportunities when they sign up via the app. Bhavesh Goyal, Himanshu Sharma, Ishan Sharma, and Kushal Bhanot used Flutter and Firebase to bring their idea to life.

“When it comes to saving a life, every millisecond counts! One in 10 patients in India dies on the way to the hospital. And we're here to change that. We're Swaasthy! The only health app you'll ever need. Solving real-life problems isn’t easy, but at the same time, it's not impossible.”

Indonesia - Game Your Fit, Binus University International

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

Game Your Fit is an app that keeps track of your movements in real time using your smartphone's movement sensors. It promotes exercise and staying active by turning the experience into a game! The app features a variety of aerobic, anaerobic, and calisthenics exercises to target different areas of the user’s body. One of the app’s game modes, CardioCamera, uses Google’s MLKit AI library to detect movements that the user makes. The app is written in Kotlin and connected to a Firebase project, and was developed by Aric Hernando, Jason Christian Hailianto, Jason Jeremy Wijadi, and Monique Senjaya.

“We are interested in creating a solution for target 3.4, which is to reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote mental health. We aim to improve the health of many, specifically teens and young adults, by designing a gamified exercising application experience.”

Philippines - i-RISE, University of the Philippines in the Visayas

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 11: Sustainable Cities, Goal 13: Climate Action

Project Island Response and Intervention for Systematic Evacuation, or i-RISE, is a disaster risk management system that aims to bridge the information gap between local government units, disaster risk management offices, and the island communities of Tubigon, Bohol. The app includes tidal and weather information, evacuation warnings, rescue request functionality, climate change education, and more. i-Rise consists of a web app and mobile app, built with Flutter, Cloud Functions, Cloud Firestore, and Firebase. The project was built by Jian Hurl A. Asiado, Joerian E. Gauten, Patricia Marie C. Garcia, and Rex Ronter G. Ruiz.

“The Philippines is one of the world's most affected countries by climate change as it experiences the most frequent and strongest typhoons and sea level rise. The vision of Project i-RISE is disaster resilience as a national imperative where all Filipinos anywhere in the archipelago are inclusive of growth and are able to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.”

Singapore - DementiCare, Nanyang Technological University

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

DementiCare is an app equipped with a wide range of features to compliment caregiving for people living with dementia. With the app, caregivers can send notices to patients, access discussion forums, create a patient dashboard, and more. A user with dementia can send an SOS, access memories, view family data, and read notes from caregivers. DementiCare includes a simple interface for users living with dementia, and a feature-rich dashboard to help caregivers carry out their responsibilities without relying on any additional software. Aishik Nagar and Ritik Bhatia used Flutter and Firebase to build their app.

“Having personal relations suffering from Dementia and having cared for them several times, we knew firsthand how tough it was for patients and their caregivers to cope with Dementia. Our solution is DementiCare, a mobile application made to reduce, digitize, and revolutionize the barrier to skills, knowledge, and experience required for providing care to patients suffering from Dementia.”

Turkey - QRegister, Middle East Technical University

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production, Goal 15: Life on Land

QRegister is an app that removes the need for physical paper receipts upon transactions and instead encourages the use of QR codes for users to virtually keep track of all their receipts. The app reduces waste generation by eliminating paper receipts that usually end up as litter. BPA, a chemical often used in thermal receipts, can be absorbed through the skin and has been linked to a number of health concerns. By digitizing receipts, QRegister reduces the chemicals that we’re exposed to daily. QRegister was created with Firebase and Flutter by Alkım Dömeke, Deniz Karakay, Humeyra Bodur, and Murat Kaş.

“QRegister wants to raise awareness regarding the wastefulness of paper receipt production. Our team developed an environmentally friendly smart register that eliminates paper receipts and effortlessly stores purchase data.”

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Feeling inspired and ready to learn more about Google Developer Student Clubs? Find a club near you here, and be sure to RSVP here to watch our upcoming Solution Challenge Demo Day on August 26th.

Incarcerated people learn to code: How one community organizer is changing lives

Posted by Kubra Zengin, North America Regional Lead, Google Developer Groups

When asked to speak to a room full of incarcerated individuals about becoming developers, Danny Thompson didn’t bat an eye. Danny is an experienced software engineer and community organizer for Google Developer Groups Memphis.

But for the first ten years of his professional career, he worked in a gas station frying chicken. If anyone knows how to beat the odds and choose a different path in life, it’s him.

(Left) Danny Thompson working in a gas station (Right) At work in the tech industry

Danny Thompson is a big believer in the power of community. Over the years, he’s grown a vast network of thousands of aspiring developers, tech industry professionals, and career development experts through the Google Developer Group community and across social media. So it was no surprise when Danny was contacted to speak at an event hosted by Persevere, a non-profit that teaches justice-involved individuals how to code and helps them find careers as developers. By teaching skills like programming, Persevere has seen a decrease in recidivism rates. Through their job placement efforts, they are helping those that get out, stay out.

