Saturday, December 16, 2006

My First Two Weeks at Google

I have been wanting to blog about my first two weeks at Google. One of the first things that is impressed on you is to be careful what you blog, and I want to be. For one, I certainly don't want to talk about anything that could jeopardize what is the best job I have ever had (so far anyway), and for another, I see the reasons behind the need for confidentiality. As with most companies that rely on their IP, you learn very quickly that Google has a lot to lose from loose lips, and I don't want to see that happen.

That said, there are some things that I am pretty sure I can talk about safely, and I will. I will start with describing what life is like as a Noogler.

The first day is kinda boring - very typical admin stuff, fortunately it gets a lot better after that.

The best I can describe the first two weeks is like being back at uni - lots of classes to learn the ropes so to speak, but they are great classes. I found myself wanting to get some coding done and the classes kept breaking things up, but at the same time imagine getting two weeks of training in some very cool subjects indeed. I have learned a heck of a lot in a very short time.

As for the job itself, although it's early days I am very excited about the work and the team I am in. They all seem really sharp, and we have had some great geeky-talks about what they did before Google (a lot of diversity like mobile OS, experimental new apps, etc.).

On top of that - there are the perks - this is the gravy that goes on the workday "meat". Great gym facilities, the food rocks, it's a really nice atmosphere for working in - you can take off in the middle of the day and grab a latte at one of the cafes, and sit outside and work on the wifi - just like going to a starbucks, but the coffee is free :-)

I am really looking forward to getting down to some serious work now. I want to start earning this paycheck.

In fact, suffice to say that I can't recommend this place highly enough, and I can't wait to see what next year brings.

9 comments:

Matt said...

Dick,

I will be moving to Manhatten sometime this summer and with that move comes the ever popular job hunt. My current job is decent, but I have always yearned to work for a place like Google. Now, with Google's expanded offices in NYC, it seems that dream is attainable.

I am an avid and longtime listener of the Posse. A couple episodes back you mentioned the release of a free algorithms e-book, and how you could have used that as you brushed up on your computer science skills to prepare for your Google interview. I was wondering with your recent hire, if you could list some of the resources you used or would recommend. I have been out of college for three years now, and have been developing in Java professionally for at least that long.

I would really like to make the most of the next 5-7 months as far as studying. My girlfriend is currently a graduate student, so I have no lack of study time; plus, I have access to a university library. Should I focus 100% on computer science stuff...or should I look at mind puzzle / problem solving books...is knowing one language enough, or would my time be well-spent learning to code in another language (ruby, c++, c?)...any blogs that I *must follow*, etc?

I'm not looking for any inside secrets to the hiring process or tricks to just get me in the door, just advice you could give to a hard-working, wannabe-googler.

keyvez said...
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keyvez said...
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keyvez said...

I don't know if I am an average kind of a guy, or if I left the comment above, but other than having a access to a library the above guy is me.

I graduated 3 years ago, have been working in PHP, MSSQL and Java since and have a girlfriend in a graduate course and I am reading that e-book, the one that is an Olympic of name pronunciation.

Sure I'd like some tips too about what languages will I need to be a googler, will I have a chance to pick those up at google? Would it is a good idea to apply now and say I am proficient in PHP/Javascript but can easily pick up Python or Java if need be?

Thanks

Brandon Werner said...

Good show! I've never been more jealous of anyone in my life! You certainly deserve it, and Google will be stronger with you on board.

Maybe we can have long talks about Haskell and Python since I hear they use that pretty deeply at Google.

Of course, I imagine everything us non-googlers hear is just myth and legend.

Do they really use pigeons for their pagerank results?

keyvez said...

Yes Brandon they use pigeons for Page rank, and those are't just any pigeons, they're all Stanford graduates. Who fly from Stanford to Mountain View coz. it's like just six minutes from there.

But I have a theory that Google uses pigeons for more than Pigeon rank, they use them for Google maps as well for taking satellite images, or should I say Pigeon images, plus recently the pigeons have started reporting traffic conditions too.

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