Google Gearing Up for I/O Developer Conference
Google opens the doors of its I/O conference on May 19, and hordes of developers are descending on San Francisco in anticipation of spending two days figuring out just where the search giant’s web, mobile, consumer, and enterprise offerings are going. Here’s the lowdown on what to expect.
Like any conference, I/O is going to have breakout sessions. What’s notable is the gamut of topics they cover: from “Making Freemium work – converting free users to paying customers” to “Best practices for implementing OpenSocial in the Enterprise” all the way to “How to lose friends and alienate people: The joys of engineering leadership.” Basically, if it’s a product Google offers, there’s a session for it.
But Google has some other tricks I’ve never encountered at a conference before up its sleeve. In addition to the Developer Sandbox, they’re offering “Office Hours,” which is when the Google Engineering and Developer Relations teams will be on hand to answer questions from anyone who walks in at any time and maybe even swap code with fellow developers.
In that same vein, Google is also offering “fireside chats,” which they bill as informal meetings with their product teams to ask any question or discuss any issue on the developer’s mind directly with the people in a position to do something about it. In my view, it speaks to Google’s recent commitment to keeping developer loyalty to their platform.
The other interesting thing Google is doing is giving every session its own Wave, letting users ask questions of session moderators directly and providing a stream of live content. It’s an implicit show of support for its own platform on Google’s part, and puts Wave in the spotlight all conference long for developers.
Even though it’s Google’s party, I suspect it’s Microsoft’s name that will be on everyone’s lips at I/O. Which is to say, I think the major challenge facing Google and its ISV partners is working on topping the newly-released SharePoint 2010 and making headway into the enterprise space.