For Danny, signing up to help out was an easy decision. His biggest motivator in life is helping others succeed, no matter their hardships or where they come from.

“If someone wants to learn, that’s someone I want to help. Simple as that.”

In March of last year, Danny spoke to a room full of incarcerated people at the non-profit’s secure facility in Memphis, Tennessee. Incarcerated individuals from Tennessee prisons are brought to this offsite location for hands-on training with coding instructors. For hours, Danny taught Javascript concepts, gave career guidance, and shared his best tips for growing in the tech industry with program participants.

Thanks to Danny’s role as community organizer for GDG Memphis, he was able to share many learning materials that came directly from Google Developer Group events. Those enrolled in the program were also given access to Google Developer Group events online to help them learn new concepts and network with other developers.

Danny recognizes how difficult it can be for incarcerated individuals to reenter society without a helping hand and the skills they need to attain a well-paying job. As a result, many previously incarcerated people return to prison because they are unable to find employment and have higher chances of falling back into bad habits. But when they learn to code, recidivism rates drop dramatically.

Program participants continue learning at a transition center in Memphis, Tennessee

Anyone can be a developer

Danny knows what it’s like to not fit the mold of a typical developer. After working ten years as a fry cook at a gas station, he never considered that transitioning to a career in technology was even possible. However, everything changed for Danny when he began attending Google Developer Group meetups.

“There are zero chances I would have made it in this industry if it wasn’t for meetups.“

By networking with other developers, Danny gained the skills he needed to grow his early interest in coding into actual opportunity. Fast forward to today, and Danny is using his connection to Google Developer Groups to break barriers for anyone and everyone interested in pursuing a career in the tech industry. As an organizer for GDG Memphis, Danny designs mentorship opportunities with experts in the tech industry and hosts meetups that connect aspiring developers to hiring managers. Through opportunities just like these, Danny has helped over 600 people land jobs in tech, and he’s not stopping anytime soon.

GDG Memphis meetup event

“Your beginning doesn’t have to be your end. You do not have to be defined by the set of circumstances you’ve walked into.”

It’s never too late to join your local Google Developer Group. Learn new skills, advance your career, and meet other developers who share your interests. Anyone interested in tech is welcome, and joining is completely free.

To find your local chapter, click here.

Pride Week with Google Developer Group Floripa

Posted by Rodrigo Akira Hirooka, Program Manager, Google Developer Groups Latin America

Lorena Locks is on a mission to grow the LGBTQIA+ tech community in Brazil. Her inspiration came from hosting Google Developer Group (GDG) Floripa meetups with her friend Catarina, where they were able to identify a need in their community.

We felt there wasn't a forum to meet people in the tech industry that reflected ourselves. So we decided to think bigger.”

Image from GDG Floripa event

Image from GDG Floripa event

Pride Week at GDG Floripa, Brazil

As a Women Techmakers Ambassador and Google Developer Group lead in Floripa, Brazil, Lorena worked with the local community to create a week of special events, including over 12 talks and sessions centered on empowering the LGBTQIA+ experience in tech.

The events took place every night at 7pm from June 21st - 25th and focused on creating inclusive representation and building trust among developer communities.

Lorena’s commitment to this underrepresented group gained the attention of many local leaders in tech who identify as LGBTQIA+ and volunteered as speakers during Pride Week.

By creating spaces to talk about important LGBTQIA+ topics in tech, Pride Week with Google Developer Groups Floripa included sessions on:

  • Spotting binary designs in products
  • How to build inclusive tech teams
  • Being an LGBTQIA+ manager
  • Developing 'Nohs Somos' an app for the LGBTQIA+ community
  • The best practices for D&I
  • General Personal Data Protection Law and inclusive gender questions on forms
Image from event

Speakers in photo: Lorena Locks and Catarina Schein

With one-hundred percent of the speakers at these events coming from the LGTBQIA+ community, Pride Week at GDG Floripa was a high impact program that has gone on to inspire GDGs around the world.

If you want to learn more about how to get involved in Google Developer Group communities like this one, visit the site here.

Tech Camp introduces Georgia high schoolers to technology careers

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

Tamta Kapanadze wishes that she had learned sooner about careers in technology. By the time that the Georgian citizen learned about them, she was already a university student.

As Kapanadze continued her studies and her interest in technology grew, she wanted to spread the word about the growing field to high-school students in Georgia, a country where the industry is still small.

To do this, Kapanadze called in the support of Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSCs), community groups for college and university students interested in Google's developer technology. After Kapanadze graduated from university, she continued her work by organizing a chapter of Google Developer Groups (GDGs) for Kutaisi.

