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Welcome to our blog series “My Path to Google”! We’ll be posting real stories from Googlers highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.
Today’s post is all about Bjion Henry. Read on!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m from Luton, just north of London in the UK. I studied Industrial Economics in the University of Nottingham, which was essentially a mixture between business and economics. I was active with Google while in college and also interned at Google.
What’s your role at Google?
I’m in a full-time Google Marketing Solutions role (I’m an Associate Account Strategist). Day-to-day, I work with digital marketing agencies advising them on how to grow their clients’ businesses through online marketing and how to grow as agencies. It also involves a lot of data crunching and transforming insights into strategies that you then pitch to your clients.
What inspires you to come in every day?
In my role the clients have to trust you enough to actually go ahead with your ideas! Sometimes I even travel to London to meet clients face to face.
The best thing about the role is that you’re able to impact a lot of businesses and people, which is quite unusual for an entry-level role at a big company. That impact is special, and motivating. For example, although I probably didn’t acknowledge the gravitas of the situation at the time, as an intern I got to represent Google for a Q&A panel, and also for their AdCamp program. It was a bit intimidating at the start but it went really well (I think!).
Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
While studying for my undergrad in 2015, I was accepted onto Google’s Top Black Talent program and as part of that, I also took part in the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC).
We were paired with a local business and I volunteered to be the team leader of my group. Over the course of about 2-3 months, we met-up numerous times at the Google London office — I guess that was my first time really experiencing Google.
After that, I applied for an internship with Google.
How did the recruitment process go for you?
During my Google internship, I had conversations with my manager and recruiters regarding a full-time role and the recruitment process started then. I returned to university for my final year, and around January I had my first phone interview.
Once I had passed that, I then moved to face-to-face interviews where Google flew me to Dublin. I remember being stressed because it was at the same time as my exams, and it was difficult balancing the preparation for both. I also remember my first interview going pretty well — most of the questions just felt like small talk with the occasional business-related question. However, my second interview felt extremely hard. I left Dublin feeling as if I had lost the opportunity, but two weeks later I got a phone call confirming a full-time role.
What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
That I could work on a lot of projects. I interned with the Global Customer Experience team here at Google, where part of my time was spent working with advertisers to overcome any issues or challenges they were facing whilst advertising with Google. We would troubleshoot, give them advice, and generally be the face of Google to those customers.
I had a great manager and was encouraged to work on other projects within Google that interested me. I decided to work on Google Adopt, a startup program mentoring startups from around Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) on their digital marketing. First I rebranded the program, and then I redesigned and coded the external website for the upcoming cycle.
I was also interested in working in sales, so when it came time to apply for a full-time role I decided to go for the Google Marketing Solutions job and was successful.
Can you tell us more about the resources you used to prep?
I started with learning as much as I could about AdWords and Google through articles and YouTube videos. Next, I picked out keywords and concepts from the job and interview brief and prepared questions for them. For example, if it said ‘In your role you’ll speak to marketing professionals managing relationships,’ I’d prepare an answer to the question ‘tell me a time when you managed relationships with marketing professionals.’ When preparing the answers, I’d write them out in the STAR format, and that helped a lot in the interview.
To finish, do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Learn everything you can about Google — the products, the ethos, everything! Unsurprisingly, the best way to do that is to get involved in as many Google-related things as you can find. That could be a Google networking event, university programs, online events, or internships. You can also sign up for programs like GOMC and get Adwords certified. Once you’re through the door, you can network and you start to learn how the Google culture works.
My last take away would be to apply no matter what! Some people think you have to be an academic, or a tech-head, or a successful entrepreneur. I wasn’t really any of these and so when I applied it felt like I was playing the lottery. I honestly never thought I’d make it onto the Top Black Talent program let alone secure a Business Internship and then make it as a full-timer, so anything can happen!
Want to follow in Bjion’s footsteps?
Visit google.com/students to learn more about life at Google and our opportunities for students. Be sure to check out BOLD Immersion, our program for students from Europe, Middle East and Africa. Deadline: April 23rd, 2017 (23:59 GMT)
You can also see Bjion in a YouTube Live broadcast (and while you’re there, check out our other YouTube live events!): https://youtu.be/cy5Tbg3xOlQ
BreakInequality Hackathon: SMS technology and API integration bringing health information to developing nations
Today we’re catching up with NatalNet — a team of University of Waterloo students who won Google’s Grand Prize at the Devs without Borders–led BreakInequality Hackathon, which encouraged women through technology to build scaling solutions for Plan International Canada’s maternal health programming in Bangladesh. (Spoiler alert: they built an app that bridges the communication gap between expectant mothers and community healthcare workers in rural areas of Bangladesh). We invited the NatalNet crew to Google Waterloo to share their hackathon story and fill us in on how the future of their app is shaping up in partnership with Plan International Canada.
