How did Google Technology User Groups (GTUGs) get started in the first place?
The very first meeting held under the GTUG moniker was on January 15, 2008. The Silicon Valley GTUG was publicly launched that night by Van Riper and Kevin Nilson. Daniel Franc started similar developer events under the Google User Group (GUG) moniker in the Czech Republic on November 12, 2007. At some point later on, the Czech Republic national GUG joined the growing global GTUG community.
What's this new Google Developer Groups moniker?
Most of the existing GTUG chapters are migrating from the GTUG logo and name to the new GDG (Google Developer Groups) logo and name. In addition, the current GTUG chapter directory on gtugs.org will eventually be replaced by the new GDG chapter directory on this site. Chapter data is currently being migrated to the new directory. As soon as all active and incubating chapters have been migrated, along with all their historical event data, the GTUG chapter directory will be shut down.
Why the name and logo change at this time??!
- Google Developers was officially launched earlier this year on developers.google.com. This is a major initiative for Google. We're making a statement that developers matter to us. It's more than just a place for documentation -- we want to foster a community for developers who build on Google's platforms. The current GTUG community is core to what we want to achieve with Google Developers. We want people to know that you guys are a major component of what we're doing.
- We also want to focus on developers. As you know, the Google team that supports the GTUG program (Developer Relations) is focused on developers. GTUGs have always been about a developer audience, and we've gotten lots of feedback from organizers that the "Google Technology User Group" moniker has caused confusion as to who the audience for the group is. For example, people show up expecting to learn how to use Gmail. GTUGs have never been primarily for a consumer audience. GTUGs don't need to *only* do events targeted at hardcore developers, but the primary audience should be folks who are interested in web and mobile app development. The definition of "developer" in this case can be very general.
- gtugs.org is not a codebase that's being maintained, and there are currently no resources to continue development. By moving to developers.google.com, we can leverage the Google engineering team that's supporting this site and adding new features.
- gtugs.org is primarily an administrative site, not a site that drives members to find local chapters. By living on developers.google.com, we hope to give *a lot* more exposure to local chapters and local events. It will also evolve over time as a single place where you can look at your entire developer experience with Google, not just related to developer groups.
What does the new logo mean? Where did it come from?
Below are the new GDG graphics. On the top right is the new GDG program logo. On the top left is a GDG program icon for use where a smaller and/or square proportion graphic is required. Below them is one example of a GDG chapter logo. These graphic assets have a creative commons license. So, you can create your own custom GDG chapter logos.
It's a very strong visual tie-in to the Google brand, and part of the new Google Developers brand. We also like to see it as not just an angle bracket, but a prompt (like a command prompt). Google has provided a bunch of developer tools and platforms, and then it's up to you guys to create community and build great things.
Does the "Developer" in "GDG" mean that non-coders are excluded from joining GDGs? Why do you hate designers?
Of course not. We don't hate designers. These groups are about the ecosystem around building web and mobile applications. Designers are certainly an important part of that. The definition of "developer" here can be very broad. What we want to distinguish is between this and the "end user" of these products. Every group is a little different, and if you've been running your GTUG in the spirit of what GTUGs are about, nothing should change for you with the GDG name.
I really love the GTUG name and our logo. Can we keep them and still get listed in the new directory?
We don't want to exclude any group that's an active participant in the community, so we are accommodate this for legacy GTUG chapters. However, new chapters coming online now and in the future will be asked to adopt the new GDG naming and logo conventions. What's actually changing?
Not much really. The program isn't changing in any fundamental way. The support from Google isn't changing. We're simply moving the directory and most supporting documentation to developers.google.com. This should give your chapters and events much more exposure.
Do we have input on what the new home on developers.google.com will look like?
Yes! There's no hard roadmap yet, beyond the initial launch of GDG support that will provide parity with what we have today on gtugs.org. We will use the gdgroups project issue tracker to track the feature requests from the community.
I'm concerned that moving to developers.google.com will make it look like Google is running the groups, and make it tougher to get sponsorships from outside sponsors.
The philosophy and messaging will remain the same around GDGs being independently run, and not run by Google employees. "Google" has always been in the name of the group, so hopefully not too much is changing. Other groups such as Adobe User Groups live on official company domains and remain independent.
What happens to gtugs.org?
gtugs.org will be maintained as long as we still have operating GTUG chapters. To support existing GTUGs that opt-in to the new GDG logo/name, we will add aliasing support for the gdgroups.org domain. GTUGs that make the switch will be able to keep their site pages and their user accounts and start using the gdgroups.org alias for their sites and user accounts.
Will the legacy of GTUGs be preserved?
Yes. All historical events data and chapter creation data that we collected on gtugs.org will be preserved.