End of the Year Recap

Hosts new and old gather together for this special episode of the podcast! We’ll talk about our favorite episodes of the year, the coolest things from 2019, and wrap up another great year together doing what we love! Happy Holidays to all of our listeners, and we’ll see you in the new year!

Top episodes of the year
  • GCP Podcast Episode 173: Cloud Run with Steren Giannini and Ryan Gregg podcast
  • GCP Podcast Episode 165: Python with Dustin Ingram podcast
  • GCP Podcast Episode 175: MongoDB with Andrew Davidson podcast
  • GCP Podcast Episode 160: Knative with Mark Chmarny and Ville Aikas podcast
  • GCP Podcast Episode 180: Firebase with Jen Person podcast
  • GCP Podcast Episode 164: Node.js with Myles Borins podcast
  • GCP Podcast Episode 174: Professional Services with Ann Wallace and Michael Wallman podcast
  • GCP Podcast Episode 176: Human-Centered AI with Di Dang podcast
  • GCP Podcast Episode 168: NVIDIA T4 with Ian Buck and Kari Briski podcast
  • GCP Podcast Episode 163: Cloud SQL with Amy Krishnamohan podcast
Favorite episodes of the year
  • Mark Mirchandani’s Favorites:
    • GCP Podcast Episode 193: Devoted Health and Data Science with Chris Albon podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 177: Primer with John Bohannon podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 202: Supersolid with Kami May podcast
  • Mark Mandel’s Favorites:
    • GCP Podcast Episode 186: Blockchain with Allen Day podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 196: Phoenix Labs with Jesse Houston podcast
  • Jon’s Favorites:
    • GCP Podcast Episode 199: Data Visualization with Manuel Lima podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 196: Phoenix Labs with Jesse Houston podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 206: ML/AI with Zack Akil podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 201: FACEIT with Maria Laura Scuri podcast
  • Gabi’s Favorites:
    • GCP Podcast Episode 199: Data Visualization with Manuel Lima podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 167: World Pi Day with Emma Haruka Iwao podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 206: ML/AI with Zack Akil podcast
    • GCP Podcast Episode 198: SeMI Technologies with Laura Ham podcast
Favorite things of the year
  • Mark Mirchandani’s Favorites:
  • Mark Mandel’s Favorites:
  • Jon’s Favorites:
    • First time doing the podcast at NEXT and it was quite the experience.
    • Going to Nvidia offices to do an episode
    • Getting to talk to guests in the gaming industry and hear how passionate they are about the things they are building
    • Joining the podcast
    • Podcast outtakes!
  • Gabi’s Favorites:
    • Visited a bunch of offices!
    • Joining the podcast
    • Cloud NEXT talk, where my demo failed but I recovered!
    • Spreading the love and joy of databases
Where can you find us next?

Mark Mirch’ will be sleeping as much as possible!

Mandel will be working on plans for Next, GDC, and I/O 2020!

Gabi will be running away to warm weather for her winter vacation!

Jon will be home! He’ll also be planning gaming content for next year and wrapping up this year with some deep dives into multiplayer games and some possible content!

Sound Effects Attribution

[MUSIC PLAYING] MARK M: Hello, and welcome to episode 207 of the weekly Google Cloud Platform podcast. I'm Mark, and I'm here with my colleague, also Mark.

MARK: Yep, I'm back again for just a little bit.

MARK M: For just a yearly recap, which is also super exciting, because it's a yearly recap of all the cool things that have happened in 2019.

MARK: [LAUGHS] I'm basically doing a John Farnham Farewell Tour, which is a joke only Australians are going to get, because no one else knows who John Farnham is.

DIGITAL VOICE: So true. So true.

MARK M: Ha ha. I'll pretend to understand that.


MARK: You can Google it. It's fine.

MARK M: I will Google it after the podcast-- but super excited to be chatting with Mark for at least one more reoccurring, random, guest appearance--

MARK: There we go.

MARK M: As we do talk about all the cool things that have happened over 2019.

MARK: Yeah, it's been a good year. It's not been terrible. I can't complain too much.

MARK M: Minus the part where you stepped down as a full-time host, Mark, which, of course, is devastating to all of us.

MARK: But also exciting, because of all the new people who are on it now and all the new voices. And that makes me very happy.


MARK M: Absolutely, and plus we always have Robo Mandel if we need him.

DIGITAL VOICE: Glad to be of service, mate.

MARK: [LAUGHS] Exactly.

MARK M: So going on with that, it has been a really cool year. And I think we'd like to talk about the top 10 episodes of this year. But before we dive into that, I think we should talk about our favorite episodes as well.

MARK: Yeah-- no, we absolutely should talk about our favorite episodes. Why don't you go first?

MARK M: Absolutely-- so my favorite episode was definitely Chatting Data Science with Chris Albon. And myself and Michele hosted that one. And that's episode 193, if people are looking for it.

