Building Your Next Big Thing with Google Cloud Platform

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Building Your Next Big Thing with Google Cloud Platform: A Guide for Developers and Enterprise Architects by Jose Ugia Gonzalez

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Cloud computing, specifically the public cloud, is revolutionizing the way application developers design, build, deploy, maintain, and retire their software. Just a decade ago, it took several weeks to make a website public. Today, thanks to public cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure, the same task can be done in a hour, if not in a couple of minutes.


When we became Google Developer Experts in Google Cloud Platform, we interacted with the developer communities in several countries and asked them what they needed to in order to start using Cloud Platform. The unanimous responses were the need for books. We scoured the market, and although a few books talked about specific Cloud Platform technologies, we couldn’t find a single book that introduced application developers to the entire Cloud Platform. So, we decided to fill the gap—and the result is this book.


We started writing with one clear objective: to help you benefit from the power of Cloud Platform to make an impact on your present and future projects at work, on the side, in your hobbies, or in any other area where taking advantage of the experience acquired by Google in recent years can get you further and faster than before.


Let’s step back for a second and see how technological progress has affected the way you work. Think about a day of work in your life, starting with small things like commuting, organizing meetings, managing productive time, and so on. The important point is not how much these have changed but the fact that a few years ago we never would have expected to be working with the Internet or reading an ebook on our way to work; meeting with colleagues in different parts of the world in a productive way; or controlling our work habits, focus times, and breaks with tools that you can install on your computer. We did not see many of these things coming; and even when we did, we tended not to accept them until they penetrated our culture sufficiently that not adopting them would have left us behind.


Because of the pace at which technology progresses, this process repeats itself every few years. So regardless of how new you are to technology, it is likely that you have seen this cycle a couple of times already. It does not matter how many times this happens—most of us are static and defensive in the face of change, because it is easier to think in retrospective than to apply broad new knowledge to our daily lives. If we did, it would be clear to us that in the near future, information will surround us in less invasive ways than it does today when we use computers or mobile devices. We would also know that artificial intelligence and machine learning will likely keep handling more duties for humans; and that our lives will be connected not only to other lives, but also to the objects that surround us—houses, cars, streets, buildings—and so on. Likewise, and most important, we know that developing server applications, in most cases, will not require us to set up machines, databases, and load balancers—at least, not by ourselves. If we need to analyze and process big chunks of information, we will not need to set up the entire infrastructure; or if we need massive amounts of computing power to make calculations that are still out of reach today, we will be ready to run the logic in a matter of seconds.


This book is intended to help you make that transition in Cloud Platform and build a foundation that will make you comfortable in such a flexible and changing environment. You can consume this book in two different ways. You can read it the way you read most books, starting with chapter one and reading all the way to the end. If you do, you will get a broad and experimental understanding of the entire stack of services that Cloud Platform offers. This will give you the assets you need to design and tackle today’s challenges when it comes to cloud computing.


Conversely, you can use this book as a travel companion through your ideas, projects, or work, jumping between chapters based on your needs at specific points in time. For example, suppose you decide to start gathering and processing analytics in your company. You can open Chapter 10 of this book, learn about Google BigQuery, and get your system set up and ready in a few pages. Or consider a different project: you want to build something very fast in order to get your product or service out as soon as possible. In that case, you can jump directly to Chapter 5, where we cover Google App Engine, or Chapter 14, about Google Cloud Endpoints, and get your back end set up in a matter of hours. Don’t worry; when we think it is relevant for you to read about other technologies, we point you to the right resources inside and outside of this book.


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