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Sustainable IT with Chrome OS

End user computing devices account for 1% of greenhouse gas emissions. This may not sound like a lot, but it’s far too much if we want to change the course of our planet’s future. Fortunately, sustainability is a top-ranking trend across the business landscape, and Michael Wyatt, Head of Google’s Chrome Enterprise in EMEA, was happy to join C2C Global’s Clean Clouds Happy Earth event to tell our members about using Chrome OS to practice Sustainable IT.Chrome has committed to more sustainable manufacturing, consumption, and downstream practices for managing its products, integrating sustainability into the entire device lifecycle. Chrome’s manufacturing partners are producing more sustainable devices, including the first made entirely from ocean-bound plastics. Chromebooks also use up to 46% less energy than competitors. If other vendors adopt these practices, and customers make it a priority to invest in these resources, the goal of a sustainable future will be that much easier to achieve.After reviewing Chrome’s commitments, Wyatt introduced two case studies submitted by Chrome customers. Kingston & Sutton Council partnered with Citrix, Chrome, and Acer to update its systems and reduce their energy consumption by one third. Nordic Choice Hotels converted 2,000 windows PCs to chrome using OS Flex in one weekend after suffering a ransomware attack to adopt more secure software without investing in any new machines. The company distributed one-pagers to all of its hotels and each location’s staff migrated their machines onsite. As these stories demonstrate, sustainability is achievable for any organization willing to work proactively with Chrome.Watch a full video of Wyatt’s presentation below:  Extra Credit:  

Categories:Industry SolutionsSustainabilitySession Recording

Collisions and Community at C2C Connect Live: New York City

Trevor Marshall had just left the stage after over an hour of nonstop conversation, but he was ready for another interview. The CTO of Current, an aptly-named disruptor in the developing fintech space, had come to the event to participate in a panel discussion with Spenser Paul of DoiT, Michael Brzezinski of AMD, and Michael Beal of Data Capital Management, immediately following a one-on-one fireside chat with Paul, who also brought his labrador Milton onstage with him for both sessions. Now Marshall was sitting at a wooden dining table in an open workspace overlooking Manhattan’s Little Island floating park, enthusiastically describing a proof-of-concept his company is running with Google Cloud’s C2D compute instances, an offering powered by AMD’s EPYC processors.“It’s cool to actually be able to put a face to some of this technology,” he said. “We have a lot of compute-bound instances, and for me, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s the C2D guy!” Brzezinski had discussed AMD’s role in bringing C2D instances to Google Cloud customers, but Marshall hadn’t known until the two were seated onstage together that his fellow panelist is directly involved in selling the same technology he hopes to adopt. “I’m going to be reaching out to that guy,” he said. “I do have some questions. That will actually unlock some progress in our stack, and I think that’s pretty sweet.” Trevor Marshall of Current, Spenser Paulof Doit, and Paul’s Labrador, MiltonMarshall’s positivity and excitement to collaborate reflected the prevailing atmosphere at C2C Connect Live, New York City, the most recent of C2C Global’s regional face-to-face events for Google Cloud customers and partners, this one hosted at Google’s 8510 building in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The scheduled program put Marshall in conversation with Brzezinski, AMD’s Global Sales Manager, Paul, DoiT’s head of Global Alliances, and Beal, Data Capital Management’s CEO, on the topic of innovation and cost optimization on Google Cloud. These sessions were designed as a starting point for the reception that followed, where the panelists and guests shared their stories and explored the topics discussed in more depth.“You get an opportunity to say the things you feel like people are interested in, and then you get to talk with them afterward,” said Brzezinski. “They’ll come and ask you more about what you said, or say, ‘you mentioned this one thing, but I want to know more about something different.’” “You collide two atoms together, you create something new. You collide two people together and have an open discussion, you learn something new, get new insight.” Thomson Nguy, Vice President of Sales in the Americas at Aiven, was grateful to be able to meet both Brzezinski and Beal in person, having worked with both companies, AMD as a vendor and Data Capital Management as a customer, but only remotely. “We’re an AMD customer, we’re a Google customer, but also we’ve got one of our customers [at the event] that can actually use the price performance that AMD can drive, and so it’s actually being able to connect relationships along the whole value chain,” he said. “Working together as partners, we can actually create real value for the customers.” Customer conversations outside Google’sGoblin King AuditoriumNguy particularly appreciated being able to make these connections in an informal setting, where sales was not top of mind for him or his team. When he and Beal met, before talking shop, the two reminisced about Harvard Business School, where both earned their MBAs. “This event was very natural,” said Nguy. “It wasn’t like going to an AWS summit, where you get lost in 10,000 people at the Javitz center. It’s a very intimate place that lets you connect and talk with people, and it has that really cool vibe, a community vibe that I really appreciate.” Faris Alrabi, one of Aiven’s Sales Team Leads in the Americas, wholeheartedly agreed. At most events, he said, he feels obligated to pitch, whereas, at C2C Connect Live, he went out of his way not to.Attendees repeatedly echoed these sentiments. In conversation with Nguy in front of a spread of refreshments that depleted rapidly over the course of the reception, Geoff MacNeil of Crowdbotics, another company that brought multiple team members out to the event, attributed the unique value of this intimate setting to the possibility of chance encounters. “Collisions create innovation,” he said. “You collide two atoms together, you create something new. You collide two people together and have an open discussion, you learn something new, get new insight.” Nguy and MacNeil also exchanged information to discuss opportunities to partner in the future.New business deals aside, however, the ability to meet and share ideas and impressions in person, guests agreed, was reason enough to attend already. “Even if we left this event without getting a single lead,” said Nguy, “the experience of being here and understanding our customers and the way they think and the way they talk in a lot fuller context, I thought that was super valuable.” C2C Will be hosting many more face-to-face events in the coming months. To connect with Google Cloud customers in your area and spark more innovation for your company, register for these upcoming events below:  

Categories:ComputeIndustry SolutionsC2C NewsFinancial Services

Exploring Cloud Workflows

On Thursday, April 14, 2022, the C2C DACH region hosted a powerful and informative event with guest Joel Goodman, a staff cloud architect at DoiT International, focused on Cloud Workflows, a serverless offering from Google Cloud. Thomas Hug (@tom), one of our DACH Team Leaders, served as moderator of the session. Read on below to review the key takeaways from this in-depth introduction to this dynamic product. 30 Minutes in 30 seconds (3:47) Joel Goodman began his presentation by explaining why a Google Cloud user should consider Workflows. The more services a user has talking to each other at once, the harder they are to manage, and the more tedious the process of sending events to a pipeline becomes.  (5:01) Goodman compared Workflow to an orchestrator: a central process that executes the workflow from start to finish.  (5:26) Next, Goodman gave an overview of Workflows and its capabilities, and what writing a workflow looks like. (7:00) To provide some examples of use cases for Workflows, Goodman brought up microservice orchestration, continuous integration and deployment (although he admitted he wouldn’t use it for heavier things), transactional consistency, ETL and Data pipelines (although he acknowledges that Workflows would be a better way to start for light data pipelines, and that for more complex needs there are a number of other tools available that would be more suitable), and long-running workflows.  (9:00) To give attendees a demo of Workflows, Goodman used the example of a mechanic who runs an application whose users send pictures of their vehicle. The microservice orchestration in this case is as follows: save the image to Google Cloud Storage, extract the license plate number from the image, look up the vehicle’s information, save the information to BigQuery, and finally email the vehicle image to the mechanic with the information he needs.  (10:44) Next Goodman listed some workflow design requirements: It has to be cheap, it has to focus on business logic and not infrastructure, it has to scale up and down with customer demand, and it has to be reliable and allow for easy troubleshooting.  (11:07) Goodman also expanded on his design decisions––Cloud Run for microservices and Cloud Workflows for orchestration––and analyzed the managed and external services and the microservices required.  (11:58) To break everything down further, Goodman explained the specific uses for the web app, the license plate reader, and the notification service.  (12:25) Goodman next provided an extensive analysis of the differences between orchestration and choreography. (16:40) Finally, Goodman gave attendees a demonstration of the application’s front end, the submission of the image, and the process in the background.  (20:56) For the rest of the session, Goodman fielded questions from C2C members hoping to implement Cloud Workflows for their own services.   Extra Credit: Looking to get more involved with our DACH community? Come to our in-person event in Munich on May 18, 2022. This session will cover how MediaMarktSaturn built its Data Mesh, and why this solution is such a game-changer. Attendees will also hear from our partner AMD about how they are making their industry leading AMD EPYC processors available on Google Cloud, and how UberCloud is helping organizations run their simulation tools using HPC application containers.Join us and these amazing speakers as they share their journeys and business outcomes, and how they have overcome their technical and business challenges:   Fabian Seitz, Group Product Manager, MediaMarkt Saturn Pawel Walczysko, Cloud Solution Specialist Wolfgang Gentzsch, President, UberCloud Daniel Gruber, Director of Architecture, UberCloud Sign up below today!  

