For Google, one way to make its pitch as the better provider is through Google Developer Groups — meetup sessions centered around cloud hosting and other topics. Here in Philly, the company just launched GDG Cloud Philly led by Old City-based developer Zach Russell.
“The application was pretty straight forward, anyone is open to apply and just have to fill out a form to kick off the process,” said Russell in an email. “I then had to wait something like 6 weeks to hear back from them (I’m guessing a lot of people are applying) to set up an interview. In the interview they basically want to make sure that you are familiar with the topic of the meetup (Google Cloud), have experience running meetups, and have the capability to find event space and speakers.”
The first Philly event is happening April 26 at Indy Hall. A dozen other cities across North America have similar chapters, and Russell thought Philly was due for one.
“There is almost nothing in the city related to it,” said Russell, head of a web dev firm called ProTech Internet Group based out of Indy Hall. “The truth is Amazon Web Services is the 10,000-pound gorilla in the space. While they have the most robust feature set, services like Google Cloud offer competitive products that perform better and have better pricing in many circumstances. They also have more fair pricing structures.”
"The one thing I do like is that Google gives organizers freedom over what to speak about, even if they are not Google products."
(BTW, there’s another GDG in Philly, but that one focuses on Android development.)
What eventually sold Russell on taking the unpaid gig was the ability to expand beyond just Google Cloud and compare and contrast other players in the field.
“The one thing I do like about the GDGs is that Google gives organizers freedom over what to speak about, even if they are not Google products,” the developer said. “As an example, in the first meetup about databases, I’m going to extensively cover Amazon’s offerings which are objectively better/more robust than Google’s offerings currently for a few key products.”
Google also pitches in by promoting the meetup, offering connections to mentors that help with community building and paying for Google experts to travel and appear at events.
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