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I'm Tavia Meredith, and I'm a Developer Marketing Program Manager at Google Cloud. Throughout my career, the user has always been important. I started out my career as a community manager for a gaming company and then a few companies later I was managing a user group.


I’m Heather McCormick and I’m the Global Product Marketing Manager at Google Cloud. We're focused on training and certification campaigns and programs, but we sit within developer marketing overall, so we care deeply about our developer community.

At Google Marketing, we talk about knowing the user, knowing the magic, and connecting the two. We know our users, developers, and technical practitioners who use our Google Cloud products every day, so we get to tell them a little bit about the magic of our products.

The training and certification programs and campaigns we provide help our users know how to learn about our products, how to use them better in their organizations, or find jobs where they can use our products.


Heather and I work very closely together on all things developer marketing for Google Cloud. She brings together product marketing excellence and campaign leadership, and I provide support by building online experiences for developers through online events, webinars, live trainings, and videos.

Between the two of us, we're going to talk about:

  • The importance of an education-first strategy
  • Where the current market is and where it needs to head
  • One of our biggest launches in the last year, Google Cloud Skills Boost
  • The evergreen campaigns and programs we've been running to keep the drumbeat rolling
  • How developer training leads to adoption

Addressing the IT skills shortage


By 2030, there’s expected to be a talent shortage of about 85 million people in the IT skills gap. This will potentially lead to huge revenue losses for companies because they don’t have the skilled workforce to be able to compete in the market.

Specifically in cloud technology, 80% of IT leaders point to an unskilled workforce as being the biggest hurdle to overcome both now and in the coming years.

There’s clearly a huge skills gap to address when it comes to IT technical skills, so we need to meet people in nontraditional ways.

Currently, you can go to university and get a degree in computer science or software engineering, but that’s not necessarily available to all. Google has done an incredible job with programs like Grow with Google, where there are certificates for IT support, UX design, and so much more.

At Google Cloud, we're leveraging a lot of that good knowledge and we have some incredible training and certification programs that we're running to help upskill that audience.

We're also targeting many more than just the traditional developer. A developer is somebody who builds and writes code and deploys apps. But we're also talking about DevOps and data professionals such as data scientists, data engineers, analysts, IT admins, and sysadmins.

Most of today’s developers are learning through online resources such as forums, blogs, and videos. There are still folks that are going to university, but there's also been a surge in those taking online courses and certification with providers such as Zero to Mastery, Coursera, Udacity, and Pluralsight. Google Cloud actually has a lot of technology courses on Coursera, Pluralsight, and Udacity.

How Google Cloud is upskilling developers


Google Cloud is currently looking at how to make documentation more accessible, available, and easily searchable for any developer project. We’re also doing sample code, tutorials, how-to videos, labs, training courses, webinars, online events, options to talk to an expert, and providing support in public forums such as Stack Overflow and Reddit.

In general, there are a lot of tools you need to be able to help upskill these developers. We have a huge gap in skills and a huge opportunity to train and motivate people to get into technology and provide them with some incredible careers that way.

Technology is ever-changing, so it's not just a one-and-done type of program. It needs to be a continual motion that happens as technology evolves.


We see a huge opportunity in skilling our developers and technical practitioners on how to use our products. In October last year, Google made a commitment to upskill 40 million people with skills in cloud.

I genuinely felt very privileged and honored to be a part of making this commitment and recognizing this skills gap, especially in new and emerging roles in cloud.

With this commitment, we announced our new learning platform, Google Cloud Skills Boost, to enable skilling at scale.

What is Google Cloud Skills Boost?


Google Cloud Skills Boost is our definitive destination for Google Cloud learning. We're offering curated, role-based learning paths to make sure technical practitioner roles are accessible.

For individuals already in developer roles or those looking to upskill and move into roles in this area, we wanted to offer those curated, role-based learning paths and give learners the opportunity to work through training courses, hands-on learning labs, and earn badges to prepare for Google Cloud certification, all in one destination.

As part of our launch, we didn't end up doing any paid media. It was very much in the owned and earned media spaces that we got to launch Google Cloud Skills Boost. It showed up across our owned channels, social, and web.

How to market to developers with paid marketing
Getting developers to adopt your API or tool is hard and requires heavy investment in experimentation and measurement.

We also worked with our PR and communications team to do some media briefings in the run-up to our flagship event, Google Cloud Next, where we announced this new learning platform and made this commitment to our 40 million upskilling in Google Cloud.

As part of that, we saw great coverage and were picked up in some of the major tech publications. We also published a blog and localized it for several different languages. In the first week, we saw 70,000 folks engaging with the content on that blog.

In addition, we made a promotion available for a 30-day, no-cost trial of the new learning platform. We saw 61,000 people sign up to get started on their learning journey, be that the learning paths that we had available, the light touch learning labs, or the option of doing multiple labs to earn skill badges.

We partnered with Coursera, who wanted to join us in this announcement for skilling to reach millions. They were also offering one month free for our Google Cloud training on their platform, and we were able to include that in our announcement as well.

Going in partnership to market was really great for our reach and for meeting developers and learners where they are already.

Engaging developers through Cloud Learn


Last year, we announced our inaugural learning event, Cloud Learn, a dedicated digital learning event with global reach. We initially announced Cloud Learn in October and encouraged folks to sign up and come to the event in December.


Cloud Learn was all about building that drumbeat of the Skills Boost launch. We wanted to continue that momentum and have another moment in time in December.

What was really great about this event is that we partnered with a lot of our regional field teams and we were able to bring it to multiple languages and multiple timezones to make it a truly global event for training and learning about Google Cloud.

As I previously mentioned, developers for Google are a broad bunch of different personas, so we wanted to ensure that we had content available for different types of learners. We had a data track for developers, DevOps, those just getting started, and IT admins working on migrating over to the cloud.