End of Year Wrap-up

Happy Holidays, everyone! Melanie and Mark wrap up a great year by reminiscing about some of their favorite episodes! We also talk about the big news of the year, our favorite articles, and what’s coming up for the GCP Podcast in 2019.

Cool things of the week
  • Kubernetes and GKE for developers: a year of Cloud Console blog
  • Reducing gender bias in Google Translate blog
  • Cloud Security Command Center is now in beta and ready to use blog
Main content
  • Podcast accomplishments!

    • We have awesome new intro and outro music, new website, new YouTube videos!
    • We hit 1 million and then 2 million downloads!
    • Mark and the podcast are celebrating their three year anniversary!
  • Top 10 most downloaded episodes of all time!

    1. GCP Podcast Episode 111: Google Cloud Platform with Sam Ramji podcast
    2. GCP Podcast Episode 112: Percy.io with Mike Fotinakis podcast
    3. GCP Podcast Episode 146: Google AI with Jeff Dean podcast
    4. GCP Podcast Episode 127: SRE vs Devops with Liz Fong-Jones and Seth Vargo podcast
    5. GCP Podcast Episode 128: Decision Intelligence with Cassie Kozyrkov podcast
    6. GCP Podcast Episode 113: Open Source TensorFlow with Yifei Feng podcast
    7. GCP Podcast Episode 88: Kubernetes 1.7 with Tim Hockin podcast
    8. GCP Podcast Episode 108: Launchpad Studio with Malika Cantor and Peter Norvig podcast
    9. GCP Podcast Episode 130: Data Science with Juliet Hougland and Michelle Casbon podcast
    10. GCP Podcast Episode 125: Open Source at Google Cloud Platform with Sarah Novotny podcast
  • Top 10 most downloaded episodes for 2018!

    • Exact same list except Tim Hockin is not #7. Following episodes go up a number and we added to #10 spot.
    • GCP Podcast Episode 122: Project Jupyter with Jessica Forde, Yuvi Panda and Chris Holdgraf podcast
  • Mark’s favorite episodes

    • GCP Podcast Episode 129: Developer Relations with Mandy Waite podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 121: Kontributing to Kubernetes with Paris Pittman and Garrett Rodrigues podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 131: Actions on Google with Mandy Chan podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 148: Wellio with Sivan Aldor-Noiman and Erik Andrejko podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 110: CPU Vulnerability with Matt Linton and Paul Turner podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 125: Open Source at Google Cloud Platform with Sarah Novotny podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 140: Container Security with Maya Kaczorowski podcast
  • Melanie’s favorite episodes

    • GCP Podcast Episode 117: Cloud AI Fei-Fei Li was the Chief Scientist of AI/ML at Google podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 114: ML Bias & Fairness with Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 141: Accessibility in Tech podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 136: Robotics with Raia podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 150: Strange Loop, Remote Working, and Distributed Systems with KF podcast
    • DL Indaba
      • GCP Podcast Episode 147: DL Indaba: AI Investments in Africa podcast
      • GCP Podcast Episode 149: Deep Learning Research in Africa with Yabebal Fantaye & Jessica Phalafala podcast
      • GCP Podcast Episode 152: AI Corporations and Communities in Africa with Karim Beguir & Muthoni Wanyoike podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 157: NeurIPS and AI Research with Anima Anandkumar podcast
  • Favorite announcements, products, and more at Google Cloud

    • Unity and Google Cloud Strategic Alliance blog
    • Cloud TPU site
    • Google Dataset Search is in beta site
    • No tricks, just treats: Globally scaling the Halloween multiplayer Doodle with Open Match on Google Cloud blog
    • GKE On-Prem site
    • Open Source - Knative release, Skaffold, Istio updates, gVisor, etc.
    • Google in Ghana blog
    • Cloud NEXT blog
      • GCP Podcast Episode 137: Next Day 1 podcast
      • GCP Podcast Episode 138: Next Day 2 podcast
      • GCP Podcast Episode 139: Next Day 3 podcast
    • Unity and DeepMind partner to advance AI research blog
    • Introducing PyTorch across Google Cloud blog
Question of the week

What were your personal highlights for 2018?

  • Mark

    • Agones
    • Introducing Agones: Open-source, multiplayer, dedicated game-server hosting built on Kubernetes blog github
    • The new website
    • Having Melanie join me on the podcast
  • Melanie

    • Bringing Francesc back
    • Meeting Grace
    • GCP Podcast Episode 142: Agones With Mark Mandel and Cyril Tovena podcast
Where can you find us next?

It’s the holidays!

Special thanks!
  • Thank you guests
  • Thank you Jennifer
  • Thank you HD Interactive: James, Trae, Sabrina, and Sean
  • Thank you Greg
  • Thank you Neil, Chuck, and Shana
  • Thank you MBooth for the website overhaul and social media support
  • Thank you Francesc
  • Thank you listeners!

[MUSIC PLAYING] MARK: Hi, and welcome to episode number 159 of the weekly Google Cloud Platform Podcast. I'm Mark Mandel. And as always, I'm here with my colleague, Melanie Warrick. How you doing, Melanie?

