Google is looking for a few great software developers to help make its Cloud Platform even better by offering their ideas and insights at one of several in-person, hands-on sessions in the next several weeks.
Interested developers are being asked to fill out an online questionnaire to learn if they are qualified for the sessions, according to a July 15 post on the Google Cloud Platform Blog.
"Are you interested in learning more about Google Cloud Platform development as well as helping improve our products directly?" wrote Andrew Macvean, a Google UX researcher, in the post. "You can by participating in a Google Cloud Platform Build Day Study! Selected participants will be invited to our Mountain View or Seattle campuses to work with Google engineers on a day-long build as a part of a User Experience Research study, and we'll be in touch if you're a good fit!"
The Build Day sessions are being organized to "help the Google team better understand your needs in order to incorporate them into future product enhancements," according to the questionnaire. The sessions are being held July 16, 22 and 30 in Google's Fremont, Wash., offices, and on Aug. 5 and 8 at the Mountain View, Calif., campus. Participants will only participate in one of the five sessions, according to Google.
"The study will involve developing an application using Google Cloud Platform services," while the format of each of the events will be similar to a "hackathon" gathering, where developers are working together in teams of two to five members. The events run from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. each day.
"If you have been meaning to start a project for the Google Cloud Platform, or would like to explore its offerings, this is the perfect opportunity to work on your own project with the help of Google engineers," the questionnaire states. "This evaluation is perfectly suited for a team of developers who have an idea for an application already in mind. If selected, we will ask you to provide details of the application you wish to build. If you do not have an idea for an application, do not worry, we have some ideas to get you started!"
Accepted applicants will be contacted by Google to set up the visits.
Participants will receive a $150 gift code by email, which they can use for a variety of items online from Perks, an online gift Website. They will also receive a Google swag bag containing a T-shirt and other smaller items of Google merchandise, according to Google.
Participants must be at least 18 years old.
Among the questions on the online questionnaire are the applicant's gender, age, email address, T-shirt size, occupation, employer name and market segment. Also surveyed are details about applicants' software development background, including the number of years they have been developing, whether they have developed any applications for Google platforms in the past and whether they have worked at or know anyone at Google.
The questionnaire also asks applicants about how many complete public projects they have developed, how many users those projects might have and whether any of the projects have required the use of external APIs.
The names and contact information for all developer team members must also be included, though applicants have an option to sign up as a solo developer.
It's certainly not the first time that Google has been seeking input from the developer community.
Earlier in July, Google set up new online surveys asking Android developers how the Android development process can continue to be improved. The 2013 midyear Android Developer Survey, which is available in several languages, is open online for developers' comments and input. That survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete and includes four sections for user input about engineering and writing code; design, including user experience and interaction and visual design; product management, including deciding what the app should do and which devices and platforms to support; and Google Play, including publishing, distribution, monetization and support via Google Play, according to Google.
The developer responses will be used to help Google "test our assumptions and form a better understanding of the challenges you face, your motivations and your priorities, so that we can create better tools and resources for you," according to the survey Website.
Developers can choose not to answer questions or survey sections that don't apply to their work. The developer survey is available in English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified) and Chinese (Traditional).