University of Waterloo students pictured from left to right, Victoria (a third year student in Systems Design Engineering), Namrata (a second year Biomedical Engineering student), Ashley (a third year Financial Analysis and Risk Management student minoring in Computer Science), Isabelle (a second year Software Engineering student), Mack (a second year Biomedical Engineering student).
Why did you apply to the BreakInequality Hackathon?
Our experience with hackathons is incredibly varied; a few members of our team had never been to a hackathon before, while others had competed in several. Despite our range of experience, we were all motivated to attend BreakInequality for the opportunity to make social impact. The chance to create a solution that could impact the lives of women on a global scale was an opportunity that we simply could not pass up.
How did you decide to build the NatalNet app?
We loved the idea of being able to connect women in rural areas of developing countries to health information and care through SMS technology. We narrowed our scope to pregnancy and newborn care information after learning that Bangladesh has a 50% mobile phone proliferation rate and that 98% of these cell phones are 2G devices – meaning that many soon-to-be mothers have access to a SMS-enabled cell phone. We built NatalNet as an SMS and web-based application to provide pregnant women with access to information and trained community health care workers. It’s incredibly important to us to support a solution that empowers expectant and new mothers to take charge of their own personal healthcare.
What challenges did you run into with your build?
We were working with a lot of technologies that many of us didn’t have experience with. Integrating SMS into a solution was something we hadn’t tackled before. After digging through documentation on Firebase and different APIs that helped us sort out the syntax that would bring our functions to life, we ended up with a solution that was “fully functional” (meaning it did exactly what we envisioned it to do!). Overcoming the different API integration challenges that arose during the project was a huge source of learning and pride for us.
What’s the most important lesson you learned during the experience?
We all gained an immense appreciation for sleep after marathoning through 24+ hours of hacking! We also learned that having a shared passion for a specific goal, and working hard towards that goal as a team, leads to amazing innovations. It’s easy to see how this lesson can be applied to the work world. Most positions, especially in the tech industry, require you to work as a member of a focused team. The teamwork skills we developed during BreakInequality are skills we will take with us into our professional careers.
What’s next for NatalNet and your partnership Plan International Canada?
We’ve been working very closely with both the Plan International Canada and the Devs without Borders teams to research, budget and ensure logistics are in place to allow NatalNet to be realistically implemented in Bangladesh. From there, our database is built to scale. We plan to use Google Analytics and Cloud Natural Language API to send personalized, automated responses written by community health care workers to women in need of information, making access for them more efficient and accurate.
What advice do you have for other women pursuing careers in STEM who are drawn to solving complex real-world problems?
Always make time for things you find important. This experience proved to us how important it is to go out and get as much experience as you can. Don’t know how to code? Get out there and learn! Want to solve a complex problem? Get out there and start solving complex problems! It may seem as if you’re going at it alone, but you’ll find so many other brilliant female minds surrounding you — we did! By making a space for yourself in the industry, you’re using your superwoman powers to open the door wider for future generations to enter STEM roles, so don’t be afraid to get out there and start learning!
With Google’s Grand Prize support behind them, these UWaterloo students are working closely with Plan International Canada and Devs Without Borders to bring tangible social impact to women in Bangladesh through their app. Go team NatalNet!
Are you a university student looking to learn more about open source software development? Consider applying to Google Summer of Code (GSoC) for a chance to spend your break coding on an open source project.
For the 13th straight year GSoC will give students from around the world the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of open source software development while working from their home. Students will receive a stipend for their successful contributions to allow them to focus on their coding during the program.
Mentors are paired with the students to help address technical questions and to monitor their progress throughout the program. Former GSoC participants have told us that the real-world experience they’ve gained during the program has not only sharpened their technical skills, but has also boosted their confidence, broadened their professional network and enhanced their resumes.
Interested students can submit proposals on the program site now through Monday, April 3 at 16:00 UTC. The first step is to search through the 201 open source organizations and review the “Project ideas” for the organizations that appeal to you. Next, reach out to the organizations to introduce yourself and determine if your skills and interests are a good match with their organization.
Since spots are limited, we recommend writing a strong project proposal and submitting a draft early to receive feedback from the organization which will help increase your chances of selection. Our Student Manual, written by former students and mentors, provides excellent helpful advice to get you started with choosing an organization and crafting a great proposal.
