Sunday, March 12, 2017

Google Next Trip Report

Been a bit quiet of late in terms of writing but then there has been a lot of travel and oodles of events. The most recent was Google Next 17 which I managed to catch on the 2nd day due to prior commitments teaching students.

From my perspective, the event was good and had some interesting announcements (Spanner, Kubo), strong sessions (Liam Maxwell on Open and Gov, Sam Ramji's fireside chat) along with solid demos e.g. Google Cloud Functions with Firebase. It was rare that a talk didn't hit the mark but there was at least one which wandered off into the usual corporate bingo without substance. Finally, the corridor chat was outstanding providing an opportunity to catch up with old friends. For reference, Google has put up a list of the announcements.

During the event it was noticeable that Google was leaning towards a more "enterprise" crowd, not something I had really noticed before. The rebellion will be corporatised! I was also somewhat disappointed that Google didn't push much further with Cloud Functions. Going into beta is good but I'd be hoping for much more noise on the keynote stage. For me, "standard" GAE and Cloud Functions are both operating in the right space. 

I understand all the excitement about kubernetes and I'm excited to see Google and Cloud Foundry getting close but you all know my view on containers - a useful but ultimately invisible subsystem. The real battle for platform is in the code execution layer and so I'd advise that no matter how tempting things might be that you spend your energy winning that space. It's important to understand that the stakes in this game are the entire future of software development and I'm not kidding when I say "Amazon is eating the software which is eating the world". The danger is people always think they have time but the war is won (in ecosystem battles) long before the market has been dominated.

Anyway, I enjoyed the event and congratulations to the organisers. I was also a guest of Google and thank you for making my life easy. On the subject of corporate bingo, I also had the opportunity to speak on mapping, ecosystems, serverless and way too much other stuff.

Crossing the river by feeling the stones.