Google’s AI Move Gives Devs Another Reason to Upskill on GCP

C. Dunlap Research Director

Summary Bullets:

• Google pads its AI arsenal via ML and app platforms.

• Generative AI/ML is now at the heart of the cloud wars.

Google is targeting a broad array of developers with its new roll out of AI-enabled APIs, tools, and capabilities, including a new generative AI model being made available to this community for the first time. Foundational to these services are Google’s growing AI portfolio including:

  • PaLM API, which accesses Google’s large language learning model;
  • Vertex AI, a machine learning platform;
  • Generative AI App Builder, a new app development platform for creating bots, chat apps, digital assistants, and custom search engines;
  • Workspace, a simplified app development/management toolset (including Cloud Code); and
  • MakerSuite, a simple browser-based tool for building apps with Google’s Foundation Model.

As the OSS disruptor in the cloud wars, Google has attempted to gain ground via engineering strengths that cater to pro developers in search of advanced app modernization tools and ops teams in need of application lifecycle management (ALM) innovations. But more recently, cloud giants are looking to woo low-coders and non-coders to quickly assemble an army of developers devoted to building on their respective platforms including Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Google’s PaLM AI foundation model, alongside its new low-code browser-based MakerSuite tool, is positioned as a more straight-forward approach to creating apps, a move that plays nicely into Google’s redoubled efforts to build that army. The company has been expanding its capacity for supporting low-coders, initially through its acquisition of AppSheets in 2020, then the subsequent release of simplified low-code platforms like Workspace, and more recently via a quickly expanding reskilling/training program. The programs aimed at reskilling new developers and IT admins are called: Google Cloud Skills Boost, Cloud Digital Leader Learning Path, and The Arcade. (GlobalData will issue a comprehensive vendor reskilling Advisory Report later this March).

Google is not home free on winning the hearts and minds of developers. Microsoft Azure has an enviable following in its long-established .NET developer community and close ties with GitHub. Through GitHub, Microsoft makes its Azure AI and Azure Machine Learning technology available and positioned as open source. Earlier this month during the 2023 Azure Open Source Day, the company highlighted its ability to offer generative AI to developers through foundation models in Azure Machine Learning coupled with other low-code methods.

AI is the new battleground in the cloud wars spurred by increased AI automation and accessibility. As such, AI will significantly escalate in the coming year for its ability to ease next-generation app development capabilities among developers and DevOps teams. Generative AI based on large language models (e.g., ChatGPT) will ease developers’ and IT admins’ cumbersome coding requirements substantially by automating the writing/converting of scripting, particularly programming languages they are unfamiliar with. This is extremely attractive for those new developers as well as traditional coding warriors looking to improve their professional abilities and secure their career opportunities.

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