Introducing the April 2022 Community C2Champions

C2C is a global community where Google Cloud customers and partners can explore new technical solutions and transform their businesses using Google Cloud products. What makes C2C so unique, however, is the opportunity for our members to meet, share their knowledge, and collaborate with one another. Learning which products to use and how to use them is important, but the chance to hear the story of another colleague who has done so successfully or tell your own success story is vital. To demonstrate this value to our membership, C2C has introduced a new program all about recognizing the individuals who make our community so dynamic and rewarding. Read on below to learn more about our inaugural monthly community C2Champions. Category: Platform Posts Seiji ManoanSeiji Manoan (@seijimanoan) is a 30-year-old father of two based in Brazil. As a Software and DevOps engineer, he helps organizations build and maintain resources on Kubernetes by providing outstanding SRE support. “I used to be a full-stack developer and tech lead,” he says, “until I realized how much I love to keep the workloads up and running with scalability and resilience.” To date, Seiji has started six new conversations on our platform, and participated in 16 altogether. Many of our members are engaging at this rate, but the resources and the personal touch he provides make Seiji’s posts stand out to our community managers and the rest of our members. Check out some of Seiji’s most-engaged posts below:  Category: Solving Problems Yuval Drori RetziverYuval Drori Retvizer (@yuval) is an experienced Staff Cloud Architect for C2C Foundational Platform Partner DoiT International, managing production environments for GCP and working with countless GCP customers. He is an infrastructure expert known for his extensive knowledge of Kubernetes, GKE, service mesh, and blockchain. An active participant at C2C events and on the community platform, Yuval has successfully provided solutions to a range of problems raised by C2C community members. The C2C Team and community are always grateful to have Yuval available to share his knowledge and resources. Follow the links below to explore some of the solutions Yuval has provided for other C2C members:  Category: Attending Events Katsiaryna “Kate”VyshydkevichKatsiaryna Vyshydkevich (@Katsiaryna Vyshydkevich), or Kate, is an experienced QA Engineer based in Belarus, where she studied at the University of Informatics and Radioelectronics. Kate is passionate about cloud and self-driving cars. A committed advocate for women in the Google Cloud ecosystem, she serves as an #IamRemarkable workshop facilitator, a WTM Ambassador, and a mentor for the Women in Tech community. Beyond the cloud, Kate is an avid traveler who dreams of visiting every part of the world. She enjoys windsurfing, books, and seeing local amateur theater productions. Kate engages enthusiastically across the C2C community, but her presence at C2C events is what inspired our team to nominate her as a C2Champion. Read these posts from Kate to hear what she has to say about some of our recent events:  Category: Google Support Madison JenkinsC2C would not be complete without the participation and support of colleagues and teammates across the Google organization. In recent months, Madison Jenkins (@MadisonJenkins) of Google Cloud Startup Community Marketing has played a key role in nurturing the C2C startups community. Madison is a Northern California native who has been working within the startup ecosystem since she attended California State University, Sacramento. As COO of AngelHack, she managed the company’s global hackathon series logistics, reaching over 60 cities a year. Madison is an operations guru with an expertise in event management, logistics, and marketing. When she’s not working, she loves to brew beer, travel, and explore the outdoors. Take a look below at some of what Madison has contributed to the C2C community experience:  Do you want to be a C2Champion? There are countless ways to engage on our platform or at our events, but the easiest way to get started right now is to join us as a member! We look forward to seeing you around our community.

Categories:C2C Community SpotlightC2C News

Becoming Fully Certified on Google Cloud (full recording)

Certifications are a Google Cloud user’s keys to success. Google Cloud’s many certifications provide the training and expertise practitioners need to identify and excel in their career paths, and certifications help employers and industry decision-makers find the talent that sets their teams apart from the competition.This C2C Connect was hosted by Devoteam, a foundational platinum partner of C2C and Google Cloud Premier Partner. Devoteam has an ambition to encourage consultants to become fully certified on Google Cloud, being well versed in multiple disciplines, and has four consultants who have done it, with two of them being Anthos fellows. The presenters shared reasons for why they think this is important and their methodology and support system they have built to roll this out to 400 consultants world wide.The recording from this session includes the topics listed below, plus nearly twenty minutes of open Q&A from community members present at the live event:(0:00) Introduction to the session from @Alfons, C2C (1:50) Introduction on Devoteam and our presenters, Jason Quek, Global CTO of Devoteam G Cloud, and Niels Buekers, CTO of Devoteam G Cloud Benelux & UKI (5:10) Session overview on the why, what, and how: continuous learning, business value, and leading by example by building the best talent on Google Cloud to serve customers (9:00) Why continuous learning is necessary for building trust (11:35) Testing your theoretical knowledge and preparing for certification exams (18:25) How Devoteam uses gamification (leaderboards) to award exam vouchers and why they celebrate newly certified exam-takers (27:40) Gaining hands-on experience and qualifying for cloud jobs (30:15) Mentorship programs and study sessions (32:15) Leading by example and the goal of becoming fully certified (33:45) Final thoughts and community Q&AWatch the full recording of the conversation below: 

Categories:Google Cloud CertificationsGoogle Cloud PartnersSession Recording

Food Waste: The World's Dumbest Problem

In 2019, Emily Ma, Head of Google Cloud’s Food for Good program, began her journey as a Googler conducting waste audits. Every day, Ma and her team members would collect every trash bag in their Google facility, cordon it off in a designated outdoor space, and sort through all of it piece by piece. The goal of this process was to categorize the waste to understand what the Googlers in the building threw away every day. One particular insight emerged very quickly: office workers, like people everywhere, waste a lot of food.When Ma was working on supply chain hardware, she says, waste yields of less than 95% were considered “unconscionable.” By comparison, she adds with emphasis, “The food system has a 60% yield.” Ma started multiple teams at Google to enhance transparency for supply chains within the company and beyond. They used tens of thousands of video recordings of people throwing away food to build computer vision algorithms that recognize trends in food waste disposal. These trends align with what we already know: “Our food system is designed to overproduce.”Since 2014, Google Food has successfully saved 10 Million pounds of food waste, which is equivalent to over 25,000 pounds of carbon and 1.25 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all Google office spaces with water for 5 years. “There is a genius in setting out bold goals,” says Ma. By 2025, Google plans to reduce food waste per Googler by 50%, and divert all of that food waste away from landfill, where it would otherwise emit methane gas. To do so, Ma’s teams plans to focus their efforts in five areas: sourcing and procurement, operations optimization, user behavior change, physical infrastructure, and food recovery.In 2019, Google made a commitment to “circularity” to maximize reuse of finite resources in Google’s operations and empower others to do the same. Google is also the anchor funder for a $10 million catalytic grant through ReFED, the premiere food waste research organization in the United States. To learn more about these and the other efforts Ma has taken on with Google Food, watch the presentation she gave at C2C Global’s Clean Clouds, Happy Earth event below:  Extra Credit:  

