Press Coverage of Google's participation in the Nashville Google Developer Group's I/O Extended event...http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/tech/2015/05/28/takeaways-google-nashville/28122153/
5 things to know about Google Fiber in Nashville
Nashville-area software developers gathered Thursday to watch Google's I/O conference in San Francisco. As part of the meetup, they heard from local Google employees about the company's growing presence in Nashville and were able to ask questions and share their own ideas.
Here are a few takeaways from the event:
1) Google Fiber has made some key hires for the rollout of its gigabit-speed network.
Martha Ivester, an agent at Creative Artists Agency, has been named Google Fiber's city manager. Before joining the music industry, she was a general manager and brand director for Nike, and also has worked for Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Caroline de Gantes is also working for Google Fiber in Nashville. Previously, she was director of pricing and business development at Asurion and a manager at McKinsey & Co. in New York.
The Nashville Google team has grown to 10 staff members, and some construction has begun. De Gantes said the rollout will begin in months, rather than years.
2) Comcast and AT&T have a big public relations challenge ahead.
The crowd of about 50 developers began a handful of questions with complaints of existing providers. Comcast has data limits, would Google Fiber have data limits? (The answer was no). Comcast sends junk mail, would Google Fiber? When participants were asked if they had visited Google Fiber's Nashville website, nearly every hand shot up and one attendee said he would not sign up for Comcast, even though it would be offering 2 gigabit-per-second speeds. While it's important to keep in mind this was a gathering for those who develop Android apps, their general preference for Google Fiber was clear.
3) Gigabit-speed Internet will spur innovation, especially in Nashville's music industry.
Among the potential uses for ultra-fast connection that the developers came up with were several ideas that pertained to making or recording music. While many of the stories related to fiber's impact in other cities have showed its applications in health care or film, it's likely that advancements in Nashville will be tied to the city's thriving music sector.
4) Beyond fiber, Google's presence will grow in Nashville.
Florent de Gantes, a Nashville-based project manager for Google, helps connect local entrepreneurs to Google experts in various fields and to Google's cloud platform through the Google For Entrepreneurs program. While he offered few details, he said the company would be building a new space at the Entrepreneur Center.
5) Nashville tech sector needs more women.
Of the crowd of about 50 app programmers, I counted two females. It was only one event for one segment of programmers, but it illustrates the need for greater diversity within the trade. For good reason, coding initiatives and meetups targeting females have sprung up in Nashville, and we need to make sure we are encouraging young women to explore their interest in this profession.
Reach Jamie McGee at 615-259-8071 and on Twitter @JamieMcGee_.