Google Developer Groups are the largest community network of professional developers in the world. The program consists of local chapters that provide inclusive environments open to everybody interested in tech. The chapters let members learn new skills, and meet other developers with similar interests through online and in-person events.

However, even after all that, Kapanadze still wanted to do more. She partnered with Mariam, GDSC Georgia American University Lead; Iliko, GDSC Georgia American University core team member; Giorgi, GDSC Tbilisi State University Lead; and Bakar, GDSC San Diego State University Lead. Together, they planned Tech Camp, a virtual technological learning experience that teaches high schoolers about tech fields and how to start careers in web development, game development, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more.

While it's difficult enough to plan and execute a new event, Kapanadze and her partners didn't let the additional challenges of the last year stop their plans to launch Tech Camp. They wanted to publicize the event by mid-January, so they made a to-do list and set deadlines for themselves. After a few weeks of intense planning, they:

  • Chose the session topics
  • Started looking for speakers
  • Chose dates and created a timetable for the camp
  • Created an application form
  • And created logos and other designs

Kapanadze and her partners accepted applications for Tech Camp from Jan. 20 to Feb. 10 and announced their speakers to the public to keep the buzz about the event going. They originally hoped to receive 30 applications, but instead received 500. They decided to let a maximum of 300 students attend the speaker sessions and 500 students attend the coding sessions, where they would teach them about algorithms and the basics of C++.

Finally, the first day of Tech Camp arrived on Feb. 15. They began each session with fun icebreakers to help everybody feel comfortable, including themselves. Here's a timeline of what each day covered:

  • Day 1:
    • Digital professions
    • Hardware and software
  • Day 2:
    • Mobile development
    • Web development
  • Day 3:
    • Cybersecurity
    • Game development
    • Data engineering
  • Day 4:
    • UI/UX design
    • Embedded systems
  • Day 5:
    • Cloud
    • Test automation
  • Day 6:
    • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
    • Career development
  • Day 7:
    • Importance of technology
    • Freelance jobs
    • Award ceremony

Everybody defines success differently, but for Kapanadze it meant impacting at least one person. By this measure, Tech Camp succeeded because many of those who attended decided to pursue careers in tech. As for Kapanadze, she can’t wait to see what the future holds for Georgia's high schoolers and the country's growing tech industry.

To watch recordings from Tech Camp, please visit the playlist on YouTube.

For more information, find a Google Developers community group near you.

A conversation with Hebe He, a developer from Guangzhou

Posted by Brian Shen, Program Manager, Google Developers

Google Developer Groups are one of the largest community networks of developers in the world. Every group has an organizer that helps curate events based on the interests of their local developer community.

As we continue to explore how different Google Developer Groups build their communities, we interviewed Hebe He, an organizer of Google Developer Group Guangzhou in China. Learn more about how she is building the developer scene in China, thinking up new events for her community, and more below.

Hebe He, an organizer of Google Developer Group Guangzhou in China.

Hebe He, an organizer of Google Developer Group Guangzhou in China.

Tell us about yourself.

I am Hebe from China and I'm a native of Guangzhou. I'm the organizer of GDG Guangzhou, as well as an ambassador for Women Techmakers (WTM). I work at one of China's new electric-vehicle brands, where I'm responsible for the intelligent business operation of the Internet of Vehicles. I'm relatively outgoing and active, so I really like to deal with different people, whether it's at work or in other activities.

How did you learn about Google Developer Groups?

In 2014, I participated in GDG Guangzhou DevFest for the first time by coincidence and met the founder of GDG Guangzhou. Afterward, I joined the founder's company and volunteered at many GDG programs. In 2017, I officially became an organizer after the existing organizers recognized my ability and desire to contribute more to the GDG Guangzhou community.

Tell us more about Guangzhou and the developer community there.

Our community members are talented, passionate, and amazing. I see all kinds of possibilities in them. They're always excited for every event we hold, keep a fanatical attitude toward Google's technological innovation, and are particularly interested in Android, Kotlin, and Flutter.

What are events like in your community?

We highly value feedback from event participants, who are interested in a wide range of topics. For this reason, we generally use 15% of every event to cover non-technical topics, such as entrepreneurship, business management, and careers. For more comprehensive activities, such as DevFest, we increase the amount of non-technical content to roughly 30%.

What is your Google Developer Group focused on right now?

We devote most of our energy to improving the quality of activities. We try to add more elements to the event to strengthen the interaction of participants in hopes of improving the feedback mechanism and gaining more valuable suggestions for future event optimization. We also try to improve the quality of guests and themes, and pay more attention to event details, such as event announcements, registration, and check-in.

What’s your favorite community memory from a Google Developer Group event?