MELANIE: Hey, Mark. I'm good. How are you doing?

MARK: I'm doing all right. I'm hanging out in Seattle.

MELANIE: You are, and I'm in San Francisco.

MARK: Yes.

MELANIE: I'm back.

MARK: You're back.

MELANIE: Where are you at, Mark?

MARK: I'm at KubeCon.

MELANIE: You're at KubeCon!

MARK: I'm at KubeCon. It's my first KubeCon. I'm very excited.

MELANIE: That's awesome. And all the people are there we were saying? We were saying earlier before we starting recording, all the cool people are there.

MARK: [CHUCKLES] All the cool Kubernetes people.

MELANIE: That's right.

MARK: There are other cool people. There are definitely other cool groups.

MELANIE: There are.

MARK: Yeah.

MELANIE: Well, OK, Mark, it's our end-of-year wrap up. It's our last episode for the year 2018.

MARK: Yeah, we're going to go through all the stuff that we liked about this year and all the stuff that everyone from our listeners liked from this year.

MELANIE: [LAUGHING] I realized we probably should have done all the things we don't like from this year too, just to shake it up a little bit. But yes, we are going to talk about all the top 10 and some of our favorites from the cool things of the week. But before we get into that, as always, we will do the last cool things of the week for 2018. And we have a question of the week for this year, which is--

MARK: What were your personal highlights for 2018?

MELANIE: Yes, all the things 2018. Well, great, so let's get into the cool things of the week. What is a cool thing of the week for you, Mark?

MARK: Well, cool thing of the week is definitely that there is a whole stack of Googlers at KubeCon doing a wide variety of things. So there's a booth. There's sessions. There's workshops, some of which we'll have already started by the time this comes out. But when this comes out, I'll be doing mentoring sessions on the Wednesday. So you probably would've missed the one in the morning, but you may still catch the one in the afternoon. I'll be speaking on Wednesday as well about Agones, but yeah, there's a wide variety of Google stuff going on, which is pretty awesome.

MELANIE: Yeah, that's pretty awesome.

MARK: It's my first KubeCon. I'm very excited.

MELANIE: Well, how long has this conference been going on?

MARK: I want to say four years. I could be wrong. I could be totally wrong.

MELANIE: What? I can't believe this is your first one.

MARK: Yeah.

MELANIE: Very exciting.

MARK: And on that vein, there is a blog post that goes along with this. There's a Kubernetes and GKE for developers, a year of Cloud Console. So basically this is actually a really nice summary of Cloud Console that exists for GKE and what it does. So starting your cluster and then once it's up and running, being able to have a look inside it and see metrics around CPU and memory, and what's going on internally, and what things are running, and then also having access to the cloud marketplace and being able to drop things in from there. It's just a really cute little article talking about all the things you can do in GKE that are integrated directly into the Cloud Console as well, which is just a nice touch for KubeCon.

MELANIE: That's very nice. Another cool thing of the week is reducing gender bias in Google Translate. We got an announcement post out there that is talking about Google's efforts to promote fairness and reduce bias in machine learning. There's been changes that allow Translate to provide feminine/masculine translations for some gender neutral words, so especially words like surgeon that will now be translated from English into French or Italian or Portuguese or Spanish so you can get both. And that example's already out there, and you can read about it and check it out.

MARK: Yeah, I like this. It's being essentially monolingual, not being used to having languages that have feminine and masculine.


MARK: Yeah, it's a blind spot. And so it's really good to see this come through.

MELANIE: I agree. And another thing we wanted to mention is a blog post that's out there around Cloud Security Command Center and that it's now in beta. And so that is out there. It's providing a number of new features that include expanding coverage across GCP services like Datastore, DNS, Load Balancing, Spanner, Container Registry, Kubernetes Engine, and Virtual Private Cloud.

MARK: Yeah, this is great. I love this turn of phrase, like if you need a central place to understand your security posture.


Which I really like-- this is the view for you.

MELANIE: I know. I heard that recently, actually, from our colleague, Jen.

MARK: Yeah.

MELANIE: Security posture.


It's a good word.

MARK: That's great.

MELANIE: It's a good word.

MARK: [CHUCKLING] But yeah, it lets you assess your security risks and vulnerabilities from a single place, and you can see your assets and integrate security findings from a variety of security leaders, including Google themselves. So yeah, if you're into security, which I think we all are, it's a great thing to check out.

MELANIE: Yeah, at this point especially. It's expanded into cloud libraries, including Java, Node, and Go.

MARK: Yes.

MELANIE: Yeah. You can go online, you can see what it provides, and see how you would need to engage with it.

MARK: Excellent, all right. Well, why don't we go talk about all our favorite things from this year?

MELANIE: Yes, let's go talk to ourselves.

MARK: [CHUCKLING] So it's the end of 2018.

MELANIE: It's our wrap-up segment.

MARK: It is. It's our recap episode.

MELANIE: Yay, 2018. I can't believe it's already the end.

MARK: Wow, time flies.

MELANIE: Happy holidays.