For information throughout the application period and beyond, visit the Google Open Source Blog, join our Google Summer of Code discussion lists or join us on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) at #gsoc on Freenode. Be sure to read the Program Rules, Timeline and FAQ, all available on the program site, for more information about Google Summer of Code.
Good luck to all the open source coders who apply, and remember to submit your proposals early — you only have until Monday, April 3 at 16:00 UTC!
By Stephanie Taylor, Google Summer of Code Program Manager
Don’t miss out on your chance to bring marketing theory to life through a practical hands-on learning experience. Register for the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC) today! Professor registration closes on March 22, 2017. Student registration closes on April 5 — but all students must register under a verified professor. Read on to learn more about GOMC.
|2016 GOMC Winners Visiting Google|
If this is your first time hearing about the Google Online Marketing Challenge? Or you would like to participate and just don’t know where to start? Check out the below questions and answers:
What is the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC)?
GOMC is an annual global online marketing competition for students from higher education institutions around the world. Google provides student teams with a $250 Google AdWords budget to develop and run an online advertising campaign for a real business or nonprofit organization of their choice. An independent Academic Panel, along with AdWords experts at Google, review the campaigns and select winning teams based on the success of their campaigns and the quality of their competition reports.
For more information about GOMC and what is new to the competition this year, check out our 2017 GOMC Launch Announcement.
What is required from a professor to participate in the GOMC?
A professor, faculty member, lecturer or instructor currently employed at a higher education institute can register for the GOMC. In order for students to participate in the GOMC, they must register under a verified professor, but from there, the professor’s level of involvement is up to them. Some professors teach a marketing course focused on GOMC or incorporate it into a subsection of a more all encompassing business/marketing/communications course, while others sponsor students in the GOMC outside of the classroom as an extracurricular activity.
Check out the program Terms and Conditions and answers to frequently asked questions, as well as this Guide to the Google Online Marketing Challenge for a breakdown and timeline of each stage of the competition and tips for getting started!
What do students get out of participating in the GOMC?
The Google Online marketing Challenge provides students with the opportunity to:
Gain relevant and valuable skills through a practical hands-on learning experience.
Build a true relationship with a client and make a real-life impact in their community.
Gain exposure to the digital marketing landscape using real money on a live advertising platform.
Become AdWords Certified and put their skills to the test, showcasing their AdWords knowledge and experience to potential employers.
Win awesome prizes like a trip to the Google!
Hear from two GOMC alumni about their experiences and how they used their skill set developed throughout the program to land jobs at Google.
For more information on the competition, please visit google.com/onlinechallenge and add our Google+ Page to your circles (google.com/+googleonlinemarketingchallenge) to receive regular competition updates and reminders.
Take learning to the next level with the Google Online Marketing Challenge and register today!
Spring is just around the corner here in the Northern Hemisphere and Google Summer of Code is fast approaching. If you are a student interested in participating this year, now is the time to prepare — read on for tips on how to get ready.
This year we’ve accepted 201 open source organizations into the program, nearly 40 of which are new to the program. The organizations cover a wide range of topics including (but certainly not limited to!):
- Operating systems
- Web application frameworks
- Healthcare and bioinformatics
- Music and graphic design
- Machine learning
How should you prepare for Google Summer of Code?
While student applications don’t open until March 20th at 16:00 UTC, you need to decide which projects you’re interested in and what you’ll propose. You should also communicate with those projects to learn more before you apply.
Start by looking at the list of participating projects and organizations. You can explore by searching for specific names or technologies, or filtering by topics you are interested in. Follow the “Learn More” link through to each organization’s page for additional information.
Once you’ve identified the organizations that you’re interested in, take a look at their ideas list to get a sense of the specific projects you could work on. Typically, you will choose a project from that list and write a proposal based on that idea, but you could also propose something that’s not on that list.
You should reach out to the organizations after you’ve decided what you want to work on. Doing this can make the difference between a good application and a great application.
Whatever you do, don’t wait until March 20th to begin preparing for Google Summer of Code! History has shown that students who reach out to organizations before the start of the application period have a higher chance of being accepted into the program, as they have had more time to talk to the organizations and understand what they are looking for with the project.
By Josh Simmons, Open Source Programs Office
Today’s the day! We are excited to announce the mentor organizations accepted for this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC). Every year we receive more applications than we can accept and 2017 was no exception. After carefully reviewing almost 400 applications, we have chosen 201 open source projects and organizations, 18% of which are new to the program. Please see the program website for a complete list of the accepted organizations.
Interested in participating as a student? We will begin accepting student applications on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 16:00 UTC and the deadline is Monday, April 3, 2017 at 16:00 UTC.
