Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms: don’t believe the anti-hype

Everyone’s hella snarking about the FB Horizons Workrooms project (collaborative work in virtual reality) but mark (ha!) my words… 99% of them haven’t tried it. 95% of them didn’t bother actually RTFA (“Who is gonna pay thousands of dollars per person for this??!?” [it costs $299]) Nearly everyone will be “WOW! This is revolutionary!” when… Continue reading Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms: don’t believe the anti-hype

How employment at prominent tech firms stymies open communication

Let me first get the disclaimers out of the way: I have worked at Google since March, 2006. I do not speak on behalf of Google in this blog, nor do my views necessarily dovetail with those of other Googlers; I’ve historically held more of a public-facing role than most Googlers, so I have heightened… Continue reading How employment at prominent tech firms stymies open communication

Insane transparency — Seeing or even setting what your colleagues earn

At Google, we have pretty radical transparency, at least in Engineering where I sit.  With few exceptions, we can all see what every colleague is working on (via the Project Database or “PDB”), what they’ve recently accomplished (via weekly self-composed “Snippets”), and even what their core contributions have been to the company (their Google resume). … Continue reading Insane transparency — Seeing or even setting what your colleagues earn

Zap ridiculous disclaimers, reform CEO pay in one fell swoop

Stupid disclaimers.  You know ‘em, and you probably either ignore them or laugh at them.  Slightly enhanced samples that are either spoken at 420 words a minute or that take up a bazillion lines of tiny tiny text on the back of ads in news magazines. “Warning: Stunt driver on stunt track in stunt car. … Continue reading Zap ridiculous disclaimers, reform CEO pay in one fell swoop

Getting hired by Google

I recently noticed that a fellow Googler posted some thoughtful tips about interviewing at Google, and — now that I’m a bit more comfortable blogging about Work — I figured I’d contribute to the conversation a bit by offering my own, unofficial tips. Note the unofficial part. I work in Search Quality; aside from occasionally… Continue reading Getting hired by Google

How much would YOU pay not to be obligated to tip?

I’ve had it with tipping.  The more traveling I do—for business or pleasure—the more I despise the uncertainty, the uncomfortableness, the need to have petty cash on hand.  When will someone—an influential someone—say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?! Tip too little, and you risk imperiling the quality of service you receive in the future from that person…… Continue reading How much would YOU pay not to be obligated to tip?

How I blew off Google… and more pre-Google career tidbits

Happy Googleversary!As I was getting ready to board the Google Shuttle home recently, a colleague (who started at Google on the same day I did) poked me and jokingly wished me a “Happy Googleversary!”  Right then it hit me that, yeah, I had been at Google for a full year.  Wow! Also in the last few weeks, coincidentally… Continue reading How I blew off Google… and more pre-Google career tidbits