The Cloud Developer’s Guide To Google I/O 2021

Google I/O 2021 may look a little different this year, but don’t worry, you’ll still get the same first-hand look at the newest launches and projects coming from Google. Best of all – it’s free and available to all (virtually) on May 18-20! 

You probably already know that Google I/O is where the world first finds out about the latest releases for Google Assistant, Maps, Android, and Workspace. Google Cloud entered the stage over the last several years to do our own show-and-tell before our own annual conference, Next, each year. Our teams love I/O as a way to connect with developer communities, whether you’re new to the platform or need to secure your apps and data on Google Cloud. This year, there’s a lot to look forward to during I/O from Cloud, and I’m here to guide you through the most inspiring sessions and events happening. 

Many of my teammates in Developer Relations and Product Management are leading these sessions, and I can tell from the work I’ve seen, you won’t be disappointed with what they have in store for I/O. 

To start I/O off, there are two keynotes that will give you a key overview of the themes and most notable launches Google and Google Cloud have this year: Sundar Pichai’s I/O Keynote and Jason Titus’ Developer Keynote

*Pro tip: Add them to your calendar by clicking the calendar icon on each event card. 

In the schedule, you’ll also find dozens of sessions spanning Google Maps, Firebase, Flutter, and more. To find sessions related to Cloud, use the filter in the top right.

A central theme this year is around machine learning and artificial intelligence, so let’s start with some of those sessions:


What’s new in machine learning

I won’t spoil exactly what will be covered in this session, but you are not going to want to miss it! Our product and engineering directors will cover some exciting announcements around ML, including developer tooling for creating, understanding, and deploying models for a variety of applications. From responsible AI to TensorFlow 2.5, mobile devices, microcontrollers and beyond, you’ll be the first to learn about our latest releases. You’ll also hear about how to enable an end-to-end ML pipeline. 

AI/ML demo derby

Demo derbies are rich product demos in quick succession. This is your chance to see our newest products in action. Our demo champions are Zack Akil, Markku Lepisto, and Kaz Sato, who have done incredible work creating imaginative demos using ML. In the past, they’ve created ML models to analyze live soccer kicks, give you better athletic formread PDF files as audiobooks, and even create a rock-paper-scissors machine. In this session, they’ll show you three quick and fun demos showing what’s possible for Developers to accomplish with Cloud AI.

Build end-to-end AI solutions with Google Cloud

If you’ve been paying attention to ML at Google Cloud, you might recognize Developer Advocate, Sara Robinson, from her work creating brand new baking recipes using ML and live coding an ML model from scratch. In this session, you’ll learn how to use Google Cloud to build, train, and deploy scalable AI applications. From raw data to deployed model, Sara will cover each step in the ML process. You’ll leave this session ready to accelerate your own ML projects with Cloud AI.

Spotting and solving everyday problems with machine learning

Whether you’re new to ML or well-seasoned, a common sticking point is early in the process — deciding when to use ML and figuring out the quickest way to integrate it into your app. Dale Markowitz, another accomplished Developer Advocate at Google Cloud, has integrated ML in everyday happenings to augment her life, like helping her choose an outfitturn PDFs into audiobooks, and create a video archive for Father’s Day.  In this session, she’ll teach you how to spot the most common ML use cases—analyzing multimedia, building smart search, and transforming data—and how to quickly build them into your app with user-friendly tools. She’ll use ML to intelligently search through videos and articles, analyze your tennis serve, translate and dub videos, and more, using tools like Google Cloud, Firebase, and TensorFlow.


Serverless has become the next-generation cloud offering defined by both its operational model (no infrastructure management, managed security, pay for usage) and its programming model (service-based, event-driven, uses open source). This year, it’s taken center stage as Google Cloud redefines the space through developer centric design and versatility. Here are my top picks for Serverless:

Go full-stack with Kotlin or Dart on Google Cloud

Developers using Kotlin or Dart to create mobile, desktop, or web apps can take a full-stack approach to building backends that run on Google Cloud. My colleagues, Tony Pujals, Grant Timmerman, and James Ward, will show you how to take advantage of Cloud Run with Kotlin or Dart to create high performance, autoscaling, event-driven services without creating servers or managing infrastructure.

Serverless demo derby

Join Abby Carey, Sara Ford, and Katie McLaughlin for three rapid demos showcasing the art of the possible with our serverless computing solutions. They’ve each been working on their own original demos recently, like using Cloud Code to maximize developer productivity or running stress tests against Cloud Run. In this session, they’ll be demonstrating how to use Buildpacks to create containers, how to use Cloud Code to deploy Cloud Run services, and how to use Visual Studio Code to debug Cloud Functions.

Dev to prod in 3 easy steps with Google Cloud Run

In this Workshop, my teammate Marc Cohen will run a simple web app in three ways: locally, in a Docker container, and in the Google Cloud. You’ll see how easy it is to cross those boundaries without changing your code.

Cross Product

Developing AppSheet with Workspace AMP for Gmail and Apps Script apps

If you’ve been following my work lately, I’ve written about automation in the application development space. AppSheet is our platform to decrease development hours through a no-code workflow to create bots and integrations. It now supports seamless integration with Workspace technologies including AMP for Email and Apps Script. Developer Advocate, Christian Schalk, will demo how to use the AppSheet AMP to send out emails with form controls, so recipients can then submit responses back to the AppSheet app without having to leave their email context (no app required). The second demo will show how to connect an AppSheet app with existing Apps Script functions, allowing for sophisticated Workspace automations.

Exposure notifications: Building infrastructure to serve 1M users

The Exposure Notifications project is a joint effort by Google and Apple to help governments and global communities fight the pandemic through digital contact tracing using iOS and Android devices. Seth Vargo will give you a guided tour of the backend code and infrastructure systems that support this global program, all of which is open source on GitHub. You’ll learn how they engineered a secure, rapidly-deployable, and globally-available system with a team of six, using only Google Cloud services.

While there are many more sessions to check out, don’t forget you can explore content by topic and level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) on the I/O Discover page.

Workshops and AMA’s

Be sure to also take a look at the Workshops and AMA’s page, and filter by Cloud (top right). There you’ll find workshops for AI, building chatbots with Dialogflow, and AMAs for full-stack Flutter and more. 

Codelabs and learning

You can grow your knowledge with hands-on codelabs and learning pathways. These are self-guided learning experiences that help you adopt our products. Plus, you can earn Google Developer profile badges for completing these lessons. 


I/O will have a virtual Shoreline where you can “walk around” and explore each product area’s sandbox dome. Here you’ll be able to see additional content, like videos, codelabs, round tables, and our Rainbow Rumpus competition. In this competition, get to know Google Cloud by deploying a microservice on Cloud Run and join a virtual rumpus where your microservice will throw “rainbows” at other microservices, competing to win some swag. You will get hands on deploying Kotlin, Java, Go, Python, or Node.js microservices, learning about containers and Cloud Run along the way.

Community lounge

There are also a handful of events at the Community Lounge where you can connect with other Cloud developers in meetups for Women Techmakers, Google Cloud certifications, regional developers (in various languages), career development, open source, and more.

Keep in touch with me during I/O online at @stephr_wong. See you there!

By: Stephanie Wong (Developer Advocate)
Source: Google Cloud Blog

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