MARK: What was that about?

MARK M: Yeah, so that episode was super exciting, because I got a chance to talk with Chris about all the cool things he's doing at Devoted Health. But it was also a lot about just data science in general. He was talking about his machine learning flashcards, which I think really brought a lot of complex terminology, a lot of complex different constructions that are connected to machine learning, and said, here's how you can understand them, access them, and really get them in a way that really lowered the barrier to entry.

And I think he was talking a lot about the human side of data science and where the actual application was far more important than running all these large studies. Machine learning and data science in general are all becoming a little bit easier to do.

MARK: Yep.

MARK M: So he was much more interested in, like, well, what are you doing with them? Where's the impact of those? And so that conversation with Chris was really fascinating, because he drove into why that's so important. And that's why Devoted Health-- but really all the things that Chris talks about-- really drive more into impact than anything else.

MARK: Very, very cool.

MARK M: What about your favorite episode?

MARK: I got a couple of favorites. It's actually interesting, noting that neither of our episodes are in the top 10 downloads. But that's because we have diverse backgrounds of interests.

MARK M: Absolutely.

MARK: I particularly liked doing Blockchain with Allen Day. And I want to say that non-ironically. I think, in the tech industry, we maybe make fun of this a little bit more than we should. I don't know. It definitely shows up a lot in the random jokes and whatnot. But it was awesome. I don't know really anything about blockchain or bitcoin mining or anything along those lines.

So to sit down with Allen and be like-- OK, what does this thing do, what is it actually useful for, what can you do on GCT with it?-- was really good from a very practical point-of-view and just be like, OK, let's go through the hype, get through that, and then be like, OK, what's the reality here? What is that actually useful for? And that was that was super interesting-- and some of the stuff we have going on with BigQuery and some cryptocurrency type stuff was super interesting too.

And it was also really good fun, because it was the first time I got to be on a podcast with Carter Morgan. And I really liked that. So that made me very happy.

MARK M: Yeah, it was an awesome episode. And honestly, anything that brings a little bit more realistic understanding of what blockchain is--

MARK: Yeah.

MARK M: I think, we just need more of that. So introducing the "Google Cloud Blockchain" podcast, where everything is blockchain every episode.

DIGITAL VOICE: Awesome, I'll call Rebel Wilson. And maybe we can host it together.

MARK: Let's not go that far. [LAUGHS]

MARK M: OK-- no blockchain podcast yet.

MARK: There you go. Do you have any other favorite episodes?

MARK M: The Chris Albot episode was a really great one for data science. We actually got to talk to another fella, John, from Primer AI. Again, this was a host that Michele had worked very hard to bring in. And we got to hear some really interesting stories. I think, John shared just a fascinating life story of how he got to data science and where he is and all the cool things that he does now.

MARK: Oh, very cool.

MARK M: I thought that was a really good listen. But it was really just fascinating to hear about the 18 different paths he took. And that story mentioned a lot about working with the government and working with some very interesting companies in China and testing fish for pregnancy. It went all over the place.

MARK: It's always super interesting, I find, listening to some stories that people take, especially people with nontraditional backgrounds, about how they get into tech and the career development they've had, how they ended up where they ended up. Because I feel like, in tech, there's no one true path. And it's always very interesting to see how people ended up here.

MARK M: Yeah, like you said, there's such a diverse background. And most of the time, these people aren't starting in tech. They're starting with much more focused areas of what they wanted to go into. And they just ended up in tech, because they have that background expertise.

MARK: Yeah, absolutely. So one of my other favorite ones that I want to bring up, which is episode 196, which is the episode with Phoenix Labs-- if anyone played "Dauntless"-- I have to mention something to do with games. I think, it's just a given. But I really liked this episode not only because-- you know-- cool game and stuff and running on Kubernetes, et cetera.

The thing I like about this is we've definitely done stories talking about the PSO team and some of the sales support teams and how we do things from the Google side to support customers. But it was really great to hear from the customer side of-- what was it like, as an experience, to launch a large-scale game that was through the roof, in terms of beyond the expectations of what they were going to get traffic-wise and player-wise, and then see what their perspective was on the support they were getting from the Google Cloud team and how they were supported at launch.

Unsurprisingly, given it's the podcast, it was relatively positive.


But it was really interesting just to see their perspective and give some ideas for other people who are looking to maybe launch some large-scale things-- how Google Cloud can help.

MARK M: Yeah, I thought we got a good perspective of that on the Super Solid episode as well--

MARK: Oh, nice.

MARK M: --where they talked a lot about using Agones, of course, and their process there, before it was 1.0, and the experience they had working with Google. Obviously, they also had a great experience with it. But it was very cool for them to talk about-- these two engineers, who didn't have any Kubernetes experience, going into launching full-scale back-end for gaming and how they did that. That was super, super cool. So definitely another episode worth checking out.

MARK: Cool.

