Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm a Noogler!

Well well, look who finally got around to blogging about yesterday. I had originally intended on writing about this earlier, of course, but after a long day of work, I didn't feel like meticulously replaying it for you the reader. In fact, for a variety of reasons, I don't plan to write in much detail about my employment, the best three of which are:

  1. Google's pretty strict about confidentiality. I.e., I'll get fired.

  2. I'm still pretty tired from today, and still don't entirely feel like meticulously replaying events.

  3. This blog is about my time in New York City, and not about my time at Google. While the two are naturally related, I'd really like to keep this about the City (also, see 1.)

So, with that out of the way, I shall proceed to meticulously replay my day(s) at Google. Just kidding.

I started off yesterday by getting up at 7:00 and leaving the apartment around 7:30am. With a train ride that lasted a surprisingly short amount of time, that put me to Google around 8:20, or about 40 minutes before anyone else gets there. So I waited. The downside of being early, I suppose.

The first day was kind of a blur of presentations, ice breakers and filling out forms. In fact, I didn't even meet my host until around lunchtime.

Speaking of lunch, keep in mind that every good thing you hear about Google's food is absolutely true. Gourmet meals for free, basically. I'm trying to take the stairs as much as possible and drink water instead of Coke to avoid the Google 15 (the fifteen pounds you gain when you start to take advantage of all that free food everywhere). We'll see how long that lasts...

Right off the bat I was surprised how much trust Google puts in their employees. There's a bigscreen TV with Guitar Hero II on it within sight of every employee on my floor, and somehow there isn't a line a mile long to play it. That's pretty incredible in my mind.

The other thing that impressed me was that Google loves to eat their own dogfood. That is, their internal e-mail system is GMail. Their internal scheduling system is Calendar. There's pretty much an internal version of almost every Google product you can think of, or at least the ones that would be useful in a working environment (there's no internal AdSense, sadly). Some of the products you see even started off as internal tools that eventually got tweaked enough that it would be useful to outside users.

Once again, it shows a lot of trust in the products. But more than that, they realize that if engineers (most of them power users) are using these tools every day, they're bound to find bugs really quickly. Not only that but unlike most end users they'll take the time to report them. It leads to a kind of win/win situation where products become better just by using them.

With that said, I'm really looking forward to the next three months at Google. I've already learned a ton, and I've only been there two days. By the time I leave I'll have a PhD. in Googlism (and I'll also probably weigh 350 lbs. :))

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