Defragmentation example: they have a team with 12 people in California, 5 in New York, 2 in Seattle and 3 in Zurich. They decide to move all roles into one location instead of having the team split all over. If you don't want to move with the role, then you need to find something new.
Alternatively perhaps they just merged some teams and there were surplus folk. In my experience (unrelated to any of this) in rapidly growing orgs, teams/functions often get duplicated/semi-duplicated as different parts independently spin up teams to deal with some need. Ultimately these end up getting rationalised as time progresses.
If they were doing big layoffs of engineers etc, I think we'd have heard about it o we Twitter/blogs/comments/etc by now
That seems extremely unlikely, the products that Google shuts down from time to time are usually not products that make money. GCP is a whole different beast with SLAs, paying customers, huge corporations using it. It also wouldn't make sense to give up the position as one of the few big cloud hosters.
Google will be in the "cloud" business until the heat death of the universe, but what "cloud" means and where the respective monsters go looking for their next meal and how much capital they put into what kind of hunting is going to continue to change and evolve.
For many businesses that are eg large market-like B2B plays I would be more worried about greedy AWS looking up at me and deciding they would like my position and a larger share of my sweet, sweet revenue stream. Those mofos are apex predators and understand there is no problem that cannot be solved with another API.
These are interesting times, but for commodity cloud consumers there is no future in which Google suddenly decides that with the hundreds of billions of capitalized data center investment it makes sense to "shutdown" its cloud business. This is not Reader.
Maybe consumer space, in enterprise I would not bet on it.
Why though? AWS, Azure etc all look much more competent and friendlier to customers, and without Google's history of killing services they don't care for anymore...
How exactly are you measuring "more competent"? Once you pay for support levels you also don't have the problem that Google is a black hole where you don't get any answers like if you are just a free user on Gmail, YouTube,...
It also depends on which services you use, if you are just running everything in Kubernetes and are not locked into proprietary services of any cloud provider it's not that hard to move between clouds. I find it a bit odd to make blanket statements about a company based on some consumer products or Google Reader being killed off years ago.
Here's two reasons:
1. They have I think the most mature manged kubernetes service.
2. They have a managed Airflow offering called Cloud Composer.
If you are just using the basics (VMs, managed SQL, storage), then it probably makes sense to pick primarily based on factors such as price and customer service.
Once you get into more complicated use cases like say big data, distributed systems, or ML, there are important differences between what the cloud providers are offering.
One of the worst euphemisms for being fired that I've heard.
This doesn't make sense.
> Google on Friday said “a small number of employees” have been notified their roles have been eliminated. Google didn’t specify how many roles are being cut and said it was working with affected employees to find them new positions in the company.
It's a common HR tactic.
That said, the more flexibility you have the easier it is to find a new position. This naturally favors some people over others.
In my most recent case, it ended up being a bit more challenging due to having to balance the constraints of family life versus the opportunities availed by an extremely arduous commute, but I ended up finding a project I enjoy that works with my commute constraints.
It's worthwhile to compare this relative downtime to ramp-up time for new hires... who also generally spend a couple-few months being fairly useless (though working hard at it).
And googlers being googlers, there's a decent chance that the 'down' time turns into interesting learning or side project time.
Also interviewing with other companies. The next best job for you may not be with Google even if you could easily get an internal transfer role. And teams don't just blindly accept you because you already work at Google (although it helps). You still have to go through a somewhat more informal interview loop that you will definitely want to prepare for.
Of course this is up to the individual, you can definitely just screw around for awhile and apply for an interal role with much less care.
I've dealt with trees in every single domain I've been in, frontend or backend, whether doing "real" programming or building with no-code tools like FileMaker. I've seen admins and accountants build trees and recursion with spreadsheets. I don't think these things are as "gatekeeping" as you imagine.
I don't agree that all jobs have to deal with trees either.
There are other teams where there is little need for more formal process.
I think 3-4 moved within the company, 3 left on their own time before the deadline, and 4 waited out for the redundancy payment.
Edit: Wow, just realized that could be a veiled reference to artificial insemination
I've worked away from the head office at other companies, and it's limiting.
For me the quality of life is so much better outside of SV.
As to people on re-deployment, it did happen that poor performers had a hard time landing a new role -- but then again, they would have had a hard time staying in the company in their old role, so that kind of fits your point. But Intel didn't use redeployment as a "shadow RIF". Intel was not shy about moving people out of the company -- they didn't need to nor bother to hide it.
Back to redeployment -- I can remember occasions of fairly large redeployments (business unit shutting down) where those of us in parts of the company considered more strategic would find ourselves suddenly rich in hiring reqs. Again, the company created the right market conditions and let the hiring managers and employees sort it out.
