I spent the first half of the year doing a lot of lectures/workshops for businesses, attending GDG events. I was thrilled though when I was invited to attend the first geo community summit in Singapore. I was tasked to present the achievements of the local mapping community together with the top mappers in the Philippines. I was so happy to be in another country together with the top mappers and community leads.
Things got more exciting though mid-year as I had to work on some back-end requirements for the planned launches that year. It was one of the most difficult tasks I had to complete and I think I utilized every experience I had from the time I started working to make things work. I also wanted to launch before another Southeast Asian country, so I really worked hard to reach targets. It was all worth it though.
And before the year ended Google Maps was launched. It was over-shadowed though by the other launches, but this essentially completed my to-do list. It was serendipity though that led me to my new role as my manager, James, always looked after my well-being. He met by chance my future manager, Juergen, in Jakarta. Juergen then was looking for a person who could start communities in the region. James knew that doing community development was in my heart and recommended me. He immediately made arrangements for me to speak with Juergen. What I thought was just a conversation was apparently my first interview. After a few more interviews my new role was just waiting for me... in Singapore.
No rest though for the weary because by December I launched my first community outside the Philippines -- GBG Jakarta. I was lucky to be a country scout because it meant I had brother and sister scouts in other countries I could get help from for my next projects.
And so ended my first five years in Google. I never had the chance to write about it five years ago because I transitioned so fast to my new role I had no time to sit down and blog. Looking back, my first five years seem like I was all over the place, but it was because I had to establish local relations and prove that there was opportunity in my country. I think I managed it well because it made it easy for the teams coming in to reach out to the right people as the more mature programs were brought in the country.
It was an awesome first five years. I learned a lot, met a gazillion people, garnered a lot of new skills, but what many people don't know is to this day I'm still overwhelmed with the job. I just always pray and ask help from God to guide me every single day in everything I do.