MARK M: So the reality is, every episode is our favorite-- I think is what this comes down to.

MARK: Well, the episodes that aren't our favorites, we're not going to mention. I don't want to make anyone upset. No, I'm kidding. They're all fantastic.

MARK M: They're all fantastic episodes. But it would be worth to mention that we do have the top 10 episodes, as rated by the viewer, I guess, by the episode views. So we'll call that rated by the viewers.

MARK: That works. So I'm in a lot of them.

MARK M: There's a lot. Well, you know what they means? People really like hearing you talk.

MARK: Though, you're in the top 1.

MARK M: I am in the top 1, which makes me feel so good inside. But I know it wasn't because of me. It was because--

MARK: It was because of--

MARK M: Well, we'll come back to that.

MARK: --Gabi, really. It was because of Gabi.

MARK M: It was because of Gabi-- 100%. We'll talk about that when we go there. But shall we start from the bottom up, then?

MARK: OK, let's do that.

MARK M: All right, well, then let's start with-- I guess a drum roll would be appropriate here--


--episode number 10--


--which we have as Cloud SQL.

MARK: Yep.

MARK M: This one was Mark and Gabi as well. Gabi talks a lot about Cloud SQL and other database solution offerings as well.

MARK: Yep.

MARK M: But what were your takeaways from that episode?

MARK: I actually really liked this episode. It actually hearkens me back to a number of years ago, where we did an episode on just straight GC EVMs, which was also hugely popular. Cloud SQL-- it's just a staple of things that people need. We work in DevRel. And sometimes, it's very nice to just show up and do all the shiny stuff and just be like, oh, my god, look at this cool new thing that shows up and does this amazing stuff.

Sometimes, you just need to stick stuff in the database. So it's always great to just have this workhorse type technology to talk about it and just get it done.

MARK M: Yeah, I know. MySQL Postgres aren't going anywhere anytime soon. And it's definitely a need for a lot of people. So it sounds like that'd be a cool episode to check out, if you want a refresher on what's new with Cloud SQL. And I'm sure there's plenty more coming up.

MARK: Absolutely. So coming in at number 9--


--episode 168 was myself and Jon Foust. And Jon, meeting with Ian and Kari, talking about NVIDIA and their T4 chip. This was lots of fun as well. We got to actually go down to the NVIDIA headquarters, which honestly, if you haven't seen photos of the NVIDIA headquarters, this is the most un-brand campus I've ever seen in my life.

All their NVIDIA branding looks like they're building. It's all black triangles. It's gorgeous. So it's a lovely building. But yeah, we got to have a really great conversation about accelerated computing and machine learning, and all this stuff that the new T4 chip allows them to do-- lots and lots of good fun stuff around that. Of course, you got the T4 chip now in GCP, which was the whole point. And so you can do neat stuff.

Most of it was just above my head.


But it all sounded fantastic. I'm like, yes!

MARK M: Well, I think everyone definitely wants more GPUs for whatever process or whatever workloads they're using that are more GPU focused. But I'm kind of jealous of actually going to the campus and seeing what that looks like.

MARK: And Jon was super happy, because the RTX series had just come out for the NVIDIA chip. So he was like, oh, my god! I'm in NVIDIA! And so it was awesome.

MARK M: Sounds like a lot of fun. Well, on episode number 8--


--we have Human-Centered AI with Di Dang. So Di is a Google developer advocate as well, but she's focusing more on the AI side.


Actually, I think she's a design advocate.


Yes-- design advocate at Google. That was you and I, Mark. And we got to sit down with Di-- she's a design advocate here at Google-- and talk about the human-centered AI guidebook that they were creating, which is really a set of best practices and things to think about when creating an AI system, especially a dialog system, to talk with people and what best practices you should keep in mind for that.

I thought it was really interesting to hear about the kind of things. One that really stuck with me was this idea of personification and turning non-people type objects into people and how that really impacts-- especially younger minds when they're interacting with AI. I thought there were some really fascinating tips in there. And so AI is not nearly my area of expertise.

But it was really cool to see someone taking a stance and saying, here's some research that backs up these best practices. And here's what we recommend you do, as opposed to what is happening now-- is just explosion of all these different AI systems being built, possibly without guidelines. So they could be all over the place.

MARK: A super interesting episode as well. They released something, didn't they?

MARK M: Yeah, the actual guidebook was released shortly after that episode. So I definitely recommend people check that out. It's in the show notes down there. But it was kind of fascinating to see what that actually looked like and what they were recommending people do.

MARK: OK, number seven--


--174, is Professional Services, which I got to do with Aja Hammerly, which is awesome. This is just basically a list of my favorite people. So we got to meet with Ann Wallace and Michael Wallman, talking about Professional Services Organization or PSO. Basically, they were the post-sales department.

