From Offstage to Onstage: My Journey to Becoming a Google Developer Expert

In May 2022, after a rigorous month of Google Developer Expert (GDE) interviews, I proudly became the fourth Flutter & Dart GDE in China.

Written by Shuyu (Asher) Guo, Dart & Flutter GDE, China

The title of GDE might be familiar to Android or Machine Learning developers, but for those unaware, the Google Developer Experts program is a global community of highly skilled technology professionals, influencers, and thought leaders who excel in Google technologies. They are active leaders in their field, contributing significantly to the broader developer and startup ecosystem.

My Path to Becoming a GDE

My journey towards the GDE title began in 2013 when I first engaged with the Android community at the ApkBus conference. It was there that I had my first encounter with a GDE, leaving a lasting impression. The event opened doors for me to make friends with fellow Android developers and connect with event organizers who later invited me to speak at their gatherings.

Taking advantage of these networking opportunities, I delved into public speaking, particularly about Flutter, which I found intriguing. My increased activity in the community, through sharing my knowledge via talks, ultimately led to an invitation to become a GDE in 2020. However, the application process being in English posed a challenge, and regrettably, I couldn’t complete it at that time.

Fast forward to 2021, while speaking at the Google DevFest conference, a GDE friend asked me once again if I was interested in joining their ranks. Encouraged by a Google team member, I finally mustered the determination to prepare for the GDE application.

The Application Process

During the application process, Google assesses two key factors:

  1. Technical Competence: Demonstrating your expertise in the field you’re applying for.
  2. Technical Impact: Showcasing your contributions, like public speaking, articles, and involvement in open-source projects.

One obstacle I faced was my apprehension about speaking in English. To overcome this, I practiced extensively before my interviews and even translated some of my content into English, publishing it on Medium. With preparations underway, I embarked on the interview journey.

My first interview primarily focused on Flutter and Dart’s technical aspects. Despite my limited experience with Flutter, I managed to navigate the interview successfully. Soon after completing the initial interview, I received news that I was assigned an interviewer for the product interview phase. This interview centered around my experiences with Flutter technology. Fortunately, the interviewer took a keen interest in the books I authored and some awards I had won, which were conveniently visible on the bookcase behind me, sparking engaging discussions.

The day after the product interview, I received an email confirming that I had passed the interview. After signing various agreements and terms, I had a final meeting with the team, officially making me a GDE. For me, it felt like a significant milestone as a developer.

Welcoming and Supportive Community

Throughout the entire process, whether interacting with the GDE community or Googlers conducting the interviews, everyone was incredibly welcoming and supportive. I received an abundance of guidance and assistance on my journey to becoming a GDE, and I wholeheartedly extend my support to anyone considering joining this vibrant community.

Being a Google Developer Expert has not only brought recognition but has also enriched my knowledge and broadened my network of like-minded professionals. I am thrilled to be part of this dynamic community and excited to continue contributing to Google technologies and empowering other developers along the way.

In conclusion, from being offstage to becoming an onstage Google Developer Expert, the experience has been immensely rewarding and has opened up new opportunities for personal and professional growth.

If you’re passionate about technology and have a desire to make a positive impact in the developer community, I highly encourage you to consider joining the Google Developer Experts program. It’s a journey worth embarking on, and the community will warmly welcome you into its folds.

Remember, every step you take toward excellence brings you one step closer to becoming an extraordinary Google Developer Expert.

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