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Google Cloud Platform: Fundamentals
If you’re going to work with modern software systems, then you can escape learning about cloud technologies. And that’s a rather broad umbrella. Across the three major cloud platform providers, we have a lot of different service options, and there’s a lot of value in them all.
However, the area that I think Google Cloud Platform excels in is providing elastic fully managed services. Google Cloud Platform to me, is the optimal cloud platform for developers. It provides so many services for building out highly available - highly scalable web applications and mobile back-ends.
For me personally, Google Cloud Platform has quickly become my personal favorite cloud platform. Now, opinions are subject, but I’ll share why I like it so much.
I’ve worked as a developer for years, and for much of that time, I was responsible for getting my code into production environments and keeping it running. I worked on a lot of smaller teams where there were no operations engineers.
So, here’s what I like about the Google Cloud Platform, it allows me to think about the code and the features I need to develop, without worrying about the operations side because many of the service offerings are fully managed.
So things such as App Engine allow me to write my code, test it locally, run it through the CI/CD pipeline, and then deploy it. And once it’s deployed, for the most part, unless I’ve introduced some software bug, I don’t have to think about it. Google’s engineers keep it up-and-running, and highly available. And having Google as your ops team is really cool!
Another thing I really like about is the ease of use of things such as BigQuery and their Machine Learning APIs. If you’ve ever worked with large datasets, you know that some queries take forever to run. BigQuery can query massive datasets in just seconds. Which allows me to get the data I need quickly, so I can move on to other things.
And with the machine learning APIs, I can use a REST interface to do things like language translation, or speech to text, with ease. And that allows me the ability to integrate this into my applications, which gives the end-users a better user experience.
So for me personally, I love that I can focus on building out applications and spend my time adding value to the end-users.
If you’re looking to learn the fundamentals about a platform that’s not only developer-friendly but cost-friendly, then this is the right course for you!
By the end of this course, you'll know:
- The purpose and value of each product and service
- How to choose an appropriate deployment environment
- How to deploy an application to App Engine, Kubernetes Engine, and Compute Engine
- The different storage options
- The value of Cloud Firestore
- How to get started with BigQuery
This is an intermediate-level course because it assumes:
- You have at least a basic understanding of the cloud
- You’re at least familiar with building and deploying code
- Anyone who would like to learn how to use Google Cloud Platform
Now that we’ve had a brief introduction to Google Cloud Platform, let’s actually create an account.
We’re going to start at https://cloud.google.com/
And you can see that we have a couple buttons on the screen that say “Try it Free” and we want to click on any of those buttons.
We log in with our account. Let’s set the username
We first come to the terms and conditions page. So we can agree to the terms, and proceed to the next page…
Here, We’re greeted with a form looking to collect some information. Including our billing information to verify that you’re a real person, and not just some bot looking to setup free trials.
Once you’ve filled everything out and submitted the form, you’ll find yourself on the dashboard. This is a customizable page, for you to get information about your services at-a-glance.
Now, as you can see at the top of the page, Google provides a $300 credit that will last for 60 days. This could change. It’s 300 dollars at the time of this recording, however it’s up to Google to determine the credit amount and if they’ll even keep offering it. So keep that in mind. This will give you time to review and utilize the different services.
And that’s it. It’s that simple to get signed up with a Google Cloud Platform account.
Now that we have an account, and have our credit, we can start doing some exploring in the following lessons. This account will serve as our lab throughout the course. We’ll be using it to test out the different services.
In the next lesson we’ll cover things such as project, roles and permissions. So if you’re ready, let’s dive in.
About the Author
Ben Lambert is a software engineer and was previously the lead author for DevOps and Microsoft Azure training content at Cloud Academy. His courses and learning paths covered Cloud Ecosystem technologies such as DC/OS, configuration management tools, and containers. As a software engineer, Ben’s experience includes building highly available web and mobile apps. When he’s not building software, he’s hiking, camping, or creating video games.