Over the next three weeks, students who’d like to participate in Google Summer of Code should research the organizations and their Ideas Lists to explore which organizations are a good fit for their interests and skills and learn how they might contribute. Some of the most successful proposals have been completely new ideas submitted by students, so if you don’t see a project that appeals to you, don’t hesitate to suggest a new idea to the organization! There are contacts listed for each organization on their Ideas List — students should contact the organization directly to discuss their ideas. We also strongly encourage all interested students to reach out to and become familiar with the organization before applying.
You can find more information on our website, including a full timeline of important dates and program milestones. We also highly recommend all interested students read the Student Manual, FAQ and the Program Rules.
Congratulations to all of our mentor organizations! We look forward to working with all of you during Google Summer of Code 2017.
By Josh Simmons, Open Source Programs Office
Google Code-in (GCI), our contest introducing 13-17 year olds to open source software development, wrapped up last month with our largest contest to date: 1,340 students from 62 countries completed an impressive 6,379 tasks! Working with 17 open source organizations, students wrote code, created and edited documentation, designed UI elements and logos, conducted research, developed screencasts and videos teaching others about open source software, and helped find (and fix!) hundreds of bugs.
- 56.4% of students completed three or more tasks (earning themselves a fun Google Code-in 2016 t-shirt)
- 21% of students were female
- 30% of the participants from the USA were female
- This was the first Google Code-in for 1,143 students (85.3%)
Students from 550 schools competed in this year’s contest. While Google Code-in is a program for individuals, every year some schools emerge as hot spots of participation. This year, these five schools had the most students taking part:
|School Name||Country||Number of Participants|
|Dunman High School||Singapore||185|
|Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School||India||29|
|Jayshree Periwal International School||India||26|
|Colegiul National Aurel Vlaicu||Romania||23|
|Ly Tu Trong Specialized High Schools||Vietnam||14|
We are pleased to have a new country participating in GCI this year: Mauritius! The chart below displays the ten countries with the most students completing at least 1 task.
In June we will welcome all 34 grand prize winners (along with a mentor from each participating organization) for a fun-filled trip to the Bay Area. The trip will include meeting with Google engineers to hear about new and exciting projects, tours of the Google campuses and a fun day exploring San Francisco.
Keep an eye on the Google Open Source Blog in coming weeks for more stats on Google Code-in 2016, plus posts from the mentoring organizations describing some of their experiences with the contests and the work done by “their” students.
We are thrilled that Google Code-in was so popular this year. We hope to continue to grow and expand this contest in the future to introduce even more teenagers to the world of open source software development.
By Stephanie Taylor, Google Code-in Program Manager
Challenge Spotlight: ‘Paying It Forward’ in honor of Black History Month
Are you a social change agent in your community or know someone who is? If so, we invite you to join Google’s fourth annual “Pay It Forward” Challenge. The deadline to submit an application is March 10, 2017, at 11:59 pm PST.
At Google, we value diversity and inclusion, and we support individuals who do the same. In honor of Black History Month, undergraduate and graduate students are invited to showcase how they have positively impacted and influenced their local communities within the US. In particular, we’re seeking leaders whose work has demonstrated a commitment to expanding access and opportunities for the Black community.
Last year, we showcased the work of two groups paving the way for leadership in their communities; the Spelman College section of the National Council of Negro Women and the Detroit Revitalization and Business Initiative (Detroit R&B) at the Ross School of Business.
Please review our Pay It Forward FAQ
Then complete this entry form and tell us how you have positively impacted the Black community
Criteria to apply:
Currently attend an undergraduate or graduate school at an accredited college or university in the United States
Demonstrate a commitment to expanding access and opportunity for their local community
Submissions will be judged by a team of Googlers who will be assessing the innovation, scale and the short- and long-term effects of your impact. The organizations that are chosen will be featured here on the Google Students Blog to amplify their voice, and will have the opportunity to receive mentorship from a Googler to take their impact to the next level!
To both enter the challenge and get more info, visit our 2017 Black History Month website.
If you have questions about the challenge, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing your submission!
The Google Programs team
A Day in the Life: Computer Science Summer Institute/Generation Google Scholarship — Applications open
so submit your applications now!
In today’s blog post, we’re giving you a look at a day in the life of Riya, one of our Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) students from this past summer. We’ll walk you through her schedule, giving any Generation Google and CSSI applicant a better idea of what the experience is like.
8:45am: I use my badge to get in and head into the classroom with my fellow CSSIers before class starts, where sitting on the tables I see boxes of donuts waiting for us!