This was just really cool to see how the PSO team works with customers. So you help them build some of the things that they need to get built basically. So they'd go through some customer examples. And they went through some things that they've worked on and how they'd helped certain people. And we touched on a whole bunch of stuff, from SRE CRE to consulting services to all the products, basically.

MARK M: Which is very reflective of how the PSO org works for Google. When they're working with customers, it'll be anything from implementation to support to training and then across the entire breadth of Google Cloud products. So it makes sense that there'd be a wide variety covered there.

Sixth on the list--


--we have episode 164, which was Node.js with Miles. Mark, that was you and Jon talking about it. But I know, from talking with Miles, he is always excited to lay down some serious knowledge on Node.js.

MARK: Absolutely. Did I mention, this is basically just a list of my favorite people? Again-- Miles. Yeah, it's all the Node.js things. What was cool-- I actually liked about this as well-- is we just went through all the different ways Node.js touches Google Cloud. And it's a long list. We covered all sorts of the stuff that was kind of internal, so how Node.js works and some of the fun things about the governance and all that kind of stuff.

But it was actually just really cool to be like, OK, where are all the things that Node.js goes through?-- from app engine to app script to BigQuery to all this kind of stuff. So if you're a Node.js developer, check out this episode.

MARK M: Yeah, and definitely, if you're interested in Node, follow Miles.

MARK: Yeah, Miles is great.

MARK M: He talks a lot about Node. And he's a really great guy. So I definitely recommend checking him out.

MARK: So number 5--


--halfway there. Oh, look! It's you and me again, meeting with Jen Persons-- again, favorite persons. So Jen's great. Jen gave us a update on what's been happening with Firebase. Cloud Firestore had just come out of beta at the time. And cloud functions for Firebase is also out at that point. And so Jen gave us a whole walkthrough of all kinds of cool stuff that's going on Firebase.

MARK M: All kinds of cool information there.

MARK: Just all the cool stuff, yeah. Jen's fantastic. You should follow Jen. Jen's now working, I believe, on Google Cloud, so you can follow her for Google Cloud stuff. But yeah, Jen's fantastic.

MARK M: Definitely excited to see all of the new stuff Jen's working on. But yeah, she was also very heavily ingrained with Firebase for the past two years or so. So this conversation earlier this year, just everything Firebase. And so definitely recommend checking it out if you all are big Firebase fans.

Next up, number four,


Getting close, we've got Knative-- Mark, that was you and Gabi-- talking to some great people about what Knative is. And of course, the first question that comes out of this is, what is Knative?

MARK: What is Knative?

DIGITAL VOICE: It's probably a delicious, non-fat breakfast cereal.


MARK: It is a-- I like to call it like an open source platform-as-a-service. So it's an opinionated tool chain for building applications on top of Kubernetes, and deploying, and order scaling, and all that kind of, fun stuff.


But yeah, it was interesting. Around that time, you know, Knative had really sort of hit the scene, so to speak. Everyone was pretty excited about it. So we got a really good opportunity to go through like what Knative is, what it does, how it works, how you get started with it, listen in on some of the history behind it as well. So yeah, you know, it's one of the hot things going on, Knative.

MARK M: And as a spoiler, it's not the last time we'll hear about serverless on Kubernetes in this list.

MARK: Probably not.

MARK M: But before we talk about that, we'll go to episode three, which was episode 175, talking about Mongo database. That was you and Jon talking about all the things that were Mongo.

MARK: Yeah, this is great. We had a great chat with Andrew Davidson from the MongoDB talking about, first of all, like, what is MongoDB, NoSQL databases as a whole, and how they work. And it was also really interesting to hear about their commercial product, MongoDB Atlas, which came out on top of Google Cloud. So if you're looking for a managed platform for MongoDB, that can be a great opportunity for you as well.

So coming in at number two--


We have Python with Dustin Ingram. Speaking of favorite people. Also joined by Bryan Dorsey. Bryan and Dustin are fantastic. Just do a recap of what's going on with Python on Google Cloud?

Very much like we talked with Miles about Node, talking about all the really interesting, cool stuff that's going on with Python and all the places it can touch on Google Cloud, including things like cloud functions, and how we support things like Flask, one of their frameworks, and all kinds of other fun things-- App Engine, yada, yada, yada-- all the cool things.

MARK M: Yeah, I talked to Dustin after this episode came out, and he was really surprised with just how many people are interested in hearing more about Python. Well, first of all, of course.

MARK: There's a couple of Python developers out there. Like, just a few like.


Like just a couple here and there. Yeah right?

MARK M: I hear it's an up-and-coming language.

MARK: Yeah.

MARK M: I heard that he was really excited to see what the response was. And obviously, Dustin works a lot on Python. But the reality is it's very similar to some of the other episodes we've been seeing here. It's really about how these things work across the entire cloud ecosystem and what you can do with them. If you know Python, great. Bring that to cloud. You don't really need to, like, learn a new language or do anything like that. Much easier.

MARK: Yeah, absolutely. All right, last one.

