Google is known as an engineering- and automation-driven company. Despite its core product, search, being as mass-market as you can get, Google has historically done a good job at working with developers: quality APIs, good documentation, and true engineering skill.

This focus on engineering has hurt its reputation when it comes to support, customer service, and ability to work with enterprises. However, in recent years that has changed significantly, and it’s only in online techie forums (such as Hacker News), from people who have never interacted with paid Google support, that you see complaints about how it’s impossible to speak to anyone. As a customer of Google Cloud and G Suite — both paid products — I can personally attest to the responsiveness and usually high level of quality when receiving technical support. 

Targeting the grassroots developers

That said, Google Cloud started very much targeted at grassroots developers. Products such as Google Compute Engine were very well designed, but Google had a very arrogant view that its way was the best way and if you didn’t like it, you could go somewhere else.

Indeed, this was, and still is, part of the selling point: . Google has significant experience of running large scale systems so they will make many of the choices for you, so you can focus elsewhere. Contrast this to AWS’s approach which is essentially to provide every possible option and configuration you can think of, and let you decide how to set things up.

with the comments online and in the hallways at the conference itself. From a customer and developer perspective, there was almost nothing interesting announced ( being the exception). The speakers were unremarkable and it was really designed to get the attention of people who don’t already use Google Cloud, and of course enterprises. Look back a year to the previous keynote and it doesn’t look like anything has changed much from what one analyst called, .