9am: Class starts. This morning, we’re learning about object oriented programming in Python.
10:30am: Break for a snack (of more donuts and fruit snacks) and an icebreaker to wake us up.
10:45am: Head back into the classroom and go through a few Python Labs with my partner.
12pm: Lunch time. I head to the cafeteria with the rest of the CSSIers where they’re serving wings. I wait in line and of course have to head over to the panini station to make my own custom sandwich. We then head upstairs to the roof to enjoy lunch in the sun before playing a competitive game of baggo (beanbag tossing!). Afterwards, we go back down to grab a quick yogurt bowl and take it back to the classroom.
1pm: We trickle back into the classroom for the afternoon workshop. Each day, a new person comes to talk to us about different development topics. Today, we’re talking about Impostor Syndrome and how to address this issue.
2pm: Back to OOP in Python. We are working on coding a Ninja game!
3:30pm: We stop for a break where we play Google trivia. The winning students get Google swag — pillows, socks and android toys!
3:45pm: We finish coding the Ninja game and then are tasked with breaking up into groups and implementing a harder version of the Ninja game.
4:30pm: We break into smaller groups to work on the project, and a TA assists when we need help.
5:30pm: Exit survey and daily meme time! At the end of each day a meme is posted by Jessie, the lead for our Chicago site, and we fill out snippets to let the instructors and CSSI program managers know what topics we’re finding challenging, what we thought of the development workshop and overall how we’re doing.
6pm: Over and out. Heading home to get some rest and relaxation!
A big thanks to Riya for sharing her day!
This is the final guest post from the students, mentors and organization administrators that participated in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2016. We’ve seen recaps of student work and lessons learned, which you can check out the rest of the series as we gear up for this year’s program.
LabLua is a lab at PUC-Rio dedicated to research on programming languages, with emphasis on the Lua language. Lua is a powerful, fast, lightweight, embeddable scripting language that is used in many industrial applications, and on many embedded systems and games.
We were very happy to participate in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) for the third time, and to mentor eight fine students that all completed their projects successfully. We thank them, and Google, for this extraordinary contribution to our research and development work.
Here is a brief summary of this year’s projects:
Next Generation of the LuaRocks test suite – Robert Karasek
LuaRocks is the package manager for Lua modules. Its test suite was implemented as a big shell script that performed only black-box testing and ran only on Linux. The goal for this project was to port the test suite to Lua, improving its portability and allowing more types of tests so we could improve test coverage.
Robert ported the test suite to Lua using Busted. His new test suite, now merged into LuaRocks, runs on Linux and Mac OS X, accessible via Travis CI, as well as Windows, accessible via AppVeyor.
This was a welcome addition, bringing greater confidence to developers. Robert improved the checks in existing tests and wrote many new ones, including a new mock-server for testing a client API for uploading packages to the repository.
Typed Lua Typechecker – Tomasz Dyczek
Typed Lua provides static type checking for the Lua language. Typed Lua extends the syntax of Lua 5.3 to introduce type annotations, and performs local type inference for more precise detection of unannotated expressions.
Tomasz implemented the core of Typed Lua in Haskell. Tomasz’s implementation parses code written in a syntax close to the abstract syntax of Typed Lua, then type checks the generated AST. Besides providing a support for testing and reasoning about new features, Tomasz’s typechecker can be also used to validate tests to be included in Typed Lua’s test suite.
Classes and Generics for Typed Lua – Kevin Clancy
Kevin worked on the implementation of a class system for Typed Lua. He also added parametric polymorphism (generics) for classes and existing Typed Lua types, such as functions and tables.
Kevin’s work currently lives in its own branch, but will be merged into the main branch soon. Meanwhile, Kevin has written a detailed post explaining all the features he implemented
Improving Error Reporting in PEG Parsers – Matthew Allen Go
LPegLabel is an extension of LPeg, a pattern matching tool for Lua, based on Parsing Expression Grammars (PEGs). LPegLabel supports labeled failures, a facility that improves error reporting and recovery for PEG-based parsers.
The goal of this project was to use LPegLabel to write parsers with good error reporting. These parsers could then be used by the Lua community and also serve as a guide for LPegLabel users. Because LPegLabel is a young tool, another important contribution was to improve the tool’s usability.
Matthew achieved both goals. He developed a parser for Lua 5.3, which has been incorporated into the new release of lua-parser (1.0.0), and improved LPegLabel’s usability with work on its API and documentation.
Improving elasticsearch-lua tests and build – Dhaval Kapil
Elasticsearch is a distributed and scalable search engine written in Java that offers a REST API accessed through JSON. During GSoC 2015, Dhaval implemented elasticsearch-lua, a client for the Lua language following a model similar to clients written in Python and PHP.