Categories:SustainabilitySession Recording

Policy Intelligence Drives Conversation at C2C Connect: France Session on April 12, 2022

On April 12, 2022, C2C France Team Leads Antoine Castex (@antoine.castex) and Guillaume Blaquiere (@guillaume blaquiere) were excited to welcome Policy Intelligence Product Manager Vandhana Ramadurai to join a powerful session for the Google Cloud space in France and beyond. These sessions intend to bring together a community of cloud experts and customers to connect, learn, and shape the future of cloud. The following points summarize the key takeaways from Ramadurai’s presentation: Policy Intelligence is a suite of 4 major tools which simplify security and IAM (identity and access management) at the project, folder, and organization levels. IAM Recommender analyses, understands, and proposes new roles after an observation period of 90 days. The feature uses AI to increase recommendation accuracy. The least privilege principle is important, but can be complex to enforce at project, folder, and organization level. IAM Recommender helps in that respect, and users can easily enforce or roll back the recommendation with a simple click (or API call). IAM Simulator is a solution for users or organizations who may not trust AI to enforce recommendations. Users can manage IAM policy changes and simulate their potential impact.  User accounts or service accounts may not have the permissions required to execute certain actions. IAM Troubleshooter understands mission roles and permissions and grants those required, without breaking the least privilege principle. IAM Analyser, the final tool in the Policy Intelligence suite, lists the permissions granted a user to access a certain resource, the account assigned a specific permission or role, or a combination of both. This tool is particularly useful for auditing granted permissions. The Policy Intelligence tools continue to evolve to include all the developing features in the IAM space (denied policy, for example). In the future, the flagship product, IAM recommender, will include more ability to customize the duration of the observation period. Despite its 60-minute time limit, this conversation didn’t stop. Policy Intelligence is a hot topic, and it certainly kept everyone’s attention. The group spent time discussing asset inventory, AI and ML modeling, and various topics in IAM including security, least privilege, and trust. Ramadurai also fielded questions from attendees, including Damien Morellet (@dmorellet) of SFEIR, who wanted to know if Policy Intelligence includes a dry run feature (it does!). Watch the full video of the event below to learn more about this suite of tools and the many features and use cases of each one:  Preview What's Next These upcoming C2C events will cover other major topics of interest that didn’t make it to the discussion floor this time around:  Extra Credit Looking for more Google Cloud products, news, and resources? We got you. The following links were shared with attendees and are now available to you!  https://youtu.be/IAhJs3-0RoY IAM Recommander IAM Simulator IAM Troubleshooter IAM Analyser

Categories:Identity and SecuritySession Recording

Clean Clouds, Happy Earth Panel Discussion: Sustainability in EMEA

The centerpiece of C2C’s virtual Earth Day conference, Clean Clouds, Happy Earth, was a panel discussion on sustainability in EMEA featuring C2C and Google Cloud partners HCL and AMD and cosmetics superpower L’Oreal. Moderated by Ian Pattison, EMEA Head of Sustainability Practice at Google Cloud, the conversation lasted the better part of an hour and explored a range of strategies for enabling organizations to build and run sustainable technology on Google Cloud.According to Sanjay Singh, Executive VP of the Google Cloud Ecosystem Unit at HCL technologies, when advising customers across the value chain evaluating cloud services, Google Cloud becomes a natural choice because of its focus on sustainable goals. Connecting customers to Google Cloud is a key part of HCL’s broader program for maintaining sustainable business practices at every organizational level. “What you cannot measure, you cannot improve” says Singh, which is why HCL has created systems to measure every point of emission under their purview for carbon footprint impact. In alignment with Google Cloud’s commitment to run a carbon-free cloud platform by 2030, HCL plans to make its processes carbon neutral in the same timeframe.Suresh Andani, Senior Director of Cloud Vertical Marketing at AMD, serves on a task force focused on defining the company’s sustainability goals as an enterprise and as a vendor. As a vendor, AMD prioritizes helping customers migrate to the cloud itself as well as making its compute products (CPUS and GPUS) more energy efficient, which they plan to do by a factor of 30 by 2025. On the enterprise side, Andani says, AMD relies on partners and vendors, so making sure AMD as an organization is sustainable expands to its ecosystem of suppliers. One of the biggest challenges, he says, is to measure partners’ operations. This challenge falls to AMD’s corporate responsibility team.Health and beauty giant L’Oreal recently partnered with Google Cloud to run its beauty tech data engine. In the words of architect Antoine Castex, a C2C Team Lead in France, sustainability at L’Oreal is all about finding “the right solution for the right use case.” For Castex, this means prioritizing Software as a Service (SaaS) over Platform as a Service (PaaS), and only in the remotest cases using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). He is also emphatic about the importance of using serverless architecture and products like AppEngine, which only run when in use, rather than running and consuming energy 24/7.For Hervé Dumas, L’Oreal’s Sustainability IT Director, these solutions are part of what he calls “a strategic ambition,” which must be common across IT staff. Having IT staff dedicated to sustainability, he says, creates additional knowledge and enables necessary transformation of the way the company works. As Castex puts it, this transformation will come about when companies like L’Oreal are able to “change the brain of the people.”As Castex told C2C in a follow-up conversation after the event, the most encouraging takeaway from the panel for L’Oreal was the confirmation that other companies and tech players have “the same dream and ambition as us.” Watch a full recording of the conversation below, and check back to the C2C website over the next two weeks for more content produced exclusively for this community event.  Also, if you’re based in EMEA and want to connect with other Google Cloud customers and partners in the C2C community, join us at one of our upcoming face-to-face events:  Extra Credit:  

Categories:Data AnalyticsGoogle Cloud StrategyComputeIndustry SolutionsCloud MigrationGoogle Cloud PartnersSustainabilityConsumer Packaged GoodsSession Recording

Tips and Tricks for the Professional Cloud Developer Exam (full recording)

The Google Cloud certifications program offers career-enhancing training and testing for professionals in all areas of cloud technology. Data, infrastructure, and security are often topics of particular interest for those investigating these options, but developers make up one of the biggest and most vibrant communities in the world of Google Cloud. Sebastian Moreno is a Google partner engineer and the author of the Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Developer Exam Guide. In this C2C Connect event, Sebastian joins us to share his insights and field questions directly from C2C members interested in taking this exam. Questions answered and topics explored include: (0:00) Introducing Sebastian and the Professional Cloud Developer exam (4:45) Who is the target of the Professional Cloud Developer certification? (7:30) Does the Professional Cloud Developer exam include case studies? (9:30) The Professional Cloud Developer exam, DevOps, and related certifications (19:30) Preparing for the Professional Cloud Developer exam with Pluralsight and other labs (24:00) How difficult is the Professional Cloud Developer exam? (28:00) What tools does a data professional need to take the Professional Cloud Developer exam? (31:40) Retaining knowledge gained while studying for the Professional Cloud Developer exam (37:30) The Professional Cloud Developer exam and career advancement Watch the full recording of the conversation below:  