I guess it helps keeping the workforce young and flexible.
The third sentence in the article: "Google didn’t specify how many roles are being cut and said it was working with affected employees to find them new positions in the company."
And you would be surprised how many roles in big bureaucracies are "controller" roles by nature.
In the third world, if you hire 100 people for a 5-man project, people end up doing nothing but their own things. It's bad but it's obvious that something is going wrong.
In the first world, if you hire 100 people for a 5-man project, people end up to invent and justify 100-man's job. Everyone's role would become their identity, everyone is busy and hardworking. The output is high, they would also have fancy analytics and reports.
It's hard for a person to believe a 100-man busy project actually only needs 5 men.
This is such utter nonsense that it's hard to believe you've worked in any human organization.
People in the first and third world are not different species. A lot of white-collar first-world workers provide no value to their company at all.
There are two contradicting unsubstantiated observations, or let's just say blatant generalisations, one gets downvoted another flourishes.
You don’t get nine women in a room to make a baby in one month.
It also appears to originate from Theodore von Kármán (1957): "Everyone knows it takes a woman nine months to have a baby. But you Americans think if you get nine women pregnant, you can have a baby in a month."
It's ugly, but "don't hire more people because we'll be less efficient" often runs into this ugly "but we need more total output, not more efficiency" wall.
1. Google's tech staffers are supposed to be some of the top people in the world, and Google spends a considerable amount of resources hiring them. It seems foolish not to keep them on the bench a bit, unless Google foresees that it will be shrinking soon.
2. The people not laid off will very much notice their colleagues being zapped the moment they're not needed. They will rationally tilt towards leaving as well, if they get any whiff that they might be next. It's far better to leave first than to be laid off, if you're sharp.
That ended about 7 years ago when Google decided to expand as rapidly as possible. Alphabet employees over 100k people now. It’s just a younger IBM at this point. There will be thousands of people that will suck and should be laid off rather than kept.
Their interview process is loaded with false negative and false positive rates, despite what they claim. If you don’t think they have false positives, just look at the poor quality of so many google products.
An interview process that an algorithms/data structure obsessed senior in college can easily pass is clearly not related to elite engineers. It’s sad that people have been tricked into thinking otherwise.
I don't disagree with the point you're making, but that's a bad argument. Good engineers are capable of building a bad product if the conditions are right.
In fact, this action is probably part of a conscious effort to move away from "benching".
It has nothing to do with rank and file people getting laid off.
“We’re a team, not a family.”
They “hire, develop, and cut smartly”. It doesn’t seem to have hurt their recruitment.
It's extremely rare, but there's nothing that makes my job satisfaction drop more than having someone incompetent (in no way related to experience) on the team, or being lead by someone incompetent.
I come to work to get cool stuff done, and sometimes people just don't fit with that goal.
These thoughts are in no way related to the topic.
The story is legendary about all of the infrastructure guys that were let go at Netflix whose job was to migrate them to AWS.
Is that a bad thing? Can you imagine the opportunities you could have if you said that you were instrumental in the largest cloud migration in history?
I can’t remember her name but there was a top ranking official at Netflix hired by Hastings personally. She was instrumental in helping Netflix in the DVD era. But she knew she was going to be laid off when they started focusing on streaming because that wasn’t her area of expertise. She went in and got “quit fired”. She said there were no hard feelings.
I first heard about this with an interview she did on the Internet History Podcast.
Source: your link.
I think it's better to have a good exit strategy, such as another job offer, then get laid off. If you get laid off at a big company, there is usually a severance package.
That's not always trivial, and I'm sure some will leave the company, but none have to if they don't want to.
Someone who was hired 2 years ago with 500k of stock vesting over 4 years could have enough unvested stock leftover to fund two employees RSU grants...
Hiring google employees is still cheaper than keeping the senior ones.
If these employees are transitioning to wildly different roles within the company maybe the math changes a bit, but I'm not sure how much.
Edit: not to mention the trust erosion aspect. If I see people getting laid off cause their stock has appreciated, am I going to stay? Basically means stock appreciation is capped. People wouldn't take kindly to that.
I did. Google is so large the vast majority of engineers contain domain knowledge that is mainly just useful to their group. And if their group is undergoing layoffs, their domain knowledge isn’t too useful.
About the only useful things that a long-time googler will know when joining a new group over a noogler is the test infra and code review process.
Note: I'm not authorized to speak for Google, but hopefully this addresses some of the panic in this comment thread.
It isn’t a good look.