MARK: Happy holidays.

MELANIE: Happy Hanukkah, happy Festivus, happy all the things.

MARK: Yes, all the things. Kwanzaa now too, happy that.


MARK: Yeah.

MELANIE: Whatever you want to celebrate or if you don't, and you just want to sit around and watch Netflix all day.


Have a good one.

MARK: Definitely do that. That sounds great. I'm going to do that.

MELANIE: I know. I just plugged for them too.


And we're not getting paid by them either.

MARK: No, excellent. So as per tradition over the last few years, we like to do a wrap-up episode where we talk about all the things that happened in 2018.

MELANIE: So to start this off, we actually want to talk about some of the actual podcast accomplishments for the year. So a couple of the things that come to mind are the new intro and outro music we got from our editors--

MARK: Yep, it's great.

MELANIE: --which we're really grateful for.

MARK: Yep. We have a brand new website, a company by the name of M Booth did that for us, and it's gorgeous.


MARK: It looks great.

MELANIE: And we have new YouTube videos.

MARK: Yeah, we have an internal team that works on that now, and they do a much better job than we did ourselves.

MELANIE: Definitely.

MARK: Yeah, it looks gorgeous too.

MELANIE: And we also have a lot of new photos that we captured for the year, which we've been using. Because we know many people were saying, Melanie, you're not Francesc. [LAUGHING] Why aren't there pictures of you?

MARK: Yeah, we had to do a photo shoot. It was terrible. We had to be the center of attention.

MELANIE: And you were sick the whole time too.

MARK: Was I? I don't even remember.

MELANIE: I don't know if you remember this, but you were really ill at the time.

MARK: The show must go on.

MELANIE: But other accomplishments for the year-- February 20, we hit one million downloads.

MARK: Yeah. And just recently, we hit two million downloads.

MELANIE: December 1.

MARK: High five.

MELANIE: High five.


And Mark, you and the podcast celebrated three years this year.

MARK: I've been here so long.

MELANIE: And you are never going to leave. So yes, it's been a lot of accomplishments this year.

MARK: It's been a good run.

MELANIE: Plus, while we're recording this, we mentioned we are over two million downloads. We're at like 2,005,000 downloads. And you had mentioned about one million, 1.1 million downloads this year so far.

MARK: This year, yeah.

MELANIE: That's pretty great.

MARK: The trajectory of the listenership of the podcast has definitely been up and to the right. So thank you to everyone for listening, actually.

MELANIE: Thank you. And thank you for all the guests. And we're going to do our top 10, top 10 most downloaded episodes.

MARK: Yes, oh my god.

MELANIE: And we're going to start from the top from 10 and count down for everybody.


We've got it together today.

MARK: Yeah.

MELANIE: Anyway, so yeah, top 10 most downloaded. A lot of them came from this year, actually.

MARK: Yeah, I think almost all of them.

MELANIE: Almost all, with the exception of one.

MARK: All right, but we won't tell you which one.


MARK: You have to find out.


MARK: OK, so number 10, starting from the bottom or the top. Depends how you look at it. It's fine. One of my favorite people, Sarah Novotny, who has come to join us, the head of open source strategy at Google Cloud. I'm such a huge fan of Sarah's.

MELANIE: Me too.

MARK: I really, really am. And it was such a delight and a pleasure to spend time with her on the podcast talking about open source, talking about the history of Kubernetes. Sarah's been around since the beginning of Kubernetes all the way through to the creation of CNCF. So Sarah's just a wealth of information about open source and open source strategy. It's such a privilege, actually, to have her in our company and being able to ask her questions about these things, and talk to her about open source and open source strategy.

MELANIE: Great. It was a wonderful episode. Our number nine episode is from episode 130, and this were a couple of friends and colleague-- Juliet Hougland and Michelle Casbon joined us to talk about data science. So we got a chance to talk about what is data science, what are some of the toolings, just some of the challenges, the benefits, how it's applied. It was a great episode. I was grateful that we could get them on.

MARK: Yeah. And the first time I think that Michelle Casbon has been on the episode, but she has been on a few times since then.

MELANIE: Yeah, she has. She came back to help out with some of the wrappers recently too, which was great. Number eight for most downloaded.

MARK: Launchpad Studio with Malika Cantor and Peter Norvig.


MARK: This is a good one too.

MELANIE: That was out first episode of this year.

MARK: Really?

MELANIE: That was our first episode this year.

MARK: Wow, I didn't realize that.

MELANIE: Yeah. I was very excited that we got them on for this episode in particular.

MARK: Yeah. No, it was a really good episode. Launchpad Studios does a lot of work with startups, and there was sort of this really interesting cross pollination between them. They were talking about AI startups and startup culture, and how the technology of AI has changed so much that it's enabled that space to really open up and be explored.

MELANIE: And they're pushed especially to be able to make that accessible, those types of tooling, machine learning in particular, accessible to smaller groups. So that was something that we got a chance to dive into, and I'm glad we were able to have them on.

MARK: Yeah, it was really good. Number seven.

MELANIE: Yes, number seven.

