Projects are part of the Google Platform Resource Hierarchy. They are at the bottom of the hierarchy. The top level consists of organizations. In between there can be up to ten levels of folders. At one point the Google Cloud documentation says “Folders are nodes….” (Creating and Managing Folders doc). This gave me pause as I just finished some Docker/Kubernetes QwikLabs where nodes mean worker machines. Generally, in computer science, nodes are units in a data structure. Even though a folder and a worker machine seem to have nothing in common, I’m guessing that each are part of a data structure unique to the code for Docker, Kubernetes or GCP. It is kind of like using x in an algebraic equation. It allows us to talk about the general relationship without specifying every possible case.
In order to understand the jargon in the Resource Hierarchy documentation, it is useful to understand terms like parent, child and root of the tree as a data structure. Projects are parents of GCP components like Storage buckets, virtual machines, etc, that work together to form a solution. Folders can be parents of projects and other folders (up to 10 deep). Organizations are parents of folders. A solid understanding of this will be useful for understanding permissions and roles in GCP.