During GSoC 2016, Dhaval worked on improving elasticsearch-lua. He added a test suite, documented the entire codebase, and updated the current client to work with the newest version of Elasticsearch.
Dhaval went above and beyond, creating a new library called luaver. This work was motivated by having to frequently switch between different versions of Lua while developing the test suite. A full blog post about his project can be found here.
Admin Center and Elasticsearch integration for Sailor – Nikhil Ramesh
Sailor is a web framework with a model-view-controller (MVC) architecture. Like other web frameworks, such as Ruby on Rails and Django, it is designed to make development faster by making some assumptions and conventions and encouraging principles like Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY).
Nikhil focused on extending Sailor. The first feature he worked on was an Admin Center, which is a web interface for configuring an application. He also integrated Sailor and elasticsearch-lua, allowing Elasticsearch indexes to be stored as Sailor Models. His work is currently pending as a pull request and will soon be merged.
Extending the online tutorial of Céu with Emscripten and SDL – Margarit Vicentiu
Céu is a language for developing reactive applications such as video games and embedded systems. Its compiler generates output in plain C to integrate easily with the underlying platform (e.g. Arduino, SDL). For this project, we wanted to integrate Céu with Emscripten in order to run applications in a web browser.
Vicentiu started with Céu’s online tutorial, which is a server-side application: the user types code in a text area and hits the send button; the server receives the code, executes it, and sends the output back to the user. During the summer, Vicentiu made most of the examples compile with Emscripten and run in real-time on the user’s screen.
Our next goal is to make the graphical examples with user interactions also work in the browser, and Vicentiu plans to continue contributing to the project to achieve this goal.
An automatic generator of WSDL documents for LuaSOAP – Victor Dias
LuaSOAP is a library for working with the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). WSDL is an XML format for describing network services; it is used to describe operations, messages and types offered by Web Services.
This summer Victor extended LuaSOAP’s WSDL support by building a software layer for the automatic generation of WSDL documents. This new layer eases the description of most WSDL “bureaucracy” — types, operations, ports, messages — which have no counterparts in Lua. He also improved the test suite and the documentation. Victor’s work will be integrated into the next version of LuaSOAP.
By Ana Lúcia de Moura, Organization Administrator for LabLua
This guest post is part of our ongoing series of posts from the students, mentors and organization administrators who participated in Google Summer of Code (GSoC), a program which gets university students contributing to open source software.
Google Summer of Code 2016 was a memorable one for CloudCV. Despite being a relatively “young” organization (this is just our second year as a mentor organization), there were many excellent applicants who put a tremendous amount of effort into their proposals and ramp-up tasks. It was difficult to choose!
CloudCV began in the summer of 2014 as a research project within the Machine Learning and Perception Lab at Virginia Tech, with the ambitious goal of democratizing computer vision and machine learning. We’re run exclusively by students and are working to enable developers, researchers, and fellow students to leverage artificial intelligence technology as a service and to share state of the art algorithms with the research community.
In line with this goal, we decided to build two tools that cater to computer vision researchers and hobbyists alike: CloudCV-fy your code and CloudCV-IDE. Though building two new platforms from the ground up was going to be challenging, our students’ motivation was overwhelming and their performance surpassed all expectations. We even demonstrated their work at CVPR 2016, a top-tier computer vision conference!
The demo can be hosted on our servers, the user’s own server or any third party cloud service. As a result of this, researchers can focus on what they do best: designing and training models. CloudCV handles the rest. You can learn more in the write-up Ashish did on his blog.
There has been an explosion in the number of deep learning frameworks and it is difficult for researchers to keep up with all the latest tools. CloudCV-IDE, built by student Gaurav Gupta, addresses this by allowing a user to build a deep learning network with a drag-and-drop interface, then export to the deep learning framework of their choice (Caffe, TensorFlow, etc).
Gaurav also added support to import model configuration files in order to visualize any architecture. This is one of the first attempts to do this.
By the end of the summer, Gaurav delivered a great UI to visualize models with robust support for Caffe and TensorFlow back-ends. This was a successful start that we plan to build on by supporting more frameworks and facilitating collaborative building of deep learning models.
Overall, this was a highly productive GSoC for CloudCV. Our tools are under active development and we welcome contributions and ideas for new features.
We will definitely apply for GSoC 2017. If you are a student interested in participating we encourage you to get involved early! Feel free to reach out to us on our Gitter channel or on our mailing list.
