Developer Programs Engineer — Say What!?

We Care about Developers

Franziska Hinkelmann
Google Cloud - Community
4 min readJun 13, 2018


I recently switched teams and have a fancy new title now: Cloud Developer Programs Engineer, short DPE. What’s that you ask? Well, I had to ask, too.

DPEs are at the intersection of Developer Advocacy, Technical Writing, Product Management, and Engineering.

We are engineers in Developer Relations in Google Cloud. DPEs are at the intersection of Developer Advocacy, Technical Writing, Product Management, and Engineering. We listen to the developer community’s feedback and bring it back to the product teams to improve our products. We write developer tools and samples. Sometimes we give talks, sometimes we write documentation, most of the time we write code.

DPEs care about developers

Advocate for Developers

We advocate for the needs of the developers. We bring feedback from the community back to our product teams and we push for the features you tell us you need most. For example, Google launched Node.js 8 on App Engine Standard. You can deploy your Node.js app within seconds just by typing gcloud app deploy inside a Node.js project, and it scales on demand, absolutely no devops skills necessary. I got to play with App Engine Standard for the last two months via the early access program. It’s seriously cool.

Developer Experience

DPEs deeply care about the developer experience. Our customers are developers. Developer experience is like user experience; but our users are developers, so we call it DX, not UX. We are often the first to test new products as we write up sample code and tutorials. We are empathetic to our fellow developers, particularly external developers — those building on our platform. We build tools to help other developers succeed.

Open Source Community

We are engaged in the open source community so we can better advocate for the community’s needs. For example, Thea Flowers is a member of the Python Packaging Authority, a maintainer of urllib3, and contributor to several projects in the Python community. I am a Node.js Core contributor and member of the Technical Steering Committee.

The Google Cloud libraries (GoogleApis and GoogleCloudPlatform) are open source, too. They’re licensed under Apache-2.0 so you can re-use and modify them. I love open source because everybody can contribute and learn from each other. As a DPE, I spend most of my workday on GitHub.

Why Google Cloud?

Cloud Computing is an exciting area to work in. There are many challenges in cloud computing and we might just be at the right point in time to be able to solve them. Think about the opportunities that scalability, machine learning, and global availability open up.

Google serves over a billion users each with products like Search, YouTube, or Gmail. As Google grew, we focused on infrastructure and constant improvement. We needed ways to tie together engineering and product teams around the world and make them more productive. We had to build systems that are resilient in the face of all kinds of security threats. And that’s basically what Google Cloud Platform is — a platform that lets you use Google’s innovation to solve the problems that matter most to you.

Cloud DPEs specialize in many different Google Cloud products and areas. To name a few, Machine Learning, Containers, Stackdriver, Monitoring, or Serverless. I focus on Node.js, but we work with Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, Go, .NET, Ruby, and emerging languages like Kotlin and Rust.

Did you have a good experience with Google Cloud because of a well written sample or tool? Please let me know so I can pass on the praises. We always like to hear praise 😉. If you didn’t have such a great time, I’m sorry! Let me know where we can improve and we’ll try to fix it!

We are looking to grow our team in New York, Seattle, Colorado, and the Bay Area. If you have deep empathy for developers, take pride in your documentation, and like to build things to make other developers succeed, DPE might be a good fit for you. Feel free to contact me with any informal questions you have. My Twitter DMs are open or (I switched jobs — but I’m still hiring).



Franziska Hinkelmann
Google Cloud - Community

Principal Engineering Manager at Microsoft. Node.js Monkey Patcher.