Categories:Google Cloud CertificationsSession Recording

Completing the Story of Sustainable Computing: an Interview with Suresh Andani, AMD Senior Director of Cloud Vertical Marketing

Sustainability is an inherent value of cloud computing and storage. According to Suresh Andani, Senior Director of Cloud Vertical Marketing at C2C Global Gold partner AMD, data center sustainability, which used to be an afterthought, has now become a key requirement. The first step to a more sustainable compute solution, he says, is migration to the cloud. This gives companies like AMD an immediate advantage: they are already offering a more sustainable solution. However, along with this advantage comes a challenge. All cloud partners provide the option to migrate. How can companies like AMD help further?AMD will appear alongside a full lineup of C2C and Google Cloud customers and partners this Thursday, April 21, 2022 at Clean Clouds, Happy Earth, a special C2C Earth Day event for companies and practitioners committed to sustainable cloud solutions. Participating companies include Deutsche Bank and Nordic Choice Hotels, and full sessions will explore topics such as supply chain resiliency, food waste, environmental, social, and governance analysis, and sustainable IT. Andani will join a panel of executives featuring Sanjay Singh of C2C platinum partner HCL, Antoine Castex––a C2C Team Lead in France––and Hervé Dumas of L’Oreal, and Ian Pattison, EMEA Head of Sustainability Practice at Google. “Energy efficiency is not just about power consumed and how efficiently you address or cool. It’s also about how you make your manufacturing process more sustainable.” Andani hopes the panel will be “a channel to get the word out” about how AMD differentiates in the cloud computing space. All of AMD’s customers need to be able to reduce the amount of power they’re consuming as they process their workloads. AMD’s solutions are designed to solve this problem at the root cause. “Energy efficiency is not just about power consumed and how efficiently you address or cool,” Andani says. “It’s also about how you make your manufacturing process more sustainable.” To this end, several years ago, AMD implemented a chiplet architecture specifically designed to improve their yields and minimize waste. Now, says Andani, many of AMD’s peers are choosing to go the same route.More providers in the cloud computing space adopting a more sustainable manufacturing process is all the more reason for companies like AMD to participate in live events hosted by customer communities like C2C. As Andani was happy to share, he and Pattison have appeared together at similar events in the past. These panels, Andani affirms, are of unique value to Google Cloud customers looking to improve energy efficiency. Representatives of Google Cloud appear at such events to discuss how Google Cloud’s products use technologies such as AI and ML to monitor energy consumption. When the same panel features an end customer adopting this technology, in Andani’s words, “that completes the story.” Join C2C Global and all of our distinguished sponsors and guests at 9:00 AM EDT on April 21, 2022 to witness the complete story of sustainable computing on Google Cloud. Use the link below to register: 

Categories:ComputeGoogle Cloud PartnersSustainability

Retail Case Study: How Marriott International Builds Smart Kiosks on Google Cloud

Early last year, Marriott International, Inc. introduced various smart kiosks at several Marriott venues to eliminate the need for in-person interactions. These grab-and-go kiosks have everything from snacks, beverages, and sundries to piping hot coffee, fresh sandwiches, sweet indulgences, yogurt, cereal, and fruit. Other Marriott smart kiosks provide keys to your hotel rooms and help you map out your itinerary. Don’t have cash or credit for your purchases? Don’t worry. Marriott kiosks also accept contactless Bluetooth connection for mobile pay. According to Chard the Tech Guy “These contactless kiosks are the wave of the future.” Use case: Marriott International Hotel, Hangzhou, China Visitors to China use Marriott’s smart kiosks to check in for reservations and pick up their room keys. The machines are powered by facial-recognition technology and work in tandem with Marriott Bonvoy apps, where guests have previously paid for rooms. Before departure, guests use those same machines for contactless check-out. The whole process displaces traditional long lines with less than a minute. Smart Kiosk Technology Smart kiosks are everywhere. They serve hot pies and pizza in Ottawa, Canada and jars of fresh salad in six U.S. states. They’re also used in the education sector buying school meals, printing class schedules, renting or purchasing books, registering for classes, and checking exam grades. In healthcare institutions, post-offices, (or other organizations across industries), these kiosks are used to schedule appointments. Airports use passport kiosks to slash average wait time by half, according to Global Gateway Alliance. In retail, these kiosks provide consumers with brand information, directions, self-checkout, and price lookup, leading to shorter lines, boosted revenue, lower labor costs, and increased customer satisfaction.Naturally, smart kiosks have their issues too. They break down, stall, and sometimes return inaccurate responses. Mostly, though, they’re controversial because they displace certain human jobs. In 2018, employees at Marriott International went on strike across the U.S. to demand a say in decisions related to the adoption of new technologies. For kiosks to maximally benefit Marriott International, the hotel will have to successfully integrate its workers with its robots.Marriott International uses Google Cloud to create experiential memories for its customers across 19 brands in 81 countries. Objectives include monitoring news and popular events; real-time analytics on Marriott’s hotel bookings worldwide and where they’re coming from; a calendar of cultural events; and YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds.Have you ever used a smart kiosk? Can you think of any other Google Cloud retail or travel industry use cases? Reply below or write a post to our community to let us know. Extra Credit:  

Categories:Industry SolutionsRetailTravel

Introducing C2C’s Newest Community

Our team always says that the “C”’s in C2C are up for interpretation. Whether we’re connecting to customers, connecting customers to communities, connecting companies to the cloud, or enabling communities to connect, C2C exists to facilitate these connections and foster community and growth. All Google Cloud customers have valuable experiences and insights to share within and among one another, no matter their location, their demographic, or even their species. With all of the above in mind, C2C is proud to announce that April 1, 2022 marks the official launch of C2C’s newest Google Cloud Customer Community: Cat2Cat. JellyCommunity Manager, C2CAs we open up this new section of our community, please give a big welcome and a healthy amount of head scratches to C2C’s newest community manager, Jelly. He is a good boy, having previously provided support and socialization training to stray fosters for housecat readiness.  Like some of the other community managers you can expect to meet in C2C, Jelly fuses his connection-minded spirit with his significant experience using Google Cloud products. Jelly joins us from happn, where he worked as a product architect to upgrade the app’s infrastructure to Google Cloud Platform. Happn’s app uses geolocation information to notify users—whether people or outdoor cats roaming the neighborhood—when they’ve crossed paths, allowing them to connect afterward. To fully scale the application, terabytes of data were transferred to servers hosted in GCP data centers, using Google Compute Engine for additional functionality. Read happn’s full case study here. Throughout history, cats have been recognized variously as exalted souls protected from harm by law, familiars to witches and other beings blessed with magical powers, and immortal creatures possessed of multiple lives. Today, we recognize these early mythological depictions of cats as attempts to recognize their facility with the extraordinary technologies that govern the world we live in. Cats may not be able to do magic or live forever, but in recent years they have proven especially adept at harnessing the power of the cloud to host their software and data, build their own cloud-native applications, and adopt digital architecture to transform their businesses. Read on below for some detailed examples of how cats representing some of Google Cloud’s biggest customer companies are incorporating Google Cloud Products into transformative technical and business initiatives. CheddarCloud Data Architect, Mondelez InternationalWith a name like hers, Cheddar was destined to become a subject matter expert in the field of snacking. She has been collecting data on snack brands and their products her entire life, and she is grateful to have the opportunity to put this expertise to use at Mondelez International, the largest snacking company in the world. Thanks in large part to Cheddar’s efforts, Mondelez recently adopted the Google Cloud tech stack to transform its data collection and analysis to allow for personalized insights on cat customer experiences. As a lifelong snacker, Cheddar understands the Mondelez customer experience as well as anyone. Now, with Google Cloud, she is developing data solutions that will model this customer experience for every cat in search of the perfect snack. Read Mondelez International’s full case study here. LunaMachine Learning and Data Engineer, Johnson & JohnsonLike many cats, Luna has very little patience for bathtime. However, she does believe that grooming is essential to the leisurely life of a cat, which is why she wanted to bring her expertise building machine learning models to healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, known most widely for its hair care products. J&J recently started working with Google’s Cloud Talent Solution to rebuild its careers portal. Luna, knowing that cat baths are projects not to be mismanaged, was eager to take the lead on this project. Read Johnson & Johnson’s full case study here. LeiaLead Engineer, Stores and Supply Chain, TargetAs a busy consumer looking for the best products to support her many hobbies—eating fish, drinking milk, and finding the most opportune spots for a nap—Leia is inspired by the ways Google Cloud technology can improve customer experience. Target has employed products like Google Kubernetes Engine and Compute Engine to deliver enhanced convenience for inventory management and online commerce. Leia’s work is also impacted by cross-team collaboration, working with her canine colleague, Chewi, whose work focuses on serverless technology for mobile app development to empower store associates. Read Target’s full case study here. Cats are proud and particular animals. We don’t always think of them as natural community builders. However, their characteristic skill and grace makes Google Cloud’s adaptable and dynamic platform a perfect fit for their technology needs. Our continuing mission at C2C is to connect cloud users, no matter how cuddly or sassy they may be. As long as cats are using cloud technology to solve their business problems, C2C will be here to remind them that every cat is welcome on Google Cloud.

