My journey becoming a Google Developer Expert — GDE
My personal journey and lessons learned about becoming a GDE for Dart, Flutter & Firebase
In this article, I wanted to share some thoughts and learnings on my professional journey of becoming a Google Developer Expert (GDE) and also information about how to become one, the benefits it has, its selection criteria and what are the responsibilities once you become one!
The Google Developers Experts (GDE) program is a global network of highly experienced technology experts, influencers, and thought leaders who have expertise in Google technologies. GDEs are active leaders, natural mentors, and contributors to the wider developer and startup ecosystem.
They are individuals who don’t work at Google, but are recognized for their expertise and involvement in Google technologies, and their support for developers, companies, and tech communities. Today, nearly a thousand experts represent Google technologies all around the world!
Becoming a Google Developer Expert
Small Tip:Don’t aim to become a GDE, let it come to you!
I started with Flutter almost 3 years ago and the main thing that helped me become a GDE was persistency, practice, and willingness to share knowledge.
Initially I struggled a lot because at that time there was no proper content available to help me learn. The only source was documentation and a few YouTubers who had started creating Flutter content. Even the community was not that much active at that time, so it became really difficult to learn things. However, I kept on learning and practicing by creating different apps, learning about different packages, and so on. Soon I started attending Flutter events and then started speaking in them!
The main criteria considered is that you should enjoy and consistently share knowledge. Being an expert and having knowledge in something is great, but the ability and willingness to share it is the best thing, plus it is required for becoming a GDE!
Here are some things that are highly valued by the GDE program:
- You should have a good experience of the technology in order to answer questions.
- You should have given at least 1 talk (of course, the more, the merrier)
- You should have written articles
- Created videos/podcasts
- You should have a good open-source contribution history!
When I started my Flutter journey, I was not sure about what to share and how to do it because most of the content or the topic that I was thinking of, already had great resources to refer to.
But, every person has a different perspective to see things and share them. So no matter what, start sharing your knowledge in whatever form you feel comfortable with!
What is like being a GDE
Becoming a GDE or getting a tag of an expert can definitely be overwhelming! But this is something that gives you a boost of confidence and also your career. You can say that it is a tag given by Google to the most elite and expert people in the industry for a specific technology. It can sometimes be intimidating, but adventurous too!
So what exactly is the process of becoming a GDE? 🤔
As there is no form or a portal where you can apply to become a GDE, one can only become a GDE when an existing GDE checks their work and refers them to the Google team. Once the candidate is referred, the process is divided into 3 rounds:
- Eligibility Round
- Community Interview
- Product Interview
In the Eligibility Round, the Google team verifies all the contributions that you have done. This usually takes a longer time as they verify the contributions properly. Once you qualify for the Eligibility Round, you get a mail for the second round.
The Community Round is taken by an active GDE of your category. This round is mainly focused on Community contributions. However, some technical questions are also asked to get to know your knowledge.
Last round is Product Interview. This round is taken by anyone from the Google team. This round is mainly focussed on technical knowledge, way of communication and overall things. In this last interview, if you are selected, you get the congratulations mail! As being a GDE means belonging to a group of selected people, you have to sign an NDA and do some legal paperwork with Google.
The entire process is really enjoyable because you get to meet some GDEs in the end also some Google employees! If during the process you face any issues, you are always free to reach out to any active GDEs, and they will definitely give you tips and advices!
It’s kind of obvious, but just the tag of being GDE is a benefit. When you become a GDE, you get to work with big referents in the Community and can also access a platform to share your knowledge globally and make a great impact on the life of developers.
Some main benefits are:
- The recognition of being an expert.
- Access to a large community of experts around the world.
- Having dedicated contacts at Google.
- Event opportunities to speak, mentor, or judge.
- Access to Google groups.
Keep in mind
Becoming a GDE is not just achieving a trophy or something. As said, with great power, comes great responsibilities! Once you’ve become a GDE, you are responsible to continue spreading knowledge.
You normally get lots of messages for solving doubts, and you need to stay active for it. It’s important to keep on doing what you were doing before becoming a GDE, just at a much broader level. You will also be part of many Google Groups, and your insights and suggestions will always be valuable and welcomed!
Once you become a GDE for a specific category, you will have to keep on gaining knowledge and improving skills because you never know what question you might have to face from the audience. You become a spotlight of the community and inspiration of many!
You also get the chance to become a mentor in many Google events like Buddy Program where you mentor GDSC Leads.
I am currently the youngest GDE, and this inspires lots of folks who are part of GDSC Club and aspire to become a leader!
Thanks for reading this! I really hope I could help someone with my thoughts! Keep on doing what you love to do. Keep on sharing knowledge and helping people. Eventually GDE will come to you 😃