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

Being under the microscope

I’ve been at Google about four months, and it’s been a hell of a great ride so far.  I really need to write more about this later, but in a nutshell… my colleagues rock, the flexible and trusting environment is awesome, and I’m very excited about what I’m working on. However, I do have to… Continue reading Being under the microscope

A blunt note to HR folks and interviewers

I wrote this quite a while ago, both to vent my frustrations and also to sincerely urge HR folks and interviewers to improve their practices.  I’ve had pleasurable experiences with most of the companies I’ve interviewed with in the past, but there has still often been quite a bit of room for improvement.  Also, I… Continue reading A blunt note to HR folks and interviewers

I’ve joined Google

A couple of months ago, I became a Googler.  Since my boss—Matt Cutts—has already so kindly introduced me on his blog, I feel this is probably a good time to say a few words about my new job 😀 The short version:  I’m honored, humbled, a bit nervous, and yes, very happy.  As a lifelong… Continue reading I’ve joined Google

Geeks — the perception still hasn’t quite caught up with reality

As seen by this Australian TV commercial from Super Geek and this admittedly damn funny Fear of Girls video, we learn that…– Geeks are all guys, and not particularly attractive fellas, either– Geeks are typically sporting taped-up glasses and completely uncool fashion– Women AREN’T geeks (and they’re most often confusing/confused AND helpless) While the videos… Continue reading Geeks — the perception still hasn’t quite caught up with reality