MARK: Number seven. So this wasn't recorded this year, but I think has been around for a long time. So this is Tim Hockin talking about Kubernetes 1.7.

MELANIE: Your favorite thing.

MARK: My favorite thing, Kubernetes.

MELANIE: This was the episode that was holding the number one spot up until this year.

MARK: Yeah, for a really long time.


MARK: I think this is testament to a couple things, one of which is people love Kubernetes, and that's great. People also really liked him.


MARK: People really liked him. Tim, if you're listening, you should feel really good about that. I think that's definitely something that's kept this episode going for such a long time at such a high spot in our downloads.

MELANIE: Yeah. The sixth most downloaded podcast was episode number 113. And that was with Yifei Feng, and we were talking about open source TensorFlow. So this actually was holding our number three spot for a while, and it recently was unseated. I was watching that, and I was really impressed by it.

She got into open source. She got into the tooling in open source, working with the community, what that means, and just talking about the challenges and the interesting values that you get out of working within open source. So it was great to speak with her and have her on.

MARK: I really liked this one because so often with large open source projects, there's so much automation and so many tools that happen behind the scenes to make sure everything runs in the way it supposed to within the community and help out all the people who are authors and developers and contributors and people who provide feedback. And I think sometimes it gets a little hidden. And so it was really nice to bring it to the front and sort of talk about the tooling that has to happen for these sort of scale of projects to deal with the scale of contribution that is happening, and how to manage that so that people can do the things that they're good at as humans, and robots can do the things that they're good at too.

MELANIE: Fifth most downloaded.

MARK: Oh, the fifth most downloaded is episode 128, Decision Intelligence with Cassie Kozyrkov.


MARK: I hope I got your name right, Cassie. I apologize in advance. [LAUGHING]

MELANIE: She's very steeped deep into the decisions intelligence space and was able to come on and talk to us about the importance of it, what it means, how valuable it is in particular in the machine learning and AI space.

MARK: Yeah, Cassie is the chief decision engineer at Google Cloud. She works a lot with customers to basically help them make decisions about how their data can make decisions, essentially.

MELANIE: Which is crucial for applied, especially. But she has a great background with helping people understand these complex concepts, especially when it comes to statistical inference and just other additional technological concepts in relation to decision intelligence.

MARK: Yeah, absolutely. Episode number four.

MELANIE: Episode number four.

MARK: Two wonderful teammates of ours, Seth and Liz, come on to battle it out about what is better, SRE or DevOps.

MELANIE: Everything.

MARK: It's a battle of the ages.

MELANIE: All of it, yes. It was a throwdown. There was a lot of blood. It was great. No. They have a good video series too you should check out, but we did get into understanding SRE and DevOps in relation to each other, separately, what that means, how to approach it.

MARK: Yeah, if you want to see which one wins, you have to listen.

MELANIE: And some of their favorite tools and stuff.

MARK: Yeah. No, it's a great discussion on SRE and DevOps culture.

MELANIE: All right, the top three.

MARK: The top three.

MELANIE: So number three.

MARK: Number three.

MELANIE: Which used to be held by Yifei, Jeff Dean--

MARK: Yes.

MELANIE: --talking about Google AI. And this was a great episode where we got into a number of different subjects. We talked about TPUs and the history of machine learning and AI and Google. And we talked about parallel processing and his research from back in the day. We talked about deep learning and Java, which was a conference he was going to be speaking at. And just the importance of Africa, especially, because there was a recent research institute that was opened there. We got into a lot.

MARK: We got into a lot. Melanie, I just want to say thank you for setting this up because it was such a highlight for my ear, speaking to Jeff. It was one of those conversations I came away with so many interesting ideas that I didn't know I was going to get walking in.


MARK: And Jeff is such an amazing person. It really was an absolute pleasure to talk to Jeff and have this conversation, and learn so much, even just being the host.

MELANIE: Yes, I feel the same. That was a good one to be our number three and the most downloaded.

MARK: Absolutely.

MELANIE: All right.

MARK: Number two.

MELANIE: Number two, Percy.io with Mike Fotinakis, which I hope I'm not botching that. But anyways, Mike early on in the year to talk to us. And so a friend of mine works there, and that's the reason why we were able to get this all set up to begin with. And for those who don't know--

MARK: So Percy.io is a continuous integration platform specifically working around visualization. So basically, how does my site look? Has it changed from how it meant to be before? Basically a tool to be like, is my design doing the things that it should be doing? Has my UX changed in a way that I'm not anticipating?

MELANIE: Exactly. And the visual review, specifically, in the CI space is very valuable with the way our world is working. This integrates really nicely with GitHub.

MARK: And Mike ran all the way through how they use GCP and the infrastructure and stuff too. It was a super interesting interview.

MELANIE: It was a great interview. And so it's our second most downloaded.

MARK: Yeah.

MELANIE: And number one.

MARK: Ooh, big drumroll.


Here it comes. Still holding this spot-- this spot's actually been held for a little while.

MELANIE: He's been holding it pretty much almost since February or March of this year.

MARK: It is Sam Ramji.