By Viraj Prabhu, Organization Administrator for CloudCV
This month, the Google Play team in our London office was hyped to welcome back Anamaria Cotîrlea, a former intern who is now a full-time software engineer. She joins us from Romania, where she studied in the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at Babeș-Bolyai University. As a software engineer at Google, Anamaria will be building upon the incredible impact she made as an intern on the Play team this past summer, when her work resulted in saving users an expected 1.5 petabytes (that’s 1.5 million gigabytes) of data each day.
Back in 2015, Anamaria did her first internship with Google in Krakow, Poland. The technical skills she honed at that time set her up for her second Google internship this past summer with the Google Play team. During that internship, she integrated Brotli compression with the Google Play Store in order to streamline app installs and updates. This is hugely meaningful because Android users download tens of billions of apps and games on Google Play — totalling over 65 billion times (and growing), in fact!
It takes a lot of data to download new apps and updates to your existing apps, and we know users care about how much data their devices are using. Play is continually investing in making these installs and updates smaller, and in December 2016, we announced that we started using a new approach to delivering updates, known as File-by-File patching, which reduced the average update size to 65% smaller than the full app.
Anamaria’s project was to add support for Brotli for both new app installs and app updates. Brotli is a compression algorithm developed by Jyrki Alakuijala and Zoltán Szabadka of the Compression Team at Google Research Europe. Brotli was initially launched in 2015, offering enhancements in generic lossless data compression, especially when used for HTTP compression. Its compression rates, speed, and memory usage have been continuously improved, and it has proven to be a powerful tool for app compression, generally outperforming GZIP.
During her internship, Anamaria evaluated Brotli’s performance on our app library and made the changes necessary to our servers and the Play Store app to deploy Brotli for app delivery.
Here are a few examples of Brotli’s compression rate compared to GZIP’s:
GZIP download size (MB)
Brotli download size (MB)
Percent Brotli saves over GZIP
Not only is this great news for our Android users, but it is also a terrific example of the real-life problems that Google interns are helping to solve, as well as the impact a Google intern can have in just a few short months. Brotli compression for app downloads is rolling out now, and users should start to enjoy the benefits over the coming weeks.
**A previous version of this blog didn’t make it clear that Anamaria is now a full-time Googler. She is, and we’ve edited the blog to reflect that**
**A previous version of this blog didn’t make it clear that Anamaria is now a full-time Googler. She is, and we’ve edited the blog to reflect that**
The new year is off to an excellent start as we wrap up the 7th year of Google Code-in, ramp up for the 13th year of Google Summer of Code, and return from connecting with our compatriots in the open source community down under at Linux.conf.au. Next up? We’re headed to FOSDEM, Europe’s famed non-commercial and volunteer-organized open source conference.
|FOSDEM logo licensed under CC BY.|
FOSDEM is hosted in Brussels on the Université libre de Bruxelles campus and runs the weekend of February 4-5. It’s a unique event in the spirit of the free and open source software and is free to the public. This year they are expecting 8,000+ attendees.
We’re looking forward to talking face-to-face with some of the thousands of former students, mentors and organization administrators who have participated in our student programs. A few of them will even be giving talks about their recent Google Summer of Code experience.
If you’d like to say hello or chat about our programs, you’ll be sure to find a Googler or two at our table. You’ll also find a number of Googlers in the program schedule:
Saturday, February 4th
2:00pm Bazel: How to build at Google scale by Klaus Aehlig
3:25pm Copyleft in Commerce: How GPLv3 keeps Samba relevant in the marketplace by Jeremy Allison
Sunday, February 5th
10:40am gRPC 101: Building fast and efficient microservices by Ray Tsang
10:50am Is the GPL a copyright license or a contract under U.S. law? by Max Sills
12:45pm The state of Go: What to expect in Go 1.8 by Francesc Campoy
1:00pm Analyze terabytes of OS code with one query by Felipe Hoffa (more info)
2:50pm Like the ants: Turn individuals into a large contributing community by Dan Franc
See you there!
By Josh Simmons, Open Source Programs Office
Drum roll please! We are very proud to announce the 2016 Google Code-in (GCI) Grand Prize Winners and Finalists. Each year we see the number of student participants increase, and 2016 was no exception: 1,340 students from 62 countries completed an impressive 6,418 tasks. Winners and Finalists were chosen by the 17 open source organizations and are listed alphabetically below.
First is a list of our Grand Prize winners. These 34 teens completed an astounding 842 total tasks. Each Grand Prize winner will be flown to the Google campus for four days this summer to meet with Google engineers and enjoy the Bay Area.
