And a tiny guide on becoming the next Flutter GDE
There are achievements that you dream about, and there are things that just fall into your destiny without you even asking for it. I never ever dreamt of becoming a Google Developer Expert (GDE). I honestly have to confess I didn’t know it even existed. It was only after Pawan Kumar became one that I found out about it. That did not mean, I wanted to become one.
I was a student back then when I started working with Flutter. Yes, I was writing articles on Flutter that was being read by people all over the world, being translated to different European languages, I was being invited to take workshops and give public talks on Flutter, and mentoring people on MentorCruise and helping people learn Flutter, and more importantly, I was invited to attend Flutter Live in London, the 1.0 launch celebration. Everyone kind of expected that I would become the next GDE, but I was always more like —
I am a student. This is not for me.
Oh yes, the same old Imposter Syndrome.
hey, it happens to the best of us. But then I managed to apply in 2019 after 4 months of thinking about it. And I became a GDE in the end of March 2019 after a month of interviews and other processes.
However, this story is not about my story of becoming a GDE, but more about how you can aim to become a Flutter GDE.
First things First
Don’t AIM to become a GDE.
You cannot wake up one day, and think to yourself, “today, i will start preparing for becoming a GDE” Don’t confuse it with your GRE or SAT exam. You do not prepare to become a GDE.
A Google Developer Expert is like a representative of a technology by Google. So when people are looking for solutions to their issues, you are probably the first people they can approach to. So you should be a well known superhero in the community who enjoys teaching and solving problems.
The aim is to become recognized by the community
You have to stop aiming for becoming a GDE, if you are just starting out with a technology, and aim towards building a recognition in the developer community. Your main goal should be “how do I use my knowledge to help others?”
When I started learning, by the 3rd week I wrote my first article on Flutter on a topic that I extremely struggled with because of my background in native Android development. This is the one. When I finally cracked it, I realized there are other people who might be struggling with it too. That motivated me to share my knowledge with the community.
Share what you know, and give back to the community.
You like writing? Go for articles or books.
You like creating tutorials? Creating video content on YouTube or Udemy, etc can be pretty helpful.
Like discussing stuff? Try podcasts or forums.
You are not afraid of the stage. Then you are perfect for talks and workshops.
Or even open source projects that can benefit the community works pretty well too.
Not just local, GDE is about international recognition
You do not become a GDE of your city, state or country. GDE is someone who should be well known and respected in the international community. Obviously you can start locally, but you should think about how you can reach out to more people with your content. If you write articles, books, create video/audio content, or any online content, then easily your content can spread internationally. However, if you are more into workshops, or public speaking, you must find a way to record your content so that anyone in the world can benefit from it.
Your awesomeness should be out there in the world
However, as far as my process went, your GDE application MUST include one conference/meetup talk on Flutter. So if you are already a recognized member of the Flutter community because of your articles, video or audio content, open source projects, and you feel you are ready to apply for the GDE program, you must apply to give a technical Flutter talk for a meetup or a conference. It should be a recorded talk obviously, but does not have to be an official recording.
So the GDE program is not something you can apply to, whenever you wish to. You have to get nominated or get referred to the GDE program. If you are already pretty popular in the Flutter community, then somebody from the Flutter DevRel team may just contact you and ask you if you are interested in applying for the GDE program.
But that doesn’t mean you have to wait for them to ask you. If you believe you are ready for it, you can go ahead and pitch your skills and contributions to either someone from the Flutter DevRel team, or any Flutter GDE, or whoever manages or leads your country’s Developer Relations programs like GDE/GDG/WTM. If you are doing great work or your contributions are internationally recognized, it should be pretty easy to get that nomination.
And then just follow the steps once you get the next set of details from your referrer. Usually after you pass the screening rounds, you have a Community interview with another GDE and a Product interview with someone from the Flutter team.
However, if you didn’t receive the nomination, you can always try again later. But I must say, from getting recognized in the community to getting a nomination, it could take months or even an entire year. So if you are just aiming for this one specific thing, you should be prepared for the disappointment that follows when the end goal of becoming a GDE doesn’t work out.
And that’s it
Once you successfully pass all the criteria and the interviews, you will get this most awaited mail in your inbox. You did it!
What happens after you become a GDE?
Nothing, really. You are the same person as you were before. If you always have loved creating content, and sharing your knowledge with the world, you will continue doing that anyway. Yes, you have a new label with your name, and maybe people will treat you differently, but honestly, you earned it. Your name also pops up in this directory of experts worldwide. Find me there ;)
Another benefit of becoming a GDE? Support from the GDE team for all that you do. If you are traveling to conferences for your Flutter talks, and your company cannot sponsor it, there is a chance the GDE team will sponsor your travels as much as they can. And then there is the GDE Summit happening once a year where you are invited to attend so you can meet other GDEs from around the world.
Is it the same for all GDE domains?
Honestly, I don’t know.
The overall expectation from the aspiring GDE’s are the same, but the criteria for getting nominated, passing the screening rounds and the interview nature might be very very different.
And that’s all folks. Good luck!
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