Categories:Industry SolutionsC2C NewsDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Getting Started with Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) - Key Takeaways

On March 17, 2022, the C2C Connect: UK and I group, led by Charlotte Moore (@charlotte.moore), Andy Yates (@andy.yates), Fintan Murphy (@fintan.murphy), Paul Lees (@paul.less), Sathy Sannasi (sathyaram_s.), and Yasin Quareshy (YasinQuareshy), invited Google Cloud Developer Advocate Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine to join them for an hour-long session on Site Reliability Engineering. The group’s monthly sessions bring together a local community of cloud experts and customers to connect, learn, and shape the future of cloud.  60 Minutes Summed Up in 60 Seconds  Pouchkine started the session by citing a number of publications and books on SRE, and then introduced the focus of the session: the Service Management aspect of SRE, and how it is applied at Google. Next, Pouchkine introduced DevOps Research Assessment (DORA), which helps measure how an organization compares to the best organizations in its delivery of its services, and how close the organization is to becoming an elite performer. Pouchkine shared key metrics DORA uses to measure a team's software delivery performance and explained how to set up an environment using FourKeys (available on GitHub) to implement workload measurement methods. To demonstrate practical implementation, Pouchkine introduced Pic-A-Daily App as a SRE use case. Pic-A Daily App is a photo recognition app that tags an image into a searchable category and an event driven microservice app with several delivery components. Next, Pouchkine gave his definition of SRE, making reference to the billions of users of Google's services and the 2,500 SREs responsible for the reliability of these services. He also discussed balancing reliability with agility. Pouchkine discussed tools, infrastructure observability, and culture in detail, citing the following key metrics used to measure impacts on a customer:  Service Level Indicator (SLI), which captures metrics that impact a customer, e.g. availability, latency. Service Level Objective (SLO), or the quality of service promised, e.g. error budget. Service Level Agreement (SLA), a business driven metric not used by the SRE. Pouchkine also discussed some recommended SRE best practices to follow: Versioning your software. Having multiple versions of software deployed and ready to serve requests if needed.   Canary Blue/Green deployments to provide flexibility and confidence in rolling back releases (if required) and A/B testing your software. Google Cloud Tools discussed that help diagnose and remediate faults. Having a centralized view of things rather than using multiple locations to identify issues. The climax of the session was a demo of Pic-A Daily App demonstrating how the tooling and SLO metrics can be used to identify and diagnose a fault. Tools that support the SRE include monitoring, error reporting, debugger, logging, traces, and profiler The session closed with a Q&A and some available resources on the topic.  Watch the full recording of this event below:  Despite its 60-minute time limit, this conversation didn’t stop. What are your thoughts on SRE, Service Management, DORA, or any of the other topics discussed above? Reply in the comments below or start a new topic on our group page.Be sure to sign up for C2C and join our C2C Connect: UK and Ireland group to connect with Google Cloud customers and experts based in the UK & Ireland and beyond Extra Credit  SRE Resources  DORA at C2C

Categories:DevOps and SRESession Recording

The World of Google Developer Communities - Event Takeaway

On Thursday, March 10, C2C DACH Community Manager Dimitris Petrakis (@Dimitris Petrakis) hosted a powerful event with Patrizia 'Pati' Jurek  (DevRel Regional Lead DACH, WTM Europe Lead, Google) focusing on the different Google Developer Communities. 60 Minutes in 60 seconds (3:05) Who We AreJurek began her presentation by explaining what the DevRel (Developer Relations) team really is: an on-the-ground network of developers overlooking engineering programs and community managers who drive various global programs that follow the “1:few:many” model. (4:20) What We DoThe main goal of DevRel is to nurture influencers and their communities everywhere to boost Google technology advocacy, adoption, quality, and perception. (5:21) How do Google Developers support communities?Google Developers support communities through learning, mentoring, and business building. The community is very diverse, with people coming from a huge variety of different backgrounds, such as enterprises, startups, and etc. They partner with communities, Women in Tech leads, Google technology experts, startups, and more to provide them with the resources and guidance they need to be successful in building on Google. (7:43) Video Presentation: "Google Developers: Community Connect 2021After her initial overview, Jurek shared a short video to give attendees a better understanding of what it means to be a part of this bigger community. (11:46) Google Developers: Developer Ecosystem TeamThe DevRel team spans 30 countries and connects with developers in over 140. Jurek presented analysis on these numbers, as well as the benefits gained by further developing communities worldwide and by engaging with top startups in strategic and up-and-coming markets. (14:00) Community ProgramsJurek introduced the different Google Community programs––GDG (Google Developer Groups), GDSC (Google Developer Student Clubs), GDE (Google Developer Experts), and WTM (Women Techmakers)––and then explained in detail their statistics and numbers (countries, groups, events annually, developers reached, content reads, public speaking events and workshops, ambassadors, women in tech reached) as well as the events they host, where they are organised, when, by whom, and what they contain. (22:08) Why does Google have Developer Groups?Three words: Connect, Learn, Grow! Developer community is about meeting other local developers and those interested in developer technologies, learning about a wide range of technical topics and new skills, and applying new learnings and connections to build great products and advance your skills, career, and network. (28:43) Google Developers ExpertsGoogle Developer Experts are a global network of highly experienced technology influencers who actively support developers, companies and communities. GDEs are independent volunteers who do not work for Google in any capacity. (47:34) Google Developer Student ClubsGDSCs are university based community groups for students interested in Google's developer technology. (52:25) Women TechmakersWTM engages over 100,000 women in tech across 190 countries each year. WTM provides visibility, community and resources for women in technology across all career levels to drive innovation and participation in the industry. (56:44) Become a Google Cloud Developer HeroGoogle Developer Heroes showcase and celebrate the innovation and career development of their teams, meet and exchange ideas with Google execs, cloud solution experts and product teams, and join Google tech communities or become Experts to grow skills, mentor fellow developers, and partake in exclusive Google projects. Watch the full recording of the event below: Extra Credit   

