Last year, right after joining Google, I had the pleasure and opportunity to go to Google I/O.
It was a great opportunity tomeet many people from all over the world, who are part of the web developer and SEO communities,
but also to meet people working on various Google Search teams.
This year I came back for I/O 2019 and I wanted to make sure to give as much as possible back to the community and mingle with as many people as possible to hear what I can do to help make building great web content easier.
My first and second I/O talk
One part of this was to give two presentations:
- Google Search: state of the union together with John - a primer on Search from a developer perspective and a keynote for all the new things that we launched or will launch in the near future.
These talks required a lot of research, testing, rehearsing, slide-making and editing in order to make sure to give valuable, correct and interesting information to everyone watching it.
No need to say, while this is far from my first tech talk experience, I was very, very nervous about these sessions. From the feedback I hear and see, we hope to have created resources for web developers and SEOs alike to work with towards making the right decisions when planning, developing and running websites or web apps today.
In addition, Lizzi and I decided to provide three hands-on codelabs. That way people could try the concepts from the talks either with a sample application or their own code and find out more through linked documentation and tips.
We have created two of these codelabs from scratch:
This involved a bunch of work on its own:
- Writing the course outline
- Coming up with the sample code
- Identifying related documentation (and improving that along the way)
- Writing the initial draft
- Reviewing and editing the sample app and the instructions
- Testing it with external testers (thanks to all the reviewers!)
- Publishing the source code and the codelab on the codelabs platform
Without the help from the people who volunteered, we would not have made it!
Learning from the community
The wonderful thing about I/O is that we get to meet people face to face. This allows for great formats like the "Office Hours". Similar to our webmaster online office hours, people could come to us and ask us questions about things like:
- Image SEO
- SEO in general
These office hours are fantastic, because we get to help y'all with answers to your questions and the questions tell us where we might be needing better docs, better tooling or we might even have a bug.
Meeting old and new friends
Part of meeting people face to face is also the joy meeting friends you rarely see and making new friends along the way, too. This, to me, is the best part of I/O: Meeting people, chatting about the things we care about.
Sessions are great, but as they're recorded I prefer to watch them once I'm caught up on sleep and back at home. I try to make the most out of meeting folks I don't often get to see instead.
This year was no different!
I'm always super happy to see you all again! If we haven't met and you come across me at some event, please don't hesitate to talk to me :)
Behind the scenes
Now I/O is a lovely, polished event but all that requires a bunch of work.
If I look at my personal kanban board, it took 41 stories: Countless talk rehearsals, slide editing sessions, reviews, blog post draft versions, office hour prep sessions, tech checks until we picked up our badges and sat down in the keynote.
Luckily, in my team we acknowledge the work we all put into I/O and allowed for breaks and timeouts. After I/O, I took a Google Bike and rode along the shoreline trail.
This work did take a toll on my sleep balance...once I got home I took it back :)
With I/O in the books, we will look through the extensive list of questions we've got and work them into blog posts, documentation and other forms of information for everyone to use.
I am grateful and happy and look forward to much more coming :)