RedMonk’s Kate Holterhoff and Kelly Fitzpatrick dig into some of the announcements, tech predictions, and talks from Google Cloud Next ’22 (spoiler alert: they include AI, the four-day work-week, neurodiversity, curated open source, and Ashley Willis’s Dev Community keynote on burnout). Kate also shows off some of her Next On the Road swag.
This was a RedMonk video, sponsored by Google Cloud.
Kelly Fitzpatrick: Hi there. This is Kelly Fitzpatrick, analyst with RedMonk. I am here with my fellow analyst Kate Holterhoff to talk about Google Cloud Next 2022 As noted in a separate video on the hybrid format of this year’s Google Cloud Next, I attended virtually, Kate attended a Next On the Road event where she got to have some delicious Bloody Marys. So, Kate, tell us, how did your Next On the Road event go?
Kate Holterhoff: It was fantastic. It was everything that was promised. I ended up having two Bloody Marys. Don’t tell anyone. But I also got some great swag, which I brought to this. So, I mean, check out this nice water bottle here.
So the tote bag is really that’s where it’s at. So the tote bag game was on point. But yes, it was. It was totally worth it if anyone has an opportunity to do it. Google Next On the Road event I highly recommended. And then the Slalom hosts were particularly gracious.
Kelly: So, Kate, this was your very first Google Cloud Next. What are your thoughts? What are what are your biggest takeaways? What are the things that stick in your mind the most aside from the Bloody Marys and the swag?
Kate: Oh, my gosh. Well, Google knows how to put on a conference. Clearly, a lot of the the videos were pre-recorded, which really adds to the polish of it all. The branding was was right on point. And it was, of course, really fun to follow along with the the hashtag all the RedMonk folks even though we’re spread across the the US as well as the UK. James was even in on it from London. You know, really fun to see how everybody was reacting to to some of the announcements and yeah, so I had a great time being in a room full of people, especially post COVID. This is something I haven’t had an opportunity to do in a very long time and couldn’t couldn’t recommend it highly enough. You know, Google really knows how to put on a show. They’ve been doing this for for quite a while and it shows.
Kelly: They do. And for me [regarding announcements], the Translation Hub, I think that is legit awesome technology and I thought it was really great to see that spoken about not only in the introductory keynote, but I think it we got a demo of it later on in that initial three hour keynote segment as well. And the it came up again in the tech predictions for the developer keynote, which like, do you have any thoughts on the tech predictions and any predictions that really stuck out for you?
Kate: Yeah, definitely. Well, I mean, on the note of AI, that certainly was the theme throughout. In Kurian’s keynote, he spoke about AI being of the utmost importance. Other folks were saying, “AI is in our blood.” And of course, that really came up in the prediction. So I guess one of the ones that I would want to start our conversation off with was just with the MC. I mean, she began with by talking about upskilling and ensuring that more developers can be included in that conversation, not only by talking a little bit about neurodiversity, but also by including a really engaging story with a Brazilian code camp called Soul Code. And one of the graduates named Patricia, who is a mother of three and has really overcome some challenges. But through Google Cloud and their certification program was able to overcome them and become a certified engineer and has really excelled and succeeded professionally with the help of Google and their products.
Kelly: Yeah. And I think you’re right in that really setting the tone for absolutely that session, but also moderating the tone for the whole event, like the fact that this is what the developer keynote opens with. So I agree. It was great to see that. Great to see that on stage at the developer keynote. Some of the other tech predictions that I thought were really cool or got conversation going was the one on AI going to be the primary driver for moving to a four day workweek, which I know our colleague Stephen had some thoughts on that that he tweeted about. And I learned I learned about yet another paradox. Steve loves paradoxes. So check out his tweet to get some more info and conversation around that. And then I also really like the curated open source prediction, which is this is definitely something–almost everyone is running open source. So getting around like “how do we use it in a more kind of effective, smart and supported way?” Where we have we have we see folks like Tidelift already really concerned about this and trying to figure out how to better support open source maintainers and make open source better for consumers. But to see that on the main stage for Google Cloud was also really, really cool.
Kate: Yeah, I agree with you. The four day workweek, I think was sort of groundbreaking in terms of getting the audience reaction as well. You could hear folks clapping when the when she repeated that announcement. So, yeah, that would that would seem to be a real a real game changer for everyone.
Kelly: So one talk that I want to make sure that we talk about is Ashley Willis’s, amazing keynote on burnout. This is a topic that we have heard about burnout throughout the pandemic, and I think in some senses some people feel like, okay, this is done. We’re over, we’re over this. But her talk with so informational, it was great in terms of like, how do you recognize burnout? How long does it take to kind of get over burnout? What are some things that individuals can do to to avoid or recover from burnout? And most importantly, what can managers do to help their their folks not get burnt out, which I think is amazing because if I’m a manager, I have to deal with my own burnout and then the burnout of all of the people that I am managing. So this is again, for me, this was probably the most important talk of the entire entire event and seeing seeing Google, Google Cloud giving this a half hour of its keynote real estate? Like kudos, kudos, Google–good job with this. But Kate, what were your thoughts on the talk?
Kate: Well, first off, let me compliment her on her illustrations. I mean, I have done a lot of thinking about how characters and having sort of the visual component take pride of place in presentations is something that I’m encouraging any presenters to do. And she just went ahead with that. So apparently they’re her own illustrations. Very cool. Really made a personal touch and really helped me to to understand and engage with her, her overall argument there. And they were just so much fun. They really showed her sort of grappling with it. Everything that we all have experienced with home life know creeping into our office life. She had some illustrations of her children hanging on her and trying to cook and her significant other kind of coming in the background. So, you know, it was just they were so relatable, so fun. So first off, love that part. But the content of the talk was also extremely moving. She mentioned if you realize that you need to take a vacation, it’s too late. You know, you have to be proactive in order to avoid burnout. And then changing careers isn’t going to fix anything. It’s really about trying to acknowledge that we all need to to have this work life balance and that this is the the key to to ensuring that folks don’t get burned out and trying to be proactive about keeping everyone happy and functioning in a way that that is beneficial for the entire team.
Kelly: So, Kate, for your first Google Cloud next, do you have any final thoughts that you want to leave folks with?
Kate: Well, I just I was really impressed by the fact that Google really put the developers first. There was a lot of care and thoughtfulness that that really pervaded all of the talks and really emphasize the fact that that the engineers are having this position of this pride of place in the organization. And all of that really came through.
Kelly: And I think that’s a wrap.