MELANIE: Yes. He was, at the time, our VP of product management for Google Cloud Platform.

MARK: Yeah. So this is a really lovely one as well. Sam is a delightful fellow as well.

MELANIE: We got into some of his history, like his work at Cloud Foundry, being a chief strategy officer for Apogee. It was a really fascinating conversation because we got into things like open source and distributed systems, as well as philosophy.

MARK: Yeah, we talked about team culture and basically how people become performers, and how to treat people.

MELANIE: Yeah, it was great. So if you want to check out that episode and you haven't already--

MARK: And Sam, if you're listening, I hope you're proud of this episode.

MELANIE: I hope all is going well for you.

MARK: Indeed, indeed, indeed.

MELANIE: We were also going to mention what our top 10 were for this year, not for all time.

MARK: Yes.

MELANIE: But we're going to just make a side note about this. It's pretty much the same list with one exception.

MARK: Yeah, what's the exception?

MELANIE: The exception is that instead of Tim Hockin being in number seven because it was recorded in a previous year, we actually have one of the other episodes that we recorded this year that popped up, which is Project Jupyter.

MARK: Oh, yeah.

MELANIE: And that was recorded with Jessica Forde, Yuvi Panda, and Chris Holdgraf. So they were all members of Project Jupyter, working on it. They came on to talk to us about what it is, the various products and services that are provided. This is a tool that's very popular, especially in the data space. And we had some good conversations, especially around reproducibility, some of the bigger challenges in the data space and how Project Jupyter is working on addressing those.

MARK: Also the most number of guests we've ever fit inside a podcast.

MELANIE: That is the most number of guests, I know. You were like, wait, there's too many people.

MARK: It's too many people.

MELANIE: We don't own this many mics now. We made it work. And we also talked about distributed computing and Kubernetes too, which is always one of your favorites.

MARK: Always, always, always.

MELANIE: That's a lot.

MARK: That's a lot.

MELANIE: [LAUGHING] Maybe we're done. Are we done?

MARK: No. So I want to also talk a little bit about each other's favorite episodes. We did a lot of episodes this year. We do one a week.

MELANIE: We did.

MARK: Was like 50 episodes.

MELANIE: And I had a really hard time picking my top favorites.

MARK: I know. I think we should be proud of ourselves. I think we did some really good work this year.

MELANIE: We did do good work this year.

MARK: So let's go backwards and forwards. What's one of your favorites, Melanie?

MELANIE: A highlight for me this year was when we got to interview Dr. Fei-Fei Li about Cloud AI. And she used to be the chief scientist of AI and ML at Google. And she's returned to being professor at the computer science department at Stanford. So that episode, we had to literally squeeze that one in.

MARK: We did.

MELANIE: We barely got that in in time. I wanted to release that for the week when it was International Women's Day. And so we talked to her about the work that she was doing at the time to make AI accessible on GCP, as well as we talked about her research in health care with AI. So that was a great episode.

MARK: That was a great episode. I'm also trying to avoid episodes we've mentioned previously because they're all amazing episodes. Otherwise I'll just gush about Sarah Novotny for an hour, which probably not that useful. But a highlight for me, definitely developer relations that we did with Mandy White.


MARK: Mandy's great. She's been in the developer relations game and also here at Google for a really long time, and just brings a wealth of experience about developer relations and why it's important and the team itself here at Google Cloud. So it was an absolute pleasure to spend some time with her.

MELANIE: I'm glad we got her on, for sure.

MARK: And just talk through all that stuff.

MELANIE: Another highlight for me was when we got Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, who are researchers here at Google on the podcast. And at the time, actually Timnit was not here. She was at Microsoft. But we got them on to talk about machine learning bias and fairness.

MARK: Such a good episode.

MELANIE: I know. We didn't even have to work that hard for that one because the two of them knew what needed to be talked about around machine learning bias and fairness, and they just went with it. And yeah, if you want to understand that space and understand some of the challenges in the space as well as the work that's being done from a social side as well as an algorithmic side, they both covered it. We have a number of resources we included in that episode's show notes. So yeah, I was really glad we got that one together.

MARK: That's great. No, I love that episode too. I wanted to put that in my list as well, but you set it up so you can have it. You can take it.

MELANIE: I took it. No, I mentioned it.


MELANIE: It's both of our favorites.

MARK: Yeah. Contributing to Kubernetes with Paris Pittman and Garrett Rodrigues, just talking through the contributor experience and how that gets managed and how they do special interest groups at Kubernetes. Kubernetes is such a large open source project, so having an understanding of how the community works was super interesting to hear about. And I know there's a lot of people who are interested in getting involved, and there's so many areas in which to get involved. So I hope that was a valuable resource to everyone who listened.

MELANIE: And you got to touch on one of your favorite topics.

MARK: Kubernetes.

MELANIE: Kubernetes.

MARK: Who knew that?

MELANIE: Yeah, it was good to have them on for sure. I want to put them all on the top here, but another highlight for me was talking to Haben Girma, who came on to talk about accessibility in tech. We were able to capture that podcast in particular because she spoke at Next. And so she came on, and she was able to talk through some of the importance of accessibility and tech. She's the first deaf blind person to graduate from Harvard Law, and she specifically advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. And so this is something she was able to speak very in depth about.

