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Nguyen Hoang Bao Dai - The 3rd Google Developer Expert in Machine Learning in Vietnam


Nguyen Hoang Bao Dai, an alumnus of class of 2012 at the Faculty of Information Technology - University of Science (Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City) becomes the 3rd person in Vietnam to be awarded by Google Developer Expert (GDE) in Machine Learning.

In Google’s announcement, they said: Bao Dai is a young musician. He has applied machine learning techniques to enhance his work. Apart from composing, he is also an AI Research Scientist in the field of Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision.”

(The third person in Vietnam to be awarded Google Developers Experts in Machine Learning) 

Let’s get to know more about the process of becoming a GDE with Bao Dai. 

Can you describe the reward that you have received? 

Google Developers Experts is a Google’s program that aims to find and assemble experts in the field of technology, those who have experience and substantial impacts on the community through speeches at events, tech talks, blogs, and vlogs. In general, GDE is not an employee of Google but is being admitted by Google and the community. 

Being a GDE, you will participate in the GDE Community with many experts in the world, including experts in your field and others, including Android, Flutter, Firebase, Machine Learning, and IoT,... The interest of being a GDE is that you can join in unique projects of Google, for example being a speaker or mentor at the events held by Google for developers, collaborating in the work of content creators, etc. Furthermore, Google will sponsor the most efficient GDEs traveling and participating in the Professional Conference held annually. The participants of GDE programs will also receive the prioritized invitation to take part in the events hosted by Google, such as Google I/O. 

How to become a GDE? 

The first factor is about the knowledge requirements shown right in the name of GDE. To be an expert, you must have a strong foundation of knowledge from the basic to the complicated one in a specific field. Moreover, you have to understand deeply the libraries and tools used in that field, which are developed by Google. For a clearer example, from my experience, to be a GDE in the field of Machine learning, I had to review all the basic knowledge of Machine learning, from the feed-forward neural network to the recent SOTA model, and ensured that I could answer any questions immediately, like “What is backpropagation?” Or “How L2 Norm penalty can help models decrease overfitting?”. Additionally, I also reviewed the Tensorflow tool (a tool developed by Google to serve the training ML/DL models), from the basic TensorFlow to advanced functions in NLP or CV, even some rarely used libraries of TensorFlow like TensorFlow Lite, TensorFlow JS, … were also included in the questions appeared in the second interview round (final round). 

The next factor to be considered is your dedication to the community operating in this field until the present. This factor is evident in the first interview round - CV submission. You will need to share events, tech talks (online or offline) recently that you participated in as a speaker, or the number of blogs, and vlogs (Youtube content) that you have made to share your knowledge with everyone. The number of participants in events, or the views of blog/video will be numbers for considering whether the candidate will continue the interview round. Besides that, you can share repositories on Github that you have built that the community responds to(by the number of stars/folk). Since this information will be considered in the CV submission round (the first round) and the first interview round, I think this is the most important factor in becoming a GDE. I know many guys who possess excellent skills and professional knowledge but have not yet qualified to become GDE because they have not participated in any community activities to share their knowledge with everyone.

The third factor is that you have an invitation from a Googler or a GDE to participate in this program. This is not a career interview, or specifically, you cannot find any “Apply” button on any platform to apply yourself to become a GDE. In my opinion, this is sometimes difficult or frustrating for those who have satisfied the two above conditions but … do not know a Googler or a GDE at all. Therefore, I am pleased and willing to support you guys if you are confident with the first two conditions. 

What is your expectation for taking on this new role? 

I hope to be able to exchange and learn many new things from GDEs inside and outside the industry. Additionally, I want to use the knowledge I learned to pass it on to other smaller communities through workshops/tech talks. 

Please share about the journey of doing your passion with AI. 

During the period I studied at HCMUS, I used to think that I was not suitable for this major, because most of my friends had a stronger foundation of knowledge than me, and I was just starting a few first steps in Computer Science. Fortunately, with the willingness to support from Teachers in the Faculty of Information Technology, especially Mr. Nghiem Quoc Minh, I got more motivation and capabilities to guide myself. Until the third year, I had to consider carefully choosing my favorite specialization. 

At that time, I chose Computer Science for multiple reasons, but generally because I loved the academic beauty of this major, rather than the job opportunities in the future. At the end of the 3rd year, my GPA was higher than the average GPA in the first and second years. I think I made the right decision about my favorite major and the right one for my ability. Since then, my belief became stronger than ever and I have followed the job of researching AI/ML/DL up until now. 

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