Categories:Application DevelopmentSession Recording

Women in Cloud: Ayu Ginanti

Communities grow and thrive when they lift up all of their members to succeed. Part of that undertaking is to recognize structural imbalances and to turn to their historically marginalized members to lead.To celebrate Women’s History Month and the contributions of women in the world of cloud technology, C2C is highlighting conversations with leaders who will guide our future. Every Tuesday this March, we will publish an interview with one of the many women driving change and giving direction in the C2C community. This interview is with Ayu Ginanti, APJ Cloud Lead at Intel, a Google Cloud Premier Partner and Foundational Platinum Partner of C2C. You’re in a video call with people you haven’t yet met. How would you introduce yourself? My name is Ayu (pronounced Aah-you), and I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. Sydney, Australia, has been my second home since 2015, and I love it here.I’m a Cloud Lead at Intel⁠—the “chip queen” of Silicon Valley⁠—where I help companies get the best out of their cloud consumption. I work closely with cloud providers like Google Cloud to drive value optimization on all Intel technologies.I’m also a baker and a wedding cake artist. Tell me about your education, your experience, and your tech path. Have you earned any certifications? Are there any you felt like you needed? My educational background is actually in communications and business, but I always gravitated toward technology. All of my theses had a strong emphasis on technology and that interest followed me to the professional world. I’m proud of the plurality of my tech career and I particularly love being part of pioneering teams or businesses. I was one of the first 10 employees in Google Indonesia. I then pivoted to cloud and relocated to Sydney to join Google Cloud Australia. And now being the first Cloud Lead at Intel, I have a big responsibility in driving Intel’s technology leadership in cloud and breaking the perception that Intel is just a “PC-centric company”.When it comes to certifications, I earned many at a professional level that were related to my job. I was AdWords certified and also passed the Google Analytics and YouTube certifications when I was part of the Google Adwords team. There’s probably greater emphasis on certifications in the cloud world—I even participated as a beta tester in the Google Cloud Digital Leader certification when it was released last year.In general, I like learning new things. When I don’t have any cloud exams or internal cloud trainings to work on, I like to do short courses or executive education on the topics I’m interested in. I did one on “Driving organizational change” last year, and I’m enrolling in an AI course this May to help me with my job and learn new things that I’m curious about and may be beneficial either now or in the future. How did you get started with Google Cloud? I joined Google Cloud before Google Cloud even carried that name. I was part of the “OG” Google for Work, and our core focus at that time was selling the SaaS offerings of Google Workspace. Back then, it was called Google Apps for Work, then they rebranded as GSuite, and then as Google Workspace. I’ve seen the full transformation of that company.When they pivoted their focus to Google Cloud Platform, I was one of the brave souls who believed that was the right path for the company, and that lined up with what I saw as the right path for my career. While it was very disruptive at the time, I believed there were so many opportunities ahead. And to be honest, Google Cloud circa 2017 was tough! We went through so many changes, starting in that phase of very minimal awareness among IT professionals just getting started, going through a rebrand, and bringing on a new CEO. Imagine still learning about the basics of load balancing and egress and trying to convince the customers that these were the right solutions for them. I was one of the people who would pick up the phone and say, “I’m from Google Cloud,” and they would usually say, “Google what? I’ve never heard of it,” or say I had the wrong number and hang up on me. It was a stressful time when your salary, your performance review, and your career depend on it.But I’m grateful that I had supportive teammates. We were all going through the same thing, helped each other learn, sat on calls together, and always shared feedback. That support was one of the key reasons we thrived and progressed through it all.Before I left Google Cloud, I realized how rewarding it was despite the stress. We grew a multi-million dollar business from a literal zero. The cherry on the cake is those teammates I had support from are now my closest friends and my then-manager is now a mentor I look up to. It has come full circle. When you think back on your career, what stories can you share that demonstrate what it means to be a woman in tech? Looking back on my experience, I believe work still needs to be done when it comes to breaking bias—not only in the tech world, but just generally being a woman and especially being a woman of color. I’ve experienced microaggressions where as a woman, clients would refuse to talk to me and only wanted to communicate with my male colleagues even though I was the sales rep responsible for the account. I’ve also been asked multiple times if I can create a new name for myself, or anglicize my name to make it more friendly for English speakers. My first name is only three letters, so it’s really not difficult. My late grandpa named me and I love my name, so I’m not changing it for anyone.Awareness was really low when it came to unconscious bias and microaggressions. It affected me in a way that I felt I had to work twice as hard to prove myself to people, or to feel that I belong in the industry. But I know now I’m not responsible for anyone’s distorted perception of me, and I know I can stand in my own light and my own truth and still work hard. I realized that when I work with the right people in the right environment, it’s all worth it, because they don’t see me just as a woman of color in tech—they see me as a dedicated rockstar.Those who have a great work ethic and a passion for what they do—regardless of their gender, race, appearance, sexual orientation, or ethnicity—are the ones who end up running the company in the future. Have you ever felt “imposter syndrome”? How do you deal with it? With the caliber of people hired at Intel or at Google—all very smart, humble, cool people—I have wondered if I belong, or if I’m a fake. If I had to give pro tips on getting rid of that imposter feeling, they would be these three things:First is to surround myself with supportive people who see my worth. Sometimes we forget that we aren’t imposters, or fakes; we’re actually quite remarkable. Google has an #IamRemarkable program to remind not only women, but all minority groups, that they are remarkable.Second is an area I still have to work on, which is: don’t forget to reward yourself. I grew up in an environment where I was told to be humble and just get on with it, and adulthood inherits those ideas. But we have to actively celebrate in order to feel the full force of our successes and accomplishments. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive, but find something that is meaningful to you. I do little things like taking myself out to dinner, sharing my accomplishments with my friends, or buying myself a little something. We should recognize our wins, no matter how small. Back when I started at Google Cloud and a customer wanted a second meeting, we saw that as a big win. We would celebrate and clap on the floor where we worked. It releases that feel-good dopamine and motivates us to accomplish even more. It’s easy to overlook that.And third is very actionable⁠⁠—you have to be careful about social media. I got very specific in curating my LinkedIn feed; I suggest unfollowing anyone or anything that brings you down. Sometimes, LinkedIn can make us feel like we’re behind, so curating our feed can nurture our souls. Focus on the informational and inspirational content that actually feeds your best self, gives you grace, and helps you work toward your vision. Life is finite; you don’t need toxic content filling it.  How do you want to change the world? This question really makes me ponder. I’m one of those people who has a vision board to plan for my dreams and leave a legacy, like speaking at a TedX, or starting a school, or building a walking suspension bridge to connect rural areas in Indonesia. But I look at the world we live in now and those ambitions and empowering ideas on my vision board feel disingenuous. We’re still recovering from the trauma of the pandemic, and we’re seeing news of war and extreme weather events. “We’re told to put on our own oxygen masks before helping other people, so I’m working on that.” We’re told to put on our own oxygen masks before helping other people, so I’m working on that. What I really want to do is spend my time working on things that matter in the cloud space and being with the people I love the most. I want to spend more time with my partner, who I’ve only seen four times since 2020 because of border closures. I want to make up for lost time with family and friends who I haven’t seen for three years. I feel like I’ve had a rough couple of years with that separation. That doesn’t mean I’m not ambitious anymore, but it’s hard to plan for audacious goals when basic needs haven’t been met. Once I’m there, then let’s talk about changing the world, but in the meantime, while I’m on that track I hope I can inspire a soul or two. Inspire me! What advice would you give someone interested in a career like yours? Do it!There’s still a perception that tech companies are strictly full of “nerdy, techy developers,” or that you have to be an Ivy League graduate to make it. But that’s wrong. There are plenty of opportunities working at tech companies like Intel in marketing, human resources, sales, program management, analytics, operations, and the list goes on. It all depends on how driven you are and what your interests are. “As an example from years ago, I made a prototype of a chatbot to automate an online dating conversation… It was a bit complicated, which I liked, and it was a fun project to learn how to use Google Cloud’s Dialogflow and the components behind it. ” As an example from years ago, I made a prototype of a chatbot to automate an online dating conversation. My intent was to save time for busy girls like me and my friends who don’t have time to talk, so the chatbot would answer to potential suitors. Once it hit a certain milestone, it was passed to the real “agent,” similar to customer service bots screening conversations before passing it on to an actual person. It was a bit complicated, which I liked, and it was a fun project to learn how to use Google Cloud’s Dialogflow and the components behind it. But, I also learned about the ethics behind AI, and realized how this wasn’t the most ethical solution, so it wasn’t something to fully pursue.The bottom line is, in order to thrive in a tech company, always find ways to keep learning. Be inquisitive, even if you’re just doing fun projects for yourself a few nights each week. The industry is constantly changing, so keep your skills fresh to stay ahead of the game.  Can you share one reason why you are optimistic about 2022 and the outlook for women in Google Cloud, in your region and beyond? I believe we’ll have a stronger synergy and collaboration between Intel and Google Cloud this year. There are women and male allies in APAC who are focused on bringing in the best and the most innovative solutions to our diverse organization of customers. At the end of the day, representation matters. It’s critical for cognitive diversity to create a space for motivated employees and customers. Google and Intel are seen as leaders in the industry, well-placed in showcasing that women have equal opportunities of succeeding in the tech world. We’re paving the way for future generations to thrive and change things up. Looking for more in this series? Check out these other interviews with women in Google Cloud technology.  