MARK: That was an absolute pleasure, absolutely. I agree 100%.

MELANIE: Another highlight for you?

MARK: There's another highlight for me. This one I really like. It's the first person who's been able to do a demo on the podcast.

MELANIE: Oh, yeah.

MARK: Actions on Google with Mandy Chan. So talking about voice actions and all the technology that comes behind voice actions. And because we're an audio-only podcast, Mandy could make an actual demo happen, which was awesome.

MELANIE: I remember that day. You were like, let's try this other thing out.

MARK: Yeah, it was so much fun. It was such a delight having her on, and again, another episode where I walked away and I was like, I need to play with this. I want to do games with voices and stuff. This is cool.

MELANIE: And her energy about it is very infectious too.

MARK: So infectious. Mandy's great. Thank you for coming on the podcast.

MELANIE: Agreed. Another highlight for me was talking with Raia Hadsell about robotics, navigation, and reinforcement learning. We were getting that one on the fly. That was one of those that we thankfully were able to put into our schedule. And the way she covers these topics was very helpful and insightful and useful. So if you want to hear more about just the advances in the field about robotics learning to navigate new surroundings, she talks specifically about her research in that recently and how machine learning is just, in essence, helping us to better understand our minds.

MARK: Another highlight for me. Oh, that was a lot. We should probably draw a line at some point.

MELANIE: I know.

MARK: But I want to mention this one because it's important. They're all important.

MELANIE: They are.

MARK: But Wellio with Sivan Aldor-Noiman and Erik Andrejko. I've messed that up. I'm sorry, Erik. But this is a wonderful, practical example of how to apply AI and machine learning to a particular thing. So Wellio is a platform that is an intelligent platform to help people with shopping, planning, preparing food, and drawing healthy meals, and doing it in a way that basically adapts for the users of the system, which is just amazing, first of all, but hugely complicated and just so interesting. And so they also break down their usage of Google Cloud and the technologies they use, and how they go about it. It was super practical.

MELANIE: What I appreciated most about that episode was that they took us through the full pipeline. It was from literally the data to the putting it into production. It's a nice, full picture of how you deal with-- especially machine learning, from the start to the finish. Another highlight for me-- I know this is a highlight for you too. We got our friend KF to come onto the podcast.


Such a delightful episode.

MELANIE: It was a great episode. We talked about Strange Loop, which is the conference where we all met. We talked about remote work. We talked about distributed computing. We talked about new people getting into the field and what that's like.

MARK: We talked about how KF likes to make fun of me.

MELANIE: We did talk about how KF likes to make fun of you. I know it was an episode where it's funny because I really wanted her to come on the podcast, and she initially was a little resistant to it. And then when she finally committed to doing it, Mark was also resistant to it because he knew she'd make fun of him.


I also recognize she has significant amount of insights that I'm very grateful for.

MARK: Agreed.

MELANIE: And I was glad we were able to capture that episode. So if you want to see us having a fun time with a friend of ours-- or hear us having a fun time with a friend of ours-- you should listen to the episode number 150.

MARK: Yeah.

MELANIE: I was going to say, I got to mention one more highlight for me.

MARK: Done. Go on then.

MELANIE: The highlight in particular is that I went to South Africa and captured the Deep Learning Indaba episodes.

MARK: Great episodes.

MELANIE: There's multiple ones. All of them have their own different values, but I was glad I was able to make that work and get that on the podcast this year.

MARK: Excellent.

MELANIE: Yeah. All right.

MARK: Plenty of stuff to listen to if you haven't listened to stuff--

MELANIE: I know. It's like, basically listen to everything this year.

MARK: All the stuff, just all of it. It's all good.


MARK: All right, so let's change track a little. Why don't we talk about sort of our favorite announcements, products, things that have happened inside Google Cloud that you thought were particularly cool and interesting, like highlights for you for 2018.


MARK: I'll jump in first. So for me, I think-- I do stuff in the games industry, so pretty excited about the Unity and Google Cloud strategic alliance. Pretty excited about that announcement coming out. I think there's still some stuff coming out of that and what's going on, but the fact that we're working so closely with a company like Unity and the Unity engine, I think there are some real exciting things coming down the pipe.

And we've started talking about it at sort of Unite Berlin and Unite LA about projects like Open Match, the open source matchmaking platform. They're also going to announce this year and the work that's happening between Unity and us on them, as well as some of the planned product integrations coming forward too. So pretty excited about sort of the whole connected games platform and what we've been talking about there.

MELANIE: Another highlight for me that just came to my mind is the TPUs in beta, being able to access the TPU chips and run your programs. I know when they were in alpha, you had to go through an application process. But in beta, it made it much more accessible for those who are doing research and wanted to leverage those with their TensorFlow code.

Another cool thing that was a highlight for us for this year, the Google Dataset Search, in beta as well. Data is always a key thing you need for any kind of machine learning you're doing. So having the ability to more easily find data sets that you can work with and you can experiment on, that was very much needed.

