Thursday, November 12, 2009

DevLearn 2009 - Web 2.0 and Performance: What's working for Google employees

The last session I attended today was by Julia Bulkowski and Erika Grouell from Google about how they're leveraging Web 2.0 technologies to help drive performance in their company. Again, nothing new given that Google's products are all free for public use. This said, it was a great reinforcement of how much you can do with just one integrated (single sign-on suite).

Key Takeaways

  • Culture is key to adoption of Web 2.0 technologies.Google and ThoughtWorks have very unique cultures that are geared towards rapid technology adoption, minimal access barriers and hierarchy and a lot of companies still need to figure out the best structure to make Enterprise 2.0 adoption succeed.
  • A clever use of blogs and discussion forums: Practicing and reviewing transactional skills like writing and email communication.
  • A clever use of Google Code Labs: Leverage fellow software developers to learn a programming language. Use Google Code labs to provide code snippets to learn practical styles and patterns of programming. Very wiki like, especially with revision history and crowdsourced descriptions. This makes experts visible and lets new developers ramp-up quicker.
  • A clever way of sharing instructional resources: Create a Google Wave and embed it into your class homepage. People can discuss the problem amongst themselves, but at the same time make a private submission to the instructor if this was an assignment, test, etc.
  • A clever use of online photo and video sharing: Sharing howto's, tips, screencasts, tutorials. Take a look at YouTube's Google Apps Channel. As a social tool as well, users can create their own tutorials, etc and they could do videos of themselves doing presentations and get feedback from each other.
  • Clever way of preparing for a session, panel discussion, conference talk: Use Google Moderator so participants can brainstorm questions for the session. Helps you prepare as a speaker as well.
  • Providing Web 2.0 services in the enterprise is a way of reducing your risk. If you don't, people will in any case use these tools outside and then you don't have any control and have in a way increased your own risk!

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Julia said...

Hi Sumeet,
Thanks for the great summary of our session! We appreciate your participation.
Julia & Erika

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