Introduction

Google Cloud Platform is a suite of cloud computing services. Google has everything from storage, compute, database, big data to AI and everything in between. I am often asked how do I get started with Google Cloud. In this article, I will provide a few recommendations and resources.

On-Demand Videos

Google has an extensive library of high-quality videos on YouTube. Almost every day a new video is released. (link). I recommend starting with the shorter videos to give you an introduction. Later you can follow up with Google’s longer and more in-depth videos.

Google’s Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine has an eight video collection of short videos that introduce you to Google Cloud Platform. Start with Alexis’ excellent video: “Welcome to Google Cloud Platform – the Essentials of GCP“. This video is six minutes long and provides a nice introduction to GCP.

After you complete Alexis’ collection of introductory videos,  watch his “Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Essentials“. This video is more in-depth and is 40 minutes long. At last count, there were over 800 videos to study from.

Google Qwiklabs

Google Qwiklabs is an amazing resource for learning and practicing in the cloud. I have more than a decade of real-world cloud experience and I am constantly completing labs on Qwiklabs, over 240 so far (link). The guided labs, with step-by-step instructions, make learning a new service or feature easy. When you are just getting started, it is easy to leave a new service running which results in an unexpected bill. Qwiklabs removes this problem as you are using Qwiklabs resources instead of your own account. When you finish a lab, all resources are shut down and deleted.

Start with the GCP Essentials Quest. A quest is a collection of hands-on labs that improves your skills in an organized method. GCP Essentials is five guided labs introducing you to Google Cloud Platform, Virtual Machines, Compute Engine, Cloud Shell, Kubernetes, and Load Balancers. Then take a look at the 40+ other quests available.

Tip: Qwiklabs often has specials where you can get free tokens or an entire month free. Follow their blog and twitter account.

Google Codelabs

Once you have some practice down in Google Qwiklabs, look at Google Codelabs. In Codelabs, you practice in your account – make sure to shut down and delete the resources you practiced with. There are hundreds of labs on just about anything. Learn how to deploy a Java application to Kubernetes. Practice facial recognition. The list of labs is nearly endless.

Twitter

Twitter has become a good resource for learning the cloud. Follow key people like Alexis (@alexismp), Seth Vargo (@sethvargo), David das Neves (@david_das_neves), Graham Polley (@polleyg),  Steve Soleimani (@stevesoleimani),  Romin Irani (@iRomin) and of course me (@NeoPrimeAws). Follow Google Cloud (@googlecloud), Google Cloud Platform (@GCPcloud) and Qwiklabs (@qwiklabs). There are lots more people to follow who specialize in certain technologies like Big Data, AI and Machine Learning.

Google Cloud Platform Blogs

Google Cloud Platform has several blogs where the latest news is published. By following these blogs you will stay up to date on products, services, and specials.

Google Cloud Platform Newsletter

Google Cloud emails with news, product updates, event information, special offers and more. link

More Resources

  • GCP Weekly
  • Attend a Google Developers Group Meetup. Around 1,000 locations around the world. link

Third-Party Online Training Courses

A Word About Free Trial and Free Tier

Google Cloud Platform has a free trial that offers you $300.00 in credits that can be used for any GCP service. This does require that you create an account and set up billing. Your credit card will not be billed. You will receive monthly statements showing how your credit is being used. Once the free trial ends, Google will charge you for the services you use.

Google Cloud Platform also has a free tier for its customers. This also requires an account with billing setup. The difference between Free Tier and Free Trial is that the Free Tier is always free. This allows you to use certain GCP services (about 16) for free each month. For example, a Compute Engine F1-micro instance fits into Free Tier. Check the current offering details here.

Alexis has another short video that covers Free Trial and Free Tier: The Google Cloud Platform Free Trial and Free Tier

Summary

I mentioned several excellent resources for getting started. Start your Google Cloud Platform account today and start seeing for yourself what the cloud can do for you.

Credits

I write free articles about technology. Recently, I learned about Pexels.com which provides free images. The image in this article is courtesy of Pixabay at Pexels.