MARK M: That leaves us with the first and top episode of this year.


We're not editing a drum roll here. We're going to put the episode on pause until Mark does a actual drum roll.


There it is. And our number one episode was Cloud Run.


Hinting at it a few times throughout here. But it was actually an episode that we recorded at Next. And those episodes were fantastic-- admittedly, just kind of a caffeine-fueled couple of days where we tried to stay awake for all the events and activities. But we also got a great chance to sit down with a huge number of people as they came by the Google Cloud podcast booth and talked about a wide variety of things.

Well, in this episode, I think the real key cornerstone of this was us talking to Steren and Ryan about Cloud Run. So they're both product managers here at Google, and they were announcing-- because this had also come out at Cloud Next-- was the beta for Cloud Run. And basically, this idea of being able to serverlessly serve a container. And it's backed by Kubernetes and, really, Knative. It's this managed container-serving offering, and everyone was super excited about it.

And I think that was just the greatest kind of conversation to understand, what is this? And we haven't seen "this" before. We've seen some similar things. Why is it exciting? And it sounds like people really we're interested in hearing more about it.

MARK: Yeah, it sounds like this is a really cool thing. Not entirely shocked that this is number one at all.

MARK M: No, I mean, it's such a huge conversation topic right now. And especially as more and more people get used to the ecosystem and what that looks like, I think we'll be hearing a lot more cool use cases and seeing, like, oh, look at this kind of possible architecture that was just not doable until Cloud Run came around.

MARK: Yeah, Cloud Run is pretty neat. I should sit down and play with it. It seems like something I should do.

MARK M: It's super fun. Definitely highly recommend it. And actually, it turns out it's super easy. In fact, I know a podcast episode you should probably listen to about it.

MARK: I listen to all the episodes. Mostly. Some of the time. [LAUGHS]

MARK M: Yeah, this one, because it was a Next episode, we did get a lot of different people in there, and it was great to, definitely, talk about that. And I highly recommend checking that out, as well as the other 10 episodes we mentioned. But also the 200 before those, just because it turns out we talk about a lot of great things.


MARK: Before we finish up for the year, Mark, [LAUGHS] what's been your favorite things this year? What stuff have you been particularly excited about announcement-wise, or--

MARK M: Well, like I said, we've talked about so many different things. I think Cloud Run is probably the coolest thing that we've talked about because it's just such an effortless and cool way to look at hosting containers. I know you're a huge Kubernetes fan.

MARK: A little bit.

MARK M: And maybe you bring it up every once or twice an episode. But sometimes you just want to host your container and you don't want to deal with the rest.

MARK: Yeah, 100%

MARK M: And that's where Cloud Run, when I heard about it, I was super excited. I've had a chance to play around with it a bit, and I'm really looking forward to just doing everything that way now, because I don't want a YAML. I just want--

MARK: Just make it work.

MARK M: Just do it, right?

MARK: Just do it.

MARK M: So that has by far, this year, been the coolest thing I've had a chance to see and talk about.

MARK: Sweet. We haven't mentioned on the podcast, actually, but I just want to say, it's a Google thing that has just got me very excited. The "Stadia" launch games. I mean, "Stadia" is magic, man. It's so good. Because of this, I can't put down the semi-showdown. It's one of the free pro games because I signed up. And I keep playing it, and it's wonderful.

First of all, I just think it's super cool. Second of all, just massive congratulations to that team for just pulling off something that is just technologically genre-breaking and, as far as I'm concerned, pure magic.

MARK M: Yeah, I mean, you want to talk about things that may not have been possible before this kind of introduction. Like, I mean, this ability to stream all the cloud resources to your computer.

MARK: Yeah.

MARK M: I know that I didn't need yet another Surface to play "Destiny" on, and yet, here I am.

MARK: Here you are, yeah.

MARK M: Yeah, now I just need to be able to play "Destiny" on three Surfaces at once.

MARK: There you go. There you go. So it's fine. If you can play on your Switch-- can you play Switch

MARK M: No, but I really wish I could.

MARK: There you go. If you could play Switch, plus your console, plus your PC, plus "Stadia."

MARK M: Just drain all the internet from my house.

MARK: Yeah.

MARK M: And all the life from my activities.

MARK: Yeah, you don't need to go outside. But yes, so "Stadia," one of my huge favorite things of the year. I just also want to say, another favorite thing of the year, it's really delightful to hear all the new voices on the podcast as well, and hear all the new hosts and what a great job you're all doing. It was bittersweet to step down, but super happy to hear everything that's going on with the podcast with all of you all. So yeah, nice job, everyone.

Well, I can definitely say, thank you, because I'm right here. And I'm sure many of our other hosts share the sentiment, because it's just been so exciting to get this broad range of people talking about all these different things. It's just super cool, and it adds a lot of cool perspectives to all the conversations we have. So hopefully, all the listeners are also enjoying the mix-up of different topics and different hosts. Absolutely, cool. All right, so where are you going to be before you finish up for the year?