Categories:C2C Community SpotlightCareers in CloudDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)Interview

Positioning Your Product: Earned Media and Audience Connections (full video)

Scott Wilson, Co-Founder of QA Wolf and former Senior Director of Product Marketing for Wyze Labs, presented during a tactical Deep Dive all about getting your product followed, liked, loved, and reviewed. This hour-long session covered actionable steps and expert tips on positioning your product and connecting with your audience using product journey examples from Scott’s work at Wyze, including:(00:00) About C2C and Google Cloud Startups (02:50) Introduction to Scott Wilson, his experience at Wyze, and agenda overview for his best practices for product positioning (08:45) Step 1: Create a remarkable solution that surpasses your users’ expectations Defining “solution” as product plus experience Identifying your core user Creating customer avatars Creating a method of trial Meeting and surpassing expectations Example: what makes Wyze remarkable (21:40) Step 2: Make it easy to share so your customers can advocate for you Building into the solution Encouraging and asking customers to share Example: Wyze sharing (26:20) Step 3: Tell the right people so they do the marketing for you Example: Wyze outreach campaigns Finding the right people and using the right tools (all linked below) Creating a one-pager Drafting your outreach message Sending your message How to persist (45:50) Step 4: Keep your solution remarkable so users keep coming back Example: How Wyze keeps their product remarkable Continually moving the goalpost by keeping a pulse on the market (48:05) Bonus: use cases at QA Wolf (53:15) Open community questions Extra CreditScott shared a great variety of his favorite tools for finding the right people, including:AHREFs for SEO tools and resources Quantcast for digital advertising, website analytics, and audience insights WhatRunsWhere for ad intelligence Brand24 for media monitoring SimilarWeb for website traffic analytics HappierLeads for identifying potential buyers Sparktoro for audience research To connect with Scott, reach out to him via email at scott@qawolf.com

