My new role at Google: returning to the web
I’ve just made a very interesting move at Google, and would love to tell you more about it!
What I’ve been doing the last year at Google
I joined Google as a Developer Relations Program Manager, heading up developer relations in the Nordics for all Google products and technologies. It means anything from Android to Cloud to Web to anything else that might be interesting. That was also paired with working with start-ups through various Google programs, and with GDEs (Google Developer Experts) and GDGs (Google Developer Groups) and developer communities in general.
It’s been a very interesting last 15 months and it has given me a lot of perspective about technology as a whole, web & native, startups and what they’re working with, challenges for developers and what new developers choose to develop for and with.
Two things I’ve missed, though, is a more clear focus on an area I know a lot about and love, and to act globally. I love the Nordics and the people there, but for me, knowing developers all over the world, it gives me fantastic learnings and views seeing different challenges, opportunities and mindsets from developers all around the globe.
Working with Developer Feedback and Communities
I’ve thought a bit about how to gain that focus and use my experience and background with the web, and all the gained knowledge and connections from there. At the same time, Paul Kinlan reached out to me to see how we could work closer together, and Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer came to Google; Ben’s first time, and Dion returning. Sharing their passion about the web platform and what it means – and having followed the great work by both web developer relations under Paul Kinlan and the work of the Chrome Engineering & Product team – it seemed like a natural move to get back to the web, full time.
My new role at Google is working with Developer Feedback & Communities for the web platform, including Chrome but also around the web as a whole. What do developers need from the web platform, what do they think it’s missing there that’s available on native, how can web browser vendors work together in building a web for everyone?
I look forward to discussing the bigger picture, and also working with other web browser vendors to make sure we jointly move in the same direction of creating a great web platform for developers.
We lost something along the way
To me, the web is still the most democratic medium we have. Developers building things for virtually every platform available, based on standards and recommendations. Content that should be available and consumable no matter where you are in the world, and what kind of device you use.
I think we lost something along the way with some mobile platforms, and the enormous focus on native apps. Separate codebases and teams, different store approvals, some things only available on one operating system. Remember the ease of just opening a web browser, putting in a URL and consuming the content? No mandatory app installs, different offers on different platforms and similar. That’s the premise of the web, and with Progressive Web Apps, through offline support, push notifications, installability and more, we are working hard on making the mobile web just as relevant and given in everyday life for people as it already is on desktop computers.
The web and web browsers have improved tremendously, and the things you can now do on the web are fantastic. Performance, APIs and services are contstantly getting better, and it is a very exciting time to be building for the web.
With my new role, I’m part of a Developer Relations team led by Paul Kinlan, who has these excellent members:
- Alex Danilo
- Eiji Kitamura
- Jake Archibald
- Paul Bakaus
- Paul Lewis
- Pete LePage
- Rob Dodson
- Sam Dutton
- Sam Thorogood
And also working closely together with other great web people at Google, such as:
Talk to me
The web is extremely important, and I want to be a part of making sure it’s as useful and relevant for developers, content producers and users alike.
As for Chrome, our main vehicles for checking current status and feedback/bugs are Chromestatus.com and crbug.com. Do they work for you, are you missing something? What’s important for you on the web?
Talk to me, let me know your thoughts.
Follow me on Twitter, @robertnyman, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s work together on keeping and making the web as the fantastic resource it is!
Plus one. We’ve definitely lost something. I got attached to the idea of the open and egalitarian web platform many years ago. And I miss it.
Thank you! And yes, we need to work hard to keep that.
Please make Google Chrome browser less memory heavy again.
It has been my favorite browser for years, but it feels like it only runs well on really modern computers now. Especially the Android version is hungry.
I love the browser, and it’s still my favorite choice, but I also use Firefox or Opera when I need many windows open.
Naturally, that is ongoing work. We are looking into many ways of keeping it as fast as possible, it’s one very important objective for us.
I think we need an open semantic web standard that will identify and allow sensor data interchange between different platforms. I think the Internet of Things (IoT) will need this.
How will machines/people know what IoT devices out there can do? How can we share or link sensor platforms without a standard?
Yep, definitely believe the web will play an important role for IoT.