GRAND PRIZE WINNERS
|Matthew Marting||Apertium||United States|
|Shardul Chiplunkar||Apertium||United States|
|Michal Hanus||BRL-CAD||Czech Republic|
|Alexandru Bratosin||CCExtractor Development||Romania|
|Evgeny Shulgin||CCExtractor Development||Russian Federation|
|Joshua Pan||Copyleft Games Group||United States|
|Shriank Kanaparti||Copyleft Games Group||India|
|Raefaldhi Amartya Junior||Haiku||Indonesia|
|Ilya Bizyaev||KDE||Russian Federation|
|Sergey Popov||KDE||Russian Federation|
|Daniel Hsing||MetaBrainz||Hong Kong|
|Ong Jia Wei, Isaac||Moving Blocks||Singapore|
|Scott Moses Sunarto||Moving Blocks||Indonesia|
|Mira Yang||OpenMRS||United States|
|Cristian García||Sugar Labs||Uruguay|
|Tymon Radzik||Sugar Labs||Poland|
|August van de Ven||SCoRe||Netherlands|
|Justin Du||Wikimedia||United States|
|Tommy Ip||Zulip||United Kingdom|
And below are the Finalists. Each of these 51 students will receive a digital certificate of completion, a GCI t-shirt and hooded sweatshirt.
|Apratim Ranjan Chakrabarty||BRL-CAD|
|Trung Nguyen Hoang||BRL-CAD|
|Danila Fedorin||CCExtractor Development|
|Manveer Basra||CCExtractor Development|
|Matej Plavevski||CCExtractor Development|
|Daniel Wee Soong Lim||Copyleft Games Group|
|Jonathan Pan||Copyleft Games Group|
|Oscar Belletti||Copyleft Games Group|
|Ashmith Kifah Sheik Meeran||Drupal|
|Divya Prakash Mittal||MetaBrainz|
|J Young Kim||Moving Blocks|
|Maxim Borsch||Moving Blocks|
|Quinn Roberts||Moving Blocks|
|Emily Ong Hui Qi||Sugar Labs|
|Euan Ong||Sugar Labs|
|Pablo Salomón Ortega Quintana||Sugar Labs|
|Muhammed Shamil K||Systers|
The Google Open Source Programs Office is proud to run this contest each year. The quality of work from our participating students is incredible, and each year we look forward to meeting our Grand Prize winners in person. It’s exciting to see the next generation of coders emerge! We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the mentors who helped guide each of the participants through their tasks. Without their tireless work over the past 7 weeks, GCI would not be possible.
Stay tuned to the open source blog – we’ll regularly post Google Code-in 2016 stories in the upcoming months including a full breakdown of contest statistics, wrap-up posts from the organizations, student highlights and more.
By Mary Radomile, Open Source Programs Office
Are you a university or college instructor interested in providing students with experience in real-world projects? Are you interested in supporting participation in humanitarian free and open source software (HFOSS)? If so, join the Professor’s Open Source Software Experience (POSSE) workshop being held at Google’s San Francisco Office, April 20-22, 2017.
Over 100 faculty members have attended past workshops and there is a growing community of faculty members helping students learn within HFOSS projects. This three-stage faculty workshop will prepare you to support student participation in open source projects. In the workshop, you will:
- Become part of the community of educators which involves students in HFOSS
- Learn how to support student learning within real-world project environments
- Motivate students and raise their appreciation of computing for social good
- Meet and collaborate with instructors who have similar interests and goals
Stage 1: Starts February 23, 2017 with online activities. These activities will take 2-3 hours per week and include interaction among workshop instructors and participants.
Stage 2: The face-to-face workshop will be held at the Google San Francisco office, April 20-22, 2017. Participants include the workshop organizers, POSSE alumni and members of the open source community.
Stage 3: Comprises online activities and interactions among small groups. Participants will have support while involving students in an HFOSS project in the classroom.
Please click here to learn more about the POSSE workshop in April.
How to Apply
To apply, please complete and submit the application by February 13th. Prior work with FOSS projects is not required. The POSSE workshop committee will send you a confirmation email to notify you of the status of your application by February 23rd, 2017.
POSSE is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Google. NSF funding will provide two nights lodging and meals during the workshop. Travel costs will be covered up to $500. At this time,we can only support US-based faculty members. However, if you can support your own travel, please do submit an application!
Why is Google participating?
Google is participating in order to help educators overcome challenges identified in the POSSE workshop held last June, and to better support FOSS education in academia. We are very happy to host the first POSSE workshop located on the west coast of the United States.
See you in San Francisco this April!
By Helen Hu, Open Source Programs Office