MARK M: Well, we are coming to the end of the year, which means it's a little bit of a holiday season if you're into holidays. If not, then it's just kind of December and January. Either way, I'm going to sleep. I'm going to take a nice bear hibernation.

MARK: Nice.

MARK M: Maybe stay in my room for about three months.


Probably playing "Stadia." How about yourself?

MARK: Yeah, I would like to take a break.


MARK: Unfortunately, everything is already ramped up for next year. So--

MARK M: Oh, no!

MARK: All the planning for Game Developers Conference, all the planning for Google Cloud Next, all the planning for I/O, that's just kicking on, kicking on. So I'll be doing that, because this train never stops.

MARK M: Just finding a way to make it to the next stop.

MARK: Yeah, but probably doing a lot of lying down in bed with my dog. It'll be fine.

MARK M: That's the exciting part.

MARK: Awesome.

MARK M: Well, it's been a fantastic year. I'm always super excited to chat with Mark. I'm sure you'll probably see him in one or two other future episodes as cool things come up or we get more Agones-related content.

MARK: Maybe. We'll see. No promises.

MARK M: We'll see, we'll see. Well, to all the listeners slash viewers-- just doesn't matter how you're listening to this-- very, very excited to have you all with us for this year, and hopefully, we will see you early next year as well.

DIGITAL VOICE: Hang on a second, fellas. Gabi and Jon have recorded a special bonus segment for the holidays. So without further delay, here we go.

GABI: I am Gabi, and I'm here with my colleague Jon. Hello, Jon. How are you?

JON: I'm doing pretty well. I had a lot of fun at the holiday party.


GABI: That was fun. Everybody was so fancy.

JON: Yeah, it was. You looked really nice yesterday.


GABI: Yeah, I was like, I'm going to dress up, just for one occasion of the year. So Jon, today is the last episode of the year, right?

JON: Yep, it definitely is. And It's been a very, very interesting year full of very, very interesting guests and really new and interesting product updates. So it was definitely a lot of fun getting to talk about all those things on the podcast.

GABI: Oh, yeah. Definitely, a lot of new hosts too.

JON: Yes.

GABI: I don't remember everybody's name right now, because there's people that I didn't have the pleasure to record with yet, but I'm happy that we have all these people collaborating with us. So Jon, let's talk about favorite episodes.

JON: One of my favorite episodes we did together was the data visualization with Manuel Lima. And that was really fun because we got to talk to, pretty much, the creator of a brand new team built specifically and seeing metrics around Google products internally and making things work. It was just awesome because he was just full of energy. You weren't in the room with him, but he was just like glowing [LAUGHS] with excitement when he just talking about data visualization. And it was just amazing.

GABI: Yeah, that's one of my favorites, for the reason that it's an inter-department effort that he does not just his own department. But like, a lot of products he helps with, like visualization for BigQuery And also, he works together with team of Material Design. So I learned a lot from him. We wanted to do another episode on him.

JON: Yeah, we did. [LAUGHS]

GABI: Even. [LAUGHS] I'll tell you what my second favorite one was. I recorded with Mark Mandel and it was the pi world record with Emma--

JON: Yeah, that's right.

GABI: Emma Haruka Iwao. Yeah, it was really fun. She was very excited about all the work, and she explained how she figured out the machine configurations to make it work for calculating that amount of digits of pi.

JON: When I talked to Emma about how she went about creating it, she told me that she had already been running it for several days. And I was like, months, actually, right? I think she ran it for a couple of months. And when I heard that, I was like our, GCP bill is going to be really expensive.


Emma really put her heart and soul into that project. And I'm glad that she not only won, you know, Guinness World Record, but it was just amazing to know that we actually know the person on a team that really put forth this effort and really accomplished something really amazing.

GABI: And she's very accessible. She has her feet on the ground. She's one of my favorite persons. And she likes my coffee, too.

JON: Well, I don't know about feet on the ground, because she's always traveling. So if you ever happen to bump into Emma in any country, just know that she's pretty much just loves being everywhere else. [LAUGHS]

So another one of my favorite episodes is the Phoenix Labs episode that we did with Jesse Houston Mark and I sat down, and we got to talk to the CEO of Phoenix Labs. And it was amazing because we got to talk to them about the process, working with Google, and getting ready for launch of "Dauntless."

And if you hadn't played "Dauntless," it's really fun. I played it several times before our podcast, and I played it for, I think, a month or two after before other new games came out and I just started adding more games to my backlog.

So it was really interesting to hear how they had engineers come into their war room right before launch, and they were just crunching through everything, and debugging, and pretty much just going over metrics, and quotas, and making sure that everything was perfect for launch. And it was just really interesting to see that full cycle of working with our internal teams to make sure that their launch was successful.