MARK: I think I'm going to be on the games broken record for a bit-- broken record for a bit-- broken record for a bit.


MARK: The recent Halloween multiplayer doodle that worked with Open Match and worked all on Google Cloud was, A, just a really cool game that'd be also just a wonderful demonstration of scale. So Google Cloud, we served over 100 million players in 60 countries, current user load of over half a million players during a five-minute window at its peak. We supported a Google Doodle. That's the Google homepage.

MELANIE: That is cool.

MARK: It's really cool. So I just-- yeah, I love it. And it was so much fun. I love that game.

MELANIE: A highlight that I picked up on from Next in particular was the GKE On-Prem.

MARK: Oh, yeah.

MELANIE: So many people were excited about that.

MARK: Yeah, the possibilities for hybrid cloud, I think, are really exciting and endless in some ways.

MELANIE: It is all about hybrid cloud at this point.

MARK: And GKE On-Prem is really exciting.


MARK: I think in general also, just the updates that continue to roll out of Kubernetes, unsurprisingly for me, and then flowing into GKE as well. We're up to Kubernetes about 1.12, off the top of my head-- I don't think 13's come out yet-- and seeing more and more features continue to grow and continue to evolve in that space. And the things that come on top of them as well, I mean, we've seen things like [INAUDIBLE] get released this year, Scaffold-- Istio has more updates, went 1.0 this year-- gVisor as well, all working in this sort of containerized cloud native space that I think is just growing incredibly.

MELANIE: And I was also very excited when I saw the news that Google AI was opening up another research group out of Accra, Ghana. So that was another highlight for me for this year. Yeah.

MARK: Actually, we spoke about Next just briefly before, but just talking about Next in general, Next for me was a highlight that I think is worth talking about.

MELANIE: Next was insane. It was great. There was so much going on.

MARK: There was so much going on. It's the biggest event I've ever seen. for Google Cloud. The amount of investment there and the amount of production and the amount of announcements and customers.

MELANIE: There's a lot.

MARK: Oh, my.

MELANIE: And then you and I recorded 18 interviews.

MARK: I don't even know how we survived.

MELANIE: I know.

MARK: I'm just linking through to the blog post where it's 105 announcements from Google Cloud Next.


MARK: We're in like three or four buildings. It was-- wow.

MELANIE: There was a lot going on. And they're going to do it all over again in April.

MARK: That's very close.

MELANIE: That's a lot sooner than we think. We should definitely sleep for the next couple weeks.

MARK: Oh, my. Yeah, that's coming up soon too. But yeah. No, and you spoke about a little just doing stuff on the [INAUDIBLE] recording so much. Such a delight to meet our listeners and physically see them in the same place and be able to talk to them and stuff.

MELANIE: Yeah. I was pleasantly surprised by how many people came in just to tell us thank you. And so that was really nice. And like, I listen to you while I wash my dishes. I listen to you while I run. It was really cool.

MARK: Yeah, and you got everyone chocolate.

MELANIE: I did get everyone chocolate. And I was shocked by how many people wanted our T-shirts.

MARK: Yes.

MELANIE: Because that last day, there was a line. There was an actual line. I was like, do you guys even know what you're lining up for?

MARK: T-shirts probably.

MELANIE: They didn't care at one point when we didn't have the sizes anymore that people could choose from. They just took whatever we had. So that was nice. That was really nice and a fun experience. Because when you're in a booth like this and you're just talking, and it's like you and your headset--

MARK: It's just us two in the room.

MELANIE: --you're just like, oh, whatever. We're going to publish this. I don't know if anybody's listening. And then you're like, oh, no.

MARK: Yeah. No, I really especially love hearing the stories from people who are like, I wasn't going to come to Next, but I listened to the podcast and now I'm here. Or we started using GCP because of the podcast or things like that.

MELANIE: A lot of people have also said how helpful it is for them just to have an understanding of basic, here's how we go about approaching GCP to begin with. So thank you. All right, Mark, I think that covers it in terms of at least the top 10 highlights and our highlights and all the highlights, all the fun stuff for the year.

MARK: Yeah.

MELANIE: I've really enjoyed being on the podcast.

MARK: I've really enjoyed having you on the podcast.

MELANIE: I am going to tell everyone at this point that I am actually going to be leaving the podcast next year.

MARK: Very sad.

MELANIE: I know.


It has been fun. I'm really glad I got to do this. We are working on getting other people who will be coming on. We're actually going to change it up a little bit next year. So this is not going away. There's more to come. And you will find out more about that later.

MARK: Yeah. We'll have some pretty good announcements, I think, pretty exciting announcements for 2018 for the podcast.


MARK: So definitely stay tuned.

MELANIE: Yeah. Thanks everybody for embracing me as being your second co-host, considering Francesc was such an amazing one-- big shoes to fill.

MARK: Yeah, both a delight and a pleasure.


MARK: And you are always welcome back.

MELANIE: Thank you.

MARK: Always, always, always. Do we thank ourselves on the way out?