Categories:Google Cloud StartupsConsumer Packaged GoodsSession Recording

Women in Cloud: Nerissa Penfold

Communities grow and thrive when they lift up all of their members to succeed. Part of that undertaking is to recognize structural imbalances and to turn to their historically marginalized members to lead.To celebrate Women’s History Month and the contributions of women in the world of cloud technology, C2C is highlighting conversations with leaders who will guide our future. Every Tuesday this March, we will publish an interview with one of the many women driving change and giving direction in the C2C community. This interview is with Nerissa Penfold, Head of Sales at Google Cloud. Nerissa leads the Corporate Traditional (Mid-Market) Sales team for Google Cloud Australia and NZ. You’re in a video call with people you haven’t yet met. How would you introduce yourself? I’ve been at Google for over ten years, and at Google Cloud for just over a year now. I currently lead a sales team that works with customers in the mid-market segment to transform their businesses with cloud technologies. Depending on the audience, I might also share my passion for supporting all forms of diversity and inclusion. Outside my core role I am the Allyship Lead for Pride at Google, which is one of many Employee Resource Groups at Google.Outside of work, I’m the mother of two spirited boys, and we live in Sydney, Australia. Tell me about your education, your experience, and your tech path. Have you earned any certifications? Are there any you felt like you needed? People talk about “falling into something,” and that’s definitely what happened to me in tech. My undergraduate degree was in psychology, and I did further studies in psychology and journalism. But between university and achieving my goal of traveling overseas, I was looking for a job and found myself at Getronics, an information and communication technology services provider. It was there I discovered that technology really has the potential to deliver amazing outcomes to customers and end users. It also opened up a lot of career possibilities for me. I learned that sales also interested me, and so I began my journey in tech sales. I just recently started a new role, so I’m going slowly, but I’m working on the Cloud Digital Leader certification. This is aimed at business users, and I’m looking forward to completing it. In addition, over the last ten years, I’ve been lucky to have access to all the training and enablement that Google offers. It’s ongoing and necessary to keep up with all the advancements in our solutions and products. How did you get started with Google Cloud? Most of my career before joining Google was in tech sales, like software development, application development, web development, or systems integration. I brought that experience with me to Google, where I worked for so long using AdWords, YouTube, Google Ad Manager, and other internal systems which are all underpinned by Google Cloud technologies. I always knew that one day I would find myself at Google Cloud. It was always a goal of mine to take Google Cloud to the world. I made the switch a year ago and joined the Google Cloud partner team for Australia and New Zealand. This year I transitioned to my current role leading the mid-market sales team, where we work with traditional corporate companies, helping them to transform their businesses using cloud technologies. I love being a part of Google Cloud and working with customers to have a real impact on their businesses. While there are some differences from the rest of Google, there is also an element of familiarity as I’ve been using our products for so long.With respect to my roles in our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), I sort of dabbled. When at Google, I was involved with Women@Google, but last year I stepped up to lead the allyship pillar for our Pride ERG. Diversity and inclusion are definitely big focus areas for Google Cloud. I see the progress we are making every day and there are so many programs and spotlights on all areas of diversity. It’s one of the things that makes Google such a great place to work. It’s not just about the workplace; it’s about building a more inclusive and diverse society generally. When you think back on your career, what stories can you share that demonstrate what it means to be a woman in tech? I don’t know whether it’s specific to technology, but I’ve heard this quote saying that a man will apply to a role when they meet about 80% of the criteria for a job, and a woman will only apply when they meet 120% of the criteria. That preconception holds us back. I definitely doubt my own abilities at times and either assume that someone else will be a better fit or think that I’m not quite the right fit for the role. But I’ve been fortunate to have leaders who will push me to challenge myself or identify opportunities for me that I might not have considered for myself, such as the one I mentioned after university. That was my first role in tech, and it was something that I never would have applied for. I was working in the company’s call center when a leader in the business encouraged me to apply for a role as a technical account manager that he said would be advertised as needing ten to fifteen years of experience. I had no experience and no idea what a technical account manager did, but he said to apply anyway. I went through the process which included a panel interview with three interviewers, which I had never done before, and I got the job. I was lucky enough to have someone tell me, “We recognize your potential and you should go for this.” It really goes to show how important it is to have mentors, sponsors, and other people who fuel your self-belief. While I believe there’s a role for individuals to lift people up, programs like #IamRemarkable also need to continue—there’s great work that people have been doing to foster self-confidence and belief in capable women. There’s still so much to be done to increase representation, inclusion, and a sense of belonging, not just for women, but for other underrepresented minority groups. Have you ever felt “imposter syndrome”? How do you deal with it? There’s a lot of debate at the moment about whether imposter syndrome is a thing; Brené Brown, for example, has this view that it’s the system and the structure working as it was intended. I’ve felt it, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily gender specific. I think it’s more overthinking that you maybe don’t have the right experience, or that you’re not technical enough, or finding yourself in those moments where you think, “I have no idea what I’m doing—how did I get here?” So many people feel that way. For me, often, I will try to reflect on things I’ve done in the past in something similar where I’ve succeeded, and use that to calibrate and guide me to what’s possible. Other times, I might think of feedback others have given me, or what someone else has told me I’m good at, and use that to boost my confidence. Sometimes it might be as simple as repeating, “I can do this,” because I know I can. I flip the negative into positive self-talk; if others can do it, why can’t I? How do you want to change the world? Over time, it’s probably changed, and there are so many different elements of life where I think about what I’d like to be doing differently.In a work context, I love working for a company that has sustainability at its core, with the hope that we can leave the world a better place than it is today. At a more granular level, I want to have a meaningful impact on the people I’m working with, whether it’s my peers or people I’m leading, helping to lift them up, providing support and guidance. It can actually change their lives. I want to do things that are worthwhile, rather than going into work everyday just to get through the day. I think that’s really important.Also with my two boys, I want to shape them to be good people and make sure they’re getting a balanced and respectful world view.. They’re at the ages—6 and 8—where they’re starting to see the world differently and form their own views and opinions, and I try to make sure that they’re aware of the way things are and the way things can be. They pick things up from other kids as well; we’re at the point where we have to correct things like language, help them define what’s appropriate, or guide how we speak about other people. Hopefully I have two little people who can help in leaving the world a better place, doing things in a way that’s respectful. Inspire me! What advice would you give someone interested in a career like yours? The most important thing is to just go for it. Don’t let your self-doubt get in the way.Pick an organization that aligns to your values—a company that you really believe in. If you do that, the rest just takes care of itself. For me, starting a career at Google was something I really wanted to do because I aligned with their vision, mission, and values. Being able to stay at the organization for ten years hasbeen possible because I continue to believe in that, and Google has continued to evolve and deliver awesome products, and has continued to provide opportunities for me to develop and stretch myself. If everyone is able to work somewhere that aligns to their values, it becomes somewhere they love to go. You have a community and build friendships—which is so much more important than just doing a job and going home at the end of the day.It goes back to what I was saying about the employee resource groups. On the tech side, Google started “20% projects” for engineers. But outside of the engineer world, there’s a range of things you can get involved in, and it always comes back to the values of being at a company that gives back to a community. We also have Giving Week, where employees donate money that’s matched by Google to donate to worthy causes. We also have volunteer work days and Google Serve, where people arrange projects and for a whole week people will volunteer and do amazing things together. Over the past years, I’ve organized things like walking dogs at a dog shelter, or helping in a kitten rescue. Other times, these volunteer days are skills-based, like helping elderly people learn how to use the internet or solving challenges for charities using Google tech. That’s what’s inspired me, and if people can find a place that aligns with their values, it can change their lives.  Can you share one reason why you are optimistic about 2022 and the outlook for women in Google Cloud, in your region and beyond? I’m optimistic generally, in terms of my role in Google Cloud and the position we’re in. Working with traditional corporate companies, there’s so much opportunity for change and transformation. Google really is the transformation cloud. We’ve got so much exciting stuff ahead of us and so much potential to do impactful things for and with customers.There are so many talented women within Google Cloud and in the partner organizations around us. I think it’s such an inspiring time for women in tech—in Australia and more broadly around the world. There’s so much recognition of female talent and I think a lot is being done to surface that talent, encourage them, and lift people up to be in leadership roles. Looking for more in this series? Check out these other interviews with women in Google Cloud technology. 

Categories:C2C Community SpotlightCareers in CloudDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)Interview

Vertex AI Drives Conversation at C2C Connect: France Session on International Women's Day

On Tuesday, March 8, also known as International Women’s Day, C2C France Team Leads @antoine.castex and @guillaume blaquiere were excited to welcome Google Lead Developer Advocate @Priyanka Vergadia to host a powerful session for the Google Cloud space in France and beyond. These sessions intend to bring together a community of cloud experts and customers to connect, learn, and shape the future of cloud. At this C2C Connect event, Vergadia led a broad and enthusiastic discussion about Vertex AI and the MLOps pipeline. 60 Minutes Summed Up in 60 Seconds ML and AI are the cornerstone technologies of any company that wants to leverage its data value. ML can be used across different platforms, including Google Cloud. BigQuery ML is a key example of serverless ML training and serving. Vertex AI is the primary end-to-end AI product on Google Cloud and interacts with many other Google Cloud products. Low-code and no-code users can reuse pre-trained Vertex AI models and customize them to fit their business use cases. It’s perfect for beginner and no-ML engineer profiles. Advanced users can leverage Vertex AI’s managed Jupyter Notebook to discover, analyze, and build their models. Vertex AI also allows users to train models at scale, to deploy serverless models, and to monitor drift and performance. As Vergadia reminded the audience, ML engineering makes up only 5% of the effort that goes into the ML workflow. The upstream steps (data cleaning, discovery, feature engineering preparation) and the downstream steps (monitoring, retraining, deployment, hyperparameter tuning) must be optimized to save time, effort, and money. To this end, VertexAI supports a pipeline definition, based on the TFX or Kube Flow pipelines, to automate the end-to-end tasks around ML engineering. This pipeline is called MLOps. Watch the full recording of the session below:  Despite its 60-minute time limit, this conversation didn’t stop. VertexAI is a hot topic, and it certainly kept everyone’s attention. The group spent time discussing data warehouses, data analytics, and data lakes, focusing on products like BigQuery, Datastudio, and Cloud Storage. Attendees also offered their own feedback on the content of the session. For example, halfway through the presentation, Soumo Chakraborty asked how users can integrate ML pipelines in a CI/CD pipeline, and pipeline integration became a focal point of the remainder of the discussion. Preview What's Next These upcoming C2C events will cover other major topics of interest that didn’t make it to the discussion floor this time around:  Make the Cloud Smarter, April 12, 2022 Looker In the Real World with Looker PM Leigha Jarett, May 10, 2022 (In-person event in Paris) If these are topics you’re eager to explore at future events, be sure to sign up to our platform! Extra Credit Looking for more Google Cloud products news and resources? We got you. The following links were shared with attendees and are now available to you: VertexAI BigQueryML C2C Events

Categories:AI and Machine LearningSession Recording