Due to me being kind of a big deal around here, I was sent to Google Next 18 last week. It’s a two-and-a-half-day conference in San Francisco, all about Google Cloud. I made some exciting discoveries, which I will share with you, and also went to some talks or something.
Discovery 1: Scripted Keynotes Suck
The keynotes on all three days were delivered by intelligent, focused, hard-working people. World leaders in their fields, genuinely impressive people. However, they are not very good at reading an autocue because they are not professional actors and presenters. I’ll link to the videos of all three keynotes below, but you can save yourself about 5 hours of your life by watching this video first:
That’s pretty much all the keynotes.
“Yes, Bob, as you know, we at Big Company love Google Cloud because it allows us to leverage organisational synergies at an enterprise scale”.
“I am so excited to share with you this small change of a product from beta to general availability, and for the first 200 customers I’m going to give away not one, not two, but three brand new mops. For free. Pause for applause. What? I’m not supposed to read that part?”
Day 3 is the developer keynote, and it contained the only part of the keynote I would recommend anybody watch. Kelsey Hightower creates a weather application in 15 minutes. It’s the only unscripted part of the whole thing and it is glorious. Luckily, they’ve extracted those 15 minutes and posted them separately.
During Kelsey’s presentation the autocue read simply “adlib”.
There were over a hundred announcements made over the three days, and you should skim through that linked post to see what they were. The ones that stood out for me were:
- Cloud Services Platform – this is a bundle of things related to running microservices, including a managed Istio, serverless managed kubernetes (scale your cluster down to zero), and GKE on-premise (which allows you to manage your on-premise kubernetes clusters with the same tools as your google cloud clusters).
- Changes to Cloud Functions – the big one here is serverless containers for cloud functions, allowing you to deploy docker images as cloud functions.
- In AI and ML: BigQuery gets integrated with Machine Learning, AutoML becomes more available, and you can now use scikit-learn and XGBoost on Cloud ML Engine (not just tensorflow).
Discovery 2: Racer 5
It is, unfortunately, not in stock in Australia at the time of writing. It is also quite a strong beer, which may explain the following discovery.
Discovery 3: The Chainsmokers are awesome live.
Unfortunately no photos are available of the two middle-aged Australians dancing in the crowd at the Google evening event, but everybody agreed they had some smooth moves.
Google Next is an interesting event. Considering that 25000 people attended it was well organised. Most of the talks were interesting, if a little sales-y. My one recommendation to Google would be that they let their keynote presenters off the leash a little, let them be humans. Also, import some baristas from Australia because the conference coffee was terrible and the tea tasted like bin juice.