MELANIE: [LAUGHING] I was just thinking that. Well, thank you, Mark and Melanie for coming on the podcast.



MARK: Yes, you did an excellent job. Well done.

MELANIE: Yes, well done us, well done us. So anyway, Mark.

MARK: Yes?

MELANIE: Last question for the year.

MARK: Yes?

MELANIE: Which is, what was your personal highlights for 2018?

MARK: Personal highlights for 2018-- for me, I think studying the project Agones, that's been a really big thing for me. I'm really excited about it and working with the people I've been working with, and the contributors that come on board and working with UbiSoft. And just helping build that as a community and as a product has been super rewarding. I'm just amazed at how that's been going, so super, super excited.

MELANIE: What would you say is your favorite part about all of that, that gets you the most excited about it?

MARK: Actually I think for me, actually it is the interaction with the community. It's when somebody comes on board and they're like, I built a thing, or here's a pull request. It's such a lovely feeling when someone's like, you did a thing and I like it, and also here's the thing I'm giving you back. And you're like, oh my god, we're going to build things together. And I just love that collaboration.

MELANIE: Other cool things?

MARK: Other cool things-- I love the new website. Francesc and I did a-- I think, actually, Francesc did most of it-- but did a great job or the best job we could, given the resources we had and the first website we had.

MELANIE: Y'all did great, having something out there, yes.

MARK: It is really great to have a-- what I would refer to as a professional website for the podcast.


MARK: It is gorgeous. I really like it. And we have working search functionality too, which is super nice.

MELANIE: I know. The search is the best. Makes it so much easier to find content that you really want to look at.

MARK: And it's pretty. It's really pretty.

MELANIE: It is pretty.

MARK: Which I really like too.

MELANIE: Great photos. We got some great images from James, who's over at HD Interactive.

MARK: Yes, who does all the graphic design for all the pictures that show up.


MARK: It makes it a really nice visual experience.


What have been your personal highlights?

MELANIE: I really enjoyed the fact that we got to bring Francesc back, especially when he came back to talk about Agones while we were at Next.

MARK: Yeah, that was great fun.

MELANIE: That was fun.

MARK: It's always good to bring Francesc back.

MELANIE: And then another highlight for me for the year was meeting Grace, who was on our solution architects podcast. I'm totally picking favorites, but it's true. It was such a pleasure to meet her. And now I'm like, I can't spend enough time hanging out with her and talking about chocolate, clearly. So I'm glad that Grace Mollison was able to come on and talk to us about solution architects with Miles--

MARK: Yes.

MELANIE: --at the time. That was definitely a highlight for me, out of all the other highlights that we have mentioned.

MARK: Out of all the other highlights.

MELANIE: We've had a lot of highlights in this episode.

MARK: I would say-- it would be very remiss if I didn't mention it-- but a highlight for me definitely is having you join me on the podcast.


MELANIE: Thanks, Mark. It has been a fun time being on this podcast, and I'm really glad that we were able to do this.

MARK: Yeah, it's been an absolute delight and a pleasure. I cannot think of anyone I would not have rather spent this year with.

MELANIE: Thank you. Same here, sort of.



No, it was good. I'm really glad we were able to do this.

MARK: Yeah.

MELANIE: Last but not least for us is where's everyone going to be? It's the holidays, so you won't see me next year, but you will see Mark again in 2019. And see by--

MARK: Here.

MELANIE: --meaning listen. He'll be back, and everybody else hopefully is having a good holiday. We want to thank a number of people. We definitely want to thank our guests. We also want to thank Jennifer, who has helped us stay organized and scheduled and on top of a number of things that we have not been able to be on top of at times. We also want to thank HD Interactive, especially James, who has done some phenomenal work with our editing and our visuals, and [? Trey ?] and Sabrina and [? Shawn ?] as well, who've done a lot of work around our web presence and so forth.

MARK: Thanks to Greg, Greg Wilson, glorious leader of dev rel, for basically supporting the podcast here, everything that's been going on. Also thanks out to Neil and Chuck, who work on our marketing, [? Shayna ?] who works on social.


MARK: They're hugely, hugely supportive of the podcast. They do a huge amount of work.

MELANIE: We also want to thank M Booth for the website and the overhaul of the social media support. And last but not least, we want to thank Francesc because we have to thank Francesc. He's out there.


His presence is somewhere. [LAUGHING]

MARK: Also he gets really mad if you don't mention him.


MELANIE: I know.

MARK: But, yes. No, without Francesc, this would not have happened as well in the first place.

MELANIE: It wouldn't have started, yeah.

MARK: Exactly.

MELANIE: Mark, I think that's it for us. Thank you again very much. It has been great experience, and I'm really glad you and I got to work together this year.

MARK: Me too. Thank you to you, and thank you to everyone for listening as well.


MARK: It's been great having listeners and getting emails and messages on Twitter and all that good stuff.

MELANIE: Happy new year, happy holidays.

MARK: All that good stuff. So we'll see you all in January at some point next year. So stay tuned.

MELANIE: More to come.

MARK: And yeah, we'll see you all next year.



Mark Mandel and Melanie Warrick

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