GABI: The concept of working that much together to launch something cool, it's priceless, because you learn new things. And also, there's the adrenaline jump, you know? Like, oh my god, we need to do this. And then, when you launch, you're so apprehensive-- is this going to fail? Is this going to work?

So my other favorite episode, that's one that we did together, Jon. It's with Zack Akil where he talks about ML things and his awesome demos, right?

JON: I'm a big fan of Zack and him being a maker and just taking all of his personal interests. And you can see, it reflects in the demos that he does. But they're so informative, and they're really complex projects that spanned several products at GCP. So it's really cool to see him really taking this interest in running with it and building really cool things.

GABI: It's one of your favorites, too, right?

JON: Yeah, for sure. And Zack is probably one of my favorite people as well, solely because he and I share not only a lot of these same interests, but we are both makers as well, and we both try to incorporate like our personal interest in all of our projects. So I can see Zack and I being really good friends for a really long time.

GABI: That's cool. Definitely, having nice people in your life make things better. Zack, he was a bit shy in the beginning, but he came through in the end. Really nice personality.

JON: Yeah.

GABI: My other favorite episode is with SeMI technologies with Laura Ham.

JON: Oh, yeah. I remember that one. We did it together, too, right?

GABI: Yeah, she talked about Knowledge Graph, which I didn't even know much about it. I can't explain it. Go to episode 198 if you want to listen to it. And she has the same profession as us-- developer relations. So she talks a bit about how she does her work for the company. And Weaviate, which it is their open source tool for the Knowledge Graph that they work on. And it was nice seeing someone also passionate about what they do and helping build a product that they are talking about.

JON: I really enjoyed that episode because I got to talk about the meaning of things as it pertains to knowledge graphs and how the meaning of one word can mean something in one universe versus another universe. And if you listen to that episode, you get to listen to me really rant and go on, and on, and on about this. Because I compare how medicine may be one way in, like, Harry Potter's universe versus our universe. So definitely a lot of fun, and Laura was just really great.

GABI: Yeah, she was awesome.

JON: And my final favorite episode was with FACEIT with Maria Skuri That episode was really fun, because it's not every day I get to talk to women who work in gaming. And it was really interesting to know that someone has taken the time to really make gaming a friendly place where they're trying to fight toxicity within games.

So I got to sit down with Bryan and we got to really pick her brain about what makes things very toxic in games. What is the common trends that you see in toxicity in games? And we get to see the technology that FACEIT has built, running on GCP, to actually fight this. So it's something that I openly admitted that I participated in on the podcast.


It's just great to know that you know there's a platform to actually make gaming a better place.

GABI: Yeah, definitely. We need more of that. We see things are happening, like having someone that worries about that, it's definitely important.

JON: And it's actually kind of funny, because I have friends who tell me that they would never play online competitive multiplayer games strictly because of how toxic it is. So hopefully, we can change their minds.

GABI: There is also places on the internet that I don't go because of that same reason. I just don't go there. So that's that for our favorite episodes. What did you do this year that you liked?

JON: One of my favorite things was when I first joined Google, I got to see Mark and Melanie doing the podcast in the middle of Next in 2018. And this year, I got to be a part of that. So we were smack dab in the middle of Next, and we got to do the podcast. And we had a whole bunch of people come through and do small episodes. Some of them didn't make the cut, but it was just really great to talk to all these people, see the interesting things they were building up.

GABI: Yeah, that was a lot of fun. I remember that. Unfortunately, not all episodes. Because we recorded the whole day of stuff, and so many things didn't make it, but it definitely gave us ideas of to bring more people in.

JON: We actually brought some of those guests back as full episodes as well, so--

GABI: Yeah, Cloud Run, I think, was one of them.

JON: Another cool thing was, for an episode, I got to go to NVIDIA's office. And that was an extremely fun. Mark and I went together, and he always says NVIDIA has one of the best-branded offices as far as color schemes, because everything is flat glass and green highlights everywhere. And their office is extremely nice. And I won't say whose food is better, but I will say that they had a very good selection. [LAUGHS]

GABI: Depends on the office you go at Google. Depends a lot, you know? And then you get amazing food and good food.

JON: And another thing was I got to talk to a lot of guests that are in the gaming industry, mostly women, which was really great. And I got to hear how passionate they are and see about the cool things they're building on GCP. And hearing all of these experts in this field really inspires me to continue to lot of the work I try to do. It's really interesting, and that's one of my favorite things from the podcast as well.

GABI: Favorite thing? Where it all started, which was joining the podcast. And that has been an adventure, getting to research and learn, because we want to make right by our audience. And there is stuff that, sometimes, we're not experts. We can't be experts on everything. But it makes for good episodes because we ask questions that we want to learn from those people that we're interviewing. That has been a cool thing to be doing in this year.