The memory that touches me the most is the construction of WTM Guangzhou. From the first event with only 80 developers to the audience of more than 500 people in recent years, it represents the recognition of, and support for, our events. There are many people who come to participate every year; some are actively encouraging their friends to participate and others are even urging us to hold events. They feel honored to be invited to our events and their enthusiasm endured during the pandemic.

What's next for you and your Google Developer Group?

There's still lots of room to grow in our community. We hope that we can continue to develop a Google Developer Group that reflects the best of Guangzhou. We also hope to find better ways to accumulate the experience shared by speakers and the value of community users.

If you want to grow your career and coding knowledge with people like Hebe He, join a Google Developer Group near you.

Google Developer Group Spotlight: A conversation with Cloud Architect, Ilias Papachristos

Posted by Jennifer Kohl, Global Program Manager, Google Developer Communities

The Google Developer Groups Spotlight series interviews inspiring leaders of community meetup groups around the world. Our goal is to learn more about what developers are working on, how they’ve grown their skills with the Google Developer Group community, and what tips they might have for us all.

We recently spoke with Ilias Papachristos, Google Developer Group Cloud Thessaloniki Lead in Greece. Check out our conversation with Ilias on Cloud architecture, reading official documentation, and suggested resources to help developers grow professionally.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a family man, ex-army helicopter pilot, Kendo sensei, beta tester at Coursera, Lead of the Google Developer Group Cloud Thessaloniki community, Google Cloud Professional Architect, and a Cloud Board Moderator on the Google Developers Community Leads Platform (CLP).

I love outdoor activities, reading books, listening to music, and cooking for my family and friends!

Can you explain your work in Cloud technologies?

Over my career, I have used Compute Engine for an e-shop, AutoML Tables for an HR company, and have architected the migration of a company in Mumbai. Now I’m consulting for a company on two of their projects: one that uses Cloud Run and another that uses Kubernetes.

Both of them have Cloud SQL and the Kubernetes project will use the AI Platform. We might even end up using Dataflow with BigQuery for the streaming and Scheduler or Manager, but I’m still working out the details.

I love the chance to share knowledge with the developer community. Many days, I open my PC, read the official Google Cloud blog, and share interesting articles on the CLP Cloud Board and GDG Cloud Thessaloniki’s social media accounts. Then, I check Google Cloud’s Medium publication for extra articles. Read, comment, share, repeat!

How did the Google Developer Group community help your Cloud career?

My overall knowledge of Google Cloud has to do with my involvement with Google Developer Groups. It is not just one thing. It’s about everything! At the first European GDG Leads Summit, I met so many people who were sharing their knowledge and offering their help. For a newbie like me it was and still is something that I keep in my heart as a treasure

I’ve also received so many informative lessons on public speaking from Google Developer Group and Google Developer Student Club Leads. They always motivate me to continue talking about the things I love!

What has been the most inspiring part of being a part of your local Google Developer Group?

Collaboration with the rest of the DevFest Hellas Team! For this event, I was a part of a small group of 12 organizers, all of whom never had hosted a large meetup before. With the help of Google Developer Groups, we had so much fun while creating a successful DevFest learning program for 360 people.

What are some technical resources you have found the most helpful for your professional development?

Besides all of the amazing tricks and tips you can learn from the Google Cloud training team and courses on the official YouTube channel, I had the chance to hear a talk by Wietse Venema on Cloud Run. I also have learned so much about AI from Dale Markovitz’s videos on Applied AI. And of course, I can’t leave out Priyanka Vergadia’s posts, articles, and comic-videos!

Official documentation has also been a super important part of my career. Here are five links that I am using right now as an Architect:

  1. Google Cloud Samples
  2. Cloud Architecture Center
  3. Solve with Google Cloud
  4. Google Cloud Solutions
  5. 13 sample architectures to kickstart your Google Cloud journey

How did you become a Google Developer Group Lead?

I am a member of the Digital Analytics community in Thessaloniki, Greece. Their organizer asked me to write articles to start motivating young people. I translated one of the blogs into English and published it on Medium. The Lead of GDG Thessaloniki read them and asked me to become a facilitator for a Cloud Study Jams (CSJ) workshop. I accepted and then traveled to Athens to train three people so that they could also become CSJ facilitators. At the end of the CSJ, I was asked if I wanted to lead a Google Developer Group chapter. I agreed. Maria Encinar and Katharina Lindenthal interviewed me, and I got it!

What would be one piece of advice you have for someone looking to learn more about a specific technology?

Learning has to be an amusing and fun process. And that’s how it’s done with Google Developer Groups all over the world. Join mine, here. It’s the best one. (Wink, wink.)

Want to start growing your career and coding knowledge with developers like Ilias? Then join a Google Developer Group near you, here.