Google Offers Free Developers Class on Its Drive API

The class, offered through online learning community Code School, is aimed at helping developers learn the ins and outs of the Google Drive API for their apps.

online class

The Google Drive API is the featured topic for a new, free online course aimed at helping app developers learn more about how to use the Drive API in their apps.

Google is offering the online course through Code School, an online learning community that provides a wide range of classes for developers, according to a Feb. 18 post by Greg Knoke, a technical writer with the Google Drive Developer Relations Team, on the Google Apps Developer Blog.

"The most challenging part of learning anything new is often simply getting started," wrote Knoke. "Unfortunately, when it comes to programming, the first few minutes (or more!) are often occupied with cumbersome details such as setting up an environment, which results in very little time spent actually writing code. We were certain there must be a better way."

That's where Google brought in the folks at Code School, where online courses aimed at developers already exist for a wide array of software topics, including Ruby, JavaScript, iOS and HTML/CSS. Code School normally charges $29 a month to take the classes, but the Google Drive class is being offered at no charge, according to Google.

"In the Discover Drive course, you can learn at your own pace from your web browser," wrote Knoke. "You'll spend less time fussing with coding environments and more time writing code."

The Google Drive API course on the site includes the steps developers need to learn to build their applications using the Drive API, from authenticating code to uploading files to retrieving metadata and more. Users can click on the "Start Course" button to get started.

The online Drive API course includes 14 videos for deeper lessons, 65 lesson challenges to overcome and 11 accomplishment badges that users can collect after satisfactory completion of each phase of the course, according to the site.

Google Drive was launched in April 2012 after six years of planning and talks about its intentions to introduce a cloud storage service, according to an eWEEK report.

In January 2014, Google added a new "activity stream" to Google Drive so that users can see whether files have been changed by others since the last time they accessed them. The activity alerts aim to make it easier for workers who share files with others on Google Drive to stay aware of the latest changes and updates in their work group files. The new feature provides a single, easy-to-view place to review every action taken on a group's files and folders. Users can also choose to only access the files they are interested in by selecting any file or folder, which will change the stream to display the relevant files and information.

Other useful Drive features were introduced in December 2013, including simpler file and folder renaming, sharing, organizing and more, through a new drop-down menu at the top of each shared folder.

In May, 2013, Google enabled those with Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photo accounts to put all their files in a unified place, rather than having to maintain separate storage areas, depending on what kinds of files were being stored. That meant that instead of having separate 10GB and 5GB storage areas for their files, users can now keep their data in one 15GB storage bin, simplifying file archiving and storage.

The 15GB accounts will continue to be free. Storage can be expanded if desired, with 100GB accounts available for $4.99 a month and 200GB accounts for $9.99 a month. The combined storage was made possible because as more Google products have been refined to work together, it made less sense to keep their storage repositories separate.

Also in May 2013, Google updated Drive by giving it a new chat capability, according to an earlier eWEEK story. Users of Google Drive's Docs and Slides capabilities can now have a chat session that is similar to the ones they can use in Gmail. The feature is available to users of Google Apps for Business, Education and Government.