JON: Yeah, I will say that I learned quite a bit. It was just amazing knowing that I got to learn a lot from our guests, and I got to learn a lot from the hosts who came before me, like Mark, who taught me a bunch of things. The audience doesn't know, but one of the funniest things that I think, for us, with the podcast when we first joined was you and I did not have the right equipment. So in our first episodes, I don't think our audio was that great. [LAUGHS]

GABI: Or it was standing in, yeah. When you got, like, oh my god, how much I put the gain on the microphone? The editors do magic.

JON: Yeah, yeah. Thanks to our editors. So Gabi, what about your favorite things of the year?

GABI: So beyond joining the podcast, I got to visit at a lot of offices. We do have an internal competition on that, but nothing like the people that has been there for a while. But definitely, I got to see London and in Portugal, because I was on vacation. That was like, I'm going to go to the office, just to see how it is and eat the food. Because that's what you do.

JON: Like not only did we badge into every office, but tasting the food and comparing it, because everyone says, this office has the best food, this office has the best food. And being able to go do that is definitely pretty fun. Although I'm not big on trying everything at cafes, I like to stick with what I'm used to so I can actually make very informed decisions about which food is better.

GABI: Oh, that's a good idea, yeah. I like the noodles on that office in New York. It's really good.

JON: Oh, yeah.

GABI: So another one that I like, people may find that weird, but I did a talk on Cloud Next, and my demo failed. But what I liked about it, it's like I was able to recover from it and deliver the talk. Because one of the points I was making, Jon, is like how unreliable it is to do local development sometimes. And it actually failed locally, but it worked on the Cloud. So in the end it was a good thing.

JON: That's really cool.

GABI: Yeah, it was like, it works on the Cloud. That's what I wanted to show.

JON: You know what's funny? I find that our audience is during our talks-- because I've also had a demo fail this year-- they learned quite a bit from seeing our demos fail, see that they're real things, and then being able to recover, and still pass along that information, and even have some success coming out of the failed demos, is really good for our audiences. So I can definitely relate to you on that one.

GABI: Yeah, it's funny because I don't panic. On high stress situations, actually, my mind enters is in gears, and I'm able to do stuff that I wouldn't be doing if it was normal situation. And that was nice because-- pro tip-- do not debug. Don't. You're there. Or if nobody failed, just don't go deep there because it's a rabbit hole, you know? And I'm glad that I didn't do that. That was a good decision.

And while I was doing that, one of my favorite things was also spreading the love on databases. I know a lot of people think that databases are boring, but I find it awesome. I find it awesome being able to put things on their own place. And database normalization, how you organize your data, and learning different types.

Because it's not a competition. There's things. If you use Redis for gaming because you need fast caching, you need session saving, putting that on the relational database, for instance, it's not ideal. That it's what I like bringing to the people-- the awareness of all the options that you have there. But not for you to replace it, but for you to have an informed decision of what to put on your stack. So that's one of the things I like doing.

JON: You're just as passionate about database as I am with gaming.

GABI: [LAUGHS] Which makes us good in our jobs.

JON: Yeah.

GABI: Definitely. Not perfect, but good.

JON: Another favorite thing of the year, just really, really small, would probably be, on the podcast, it would probably be the numerous amount of outtakes that we do. And they are hilarious. I wish we could just do an episode just of outtakes. I love how the humming became a thing on one of the episodes.

GABI: Yeah.

JON: When I pass it along to my friends and everybody's listening, they were like, OK, that's something you would totally do.

GABI: [LAUGHS] So where are you going to be?

JON: Well, it's the end of the year. So I'm going to be home, hopefully playing some games, but mostly planning gaming content for next year, and just wrapping up this year with a lot of deep-dive into multiplayer games, how they're built, and a lot of trade-offs, and trying to optimize and really make the gaming products that we are trying to build out very good for our developer communities. Depending on how deep a dive into the multiplayer game stuff, I may actually push out some content right before the end of the year. If you're following, look out for it. How about you, Gabi?

GABI: So winter is coming.


And I can't stand winter much, so I'm also having vacation where I'll be running away to warm weather. So no winter for me-- I mean, not much. I'm still going to be here in January, February, but on the end of the year, I just want to be on the beach, which is nice.

JON: Another favorite thing on the podcast, I love how Gabi just sets up all of our sound clips. I think she purposely puts "Winter is Coming" for a sound bit from "Game of Thrones."


GABI: [LAUGHS] Yeah, I confess, that was on purpose. Because it's true-- winter is coming.


You know.


JON: That's going to do it for Gabi and I for this episode. So thank you all for listening, and definitely look forward to seeing you all next year.

GABI: Yeah, I'll talk to you next year.

DIGITAL VOICE: From all of us at the podcast, we'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a wonderful fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an excellent Kwanzaa, a spiritual Omisoka, and a magical Saturnalia. And if you're just into science, we hope that all your hypotheses come true.



Mark Mirchandani, Mark Mandel, Gabi Ferrara and Jon Foust

Continue the conversation

Leave us a comment on Reddit