Google Cloud Platform for Developers: Everything You Need to Know

One of the highly sought-after cloud computing services these days is the Google Cloud platform. It is run and powered by Google which provides a series of cloud services. 

Here, we will help you understand the importance of GCP and how it makes a difference, especially in today’s industry. 

A brief overview of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Google Cloud Platform or GCP is a public cloud service provider which is hosted by Google’s data centers, allowing users to access sites on a free or pay-per-use basis. 

Today, this service is used by billions of users across the world to visit sites such as YouTube, Gmail, and Google maps, to name a few. 

Through the technologies equipped with such cloud service, internet users can take advantage of the site as much as they want with minimal issues. 

Why GCP is beneficial for developers

There are many compelling reasons why GCP stands out, especially for application developers. Here are some interesting things that make it more efficient. 

  • Cost-effective 

    Since Google will primarily be the data center, you can start building your application using Google's built-in features without investing in physical assets that cost thousands. 

  • Faster app deployment 

    With GCP as your host, there’s no need to undergo several procedures that cost a lot of time and often result in several post-deployment issues. 

  • Safe and secure to use 

    Safety is of utmost priority. GCP has been in almost 15 years of proven service, and still, they guarantee that applications are protected against all kinds of IT vulnerabilities. 

Setting up Google Cloud Platform

  1. 1

    Creating an account

    The first step to getting started with GCP is to create an account. Visit the Google cloud site and start for free for 90 days. Ideally, Google offers a free trial package for its products. 

  2. 2

    Setting up a project

    Next, and probably the most crucial part is how to set up your first project. To set up your GCP, click the Go to Create a Project button found under Menu. 

  3. 3

    Choosing a billing plan

    Initially, it’s important to correctly evaluate your project to determine how much you will be paying in the future. While you can start with the free trial, it might come with limitations and restrictions.     

When choosing a billing plan that’s right for you, check out some ideas below:

  • Free Trial 

    Google offers a 90-day trial period which allows developers and companies to test out their services first before deciding to continue. 

  • Paid   

    Google offers usage-based pricing. This means that clients would either pay for a flat monthly or pay based on usage metrics.

Developing applications with GCP

Using Google Cloud SDK and Cloud Shell

Software Development Kit (SDL) comes with tools and libraries that are crucial to interact properly with GCP and ensures that your application is well integrated. 

  • Google Cloud SDK 

    Choose from SDK tools for all languages or specific languages depending on what the application needs to properly interact with the Google platform and services. 

  • Cloud Shell 

    his is effective to use, especially when integrating with GCP since the development, build, debugging, and deployment are all done via the Cloud Shell editor. 

Deploying applications on GCP

App deployment on GCP is an important task to complete. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started. 

  • Before getting started, prepare the necessary permissions, manifest, images, and other pre-requirement kits. 

  • Secondly, set up GCP based on your current runtime choice.

  • Make necessary changes to the settings such as the deployment timeout. 

GCP's support for popular programming languages and frameworks (Java, Python, Node.js, etc.)

Ideally, GCP supports a lot of commonly used programming languages today which makes it easier for developers to work with.

Regardless of what programming language you’re using, know that configuration setup differs separately. 

  • A standard environment is ideal if the source code is written in specific versions such as Java 8, Python 2.7, and Node JS 10, to name but a few, 

  • On the other hand, a flexible environment is practical if your source code is written in a version of any programming language such as Python, Ruby, JAVA, NET, PHP, and more. 

Integrating GCP with other services

Google cloud platform is also integrated with some popular services such as version control systems like Github to make CI/CD faster and more efficient. 

Achieving a successful CI/CD performance mostly helps a lot of developers, especially when it comes to deployment practices. 

1. Integrating GCP with GitHub, GitLab, and other development tools

With Github integration, for example, it’s easier to adopt CI and make necessary changes while allowing efficient deployment. These are some advantages to expect as well. 

  • Scalable

    Cloud infrastructure has been very flexible to meet the ever-changing demands of a lot of organizations. With such integration, it will allow developers to have multiple builds across several projects. 

  • Flexible 

    Developers can also work with customized build steps which makes caching much faster, thus, speeding up builds as well. 

  • Secured 

    Since Google’s security is highly secured, developers can achieve full administrative control over those who can create and also view their builds. 

2. Using GCP with other Google services, such as Firebase

Firebase relied on GCP not only for infrastructure support but also as a value-added service. The new firebase storage has GCP capacity, which enables scalable and better storage solutions that can also be accessed by other GCP-based projects. 

Additionally, the integration of other Google services makes it simpler, easier, and faster for developers which are building and running simultaneous applications. 

Best practices for developing with GCP

To make the most out of Google Cloud platforms, there are best measures and practices to observe albeit challenging at first. But by taking the extra steps and precautions, chances are you will be getting optimized results in the long run. 

Security considerations

To ensure that your applications are running smoothly while complying with regulatory standards and procedures, you need to understand the security principles first. Other key factors to take a look into involve the following: 

  • Manage risks 

  • Manage controls and ownership 

  • Implement computing security 

  • Establish security and privacy requirements

  • Network security 

Cost optimization strategies

One of the biggest questions is how to save money when utilizing GCP. The good thing is there are actual steps to follow to get extra savings without losing control and quality of overall performance.  

  • Optimize storage cost and performance 

    Paying attention to storage use and also configuration can reduce your expenses since storage is billed as a separate item for most Cloud infrastructure. 

  • Pay only for what you need 

    Identify certain projects that are taking many resources but are not providing revenues. By doing so, you’ll be able to effectively allocate the computing option that you precisely need. 

  • Understand cost and billing management tools 

    Lastly, understand the costs that you are building up. Learning the right tools greatly contributes to helping you predict trends while adding insights on overspending risks. 

Scalability tips

A scalable system’s performance is essential to keep applications running regardless of the varying conditions. Google Cloud has some features and products that will ensure that your apps are scalable and efficient. 

Choosing the right GCP services for your project

The basic answer is to understand what you need. By simplifying your options and learning the various databases, architecture, limitations, and features, it would be faster to come up with a decision. 


Google Cloud platform has been a significant help to a lot of developers and companies these days. But the proper setup and integration can make or break the GCP experience. 

Why should developers consider using GCP for their applications? 

Aside from the benefits, activities such as development, testing, and deployment are much simpler and faster. This only means that it would significantly help businesses, developers, and clients.

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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