“This morning I learned that my role at Google has been eliminated. If you've got an opening for someone who's in Kubernetes and containers security, focuses on content, advocacy, and communication, and has an OSS background, holler!”
Doesn't sound like Google's cloud business is in trouble.
Which is directly tied to the underlying hardware. That they already optimize to death.
My background in the industry would lead me to believe GCP (just the infrastructure, not the applications) is 70%+ gross margin with the hardware (and data center) cost (depreciation if capitalized) above the gross margin line.
For a business at that growth rate running a GAAP negative net income is easy to do while still building a high quality profitable long term business.
But, cloud companies don’t just have to worry about hardware and infrastructure. They also have to worry about software engineers, “enterprise sales solution architects” and a whole host of other costs.
In fact nobody other than AWS mention pure cloud revenue.
For example, California has the WARN act:
You mean, no one except: Home Depot, Target, PayPal, eBay, HSBC, SAP, and thoudands more...
Can't see how this is not going hurt customer confidence.
No it's not a sign that they're going to stop competing in one of the most profitable sectors that they've had an offering in for over a decade.
This doesn't look to me as a hyper growth focus trajectory TBH
They might not catch up to the others but it'll still be a highly profitable product suite. I don't see what there is to worry about. GCP also includes Google Maps and GSuite by the way, which have lots of customers.
I definitely couldn’t keep myself from wondering what kind of people run their PR, when they released a post late last year, saying that unless GCP hits the financial target $X by 2023, its funding will be noticeably cut. That was literally a release of a self-fulfilling prophecy in the wild.
They still have us by the balls as a customer, because some companies just will not allow you to put their data in AWS...and mostly in places where Azure is still a poor alternative (I'm looking at you, Central Germany).
This will be enabled by changes to the underlying infrastructure - moving away from BGP and adopting (BGP backward compatible) protocols like SCION, as currently implemented by Swiss carriers, which allow improved traffic shaping, and more importantly: jurisdictional geo-fencing.
We'll also see more legislation by the EU to level the playing field against US companies who currently do business with a Double Irish Dutch sandwich.
The current model where the US is the only cloud provider with virtually no EU based competitor and where EU data is locked into US corps is unsustainable. Europeans trust into US companies has never been strong to begin with and current politics (+horrible foreign policy) will reduce it further.
The cloud is dead imo. Because in a climate where national interests are suddenly more important than partnerships and international trade, the cloud is more of a risk than anything else. The US makes that same case too, illustrated by their hostility towards Chinese products (I'm not defending China here at all btw).
edit: I have to dig up this quote again from Aral Balkan's recent talk at the EU parliament: "You are acting as an unpaid Research and Development department for silicon valley. Because if a startup here succeeds, it gets bought by Google or Facebook. If it fails, we pick up the bill.": https://video.lqdn.fr/videos/watch/861c07f7-7e9b-4e64-9765-c...
Maintain your own data centers and they become cost centers, with silly games for getting and maintaining capacity, reluctance to expand capacity, and old technology.
A few people will talk loudly about it but not much will actually get done because the people who have experience with the cloud providers and the alternatives won't have any interest in moving back for vague ideals or vague threats.
The only thing most anybody cares about is their cloud providers directly competing with the customer's business model (most notably Amazon).
A more real threat reaction is jurisdictions going after the big five or so for antitrust issues and trying to break a few of them apart.
Amazon or any of them don't care about national interests any more than they have to and they'll do whatever they need to to calm fears (more or less just strengthening the legal regional isolation as necessary).
It is much like the late 90's boom, when a lot of companies were selling banner ads to each other. Even the ones who appeared to be profitable weren't really, because all of their customers were not. Once the loss-making customers of cloud companies go away, the big three cloud companies may find that they don't have a business model either.
Most SaaS etc. businesses make money in a way that is indirectly related to their server costs. Bringing the cost of servers down increases margin ceteris paribus, but the Latin is doing a lot of heavy lifting here.
It's not at all clear to me that the median AWS customer can save money by going self-hosting. If I had to bet money on it, I'd bet against it.
Step 1) "I don't like thing"
Step 2) "I really wish thing didn't exist."
Step 3) "Thing is probably dying/dead."
Step 4) "If event happened, it would really show thing is dying/dead."
Step 5) "Event can happen."
Step 6) "Event will happen."
Step 7) "Event is happening!"
Step 8) "Events 1, 2 and 3 can/will/are happening which forms a narrative proving thing is dying/dead."
Have you considered a career as a journalist?
Your comment wouldn't be too bad without the last sentence.
I really have no skin in this game one way or another. I don't work with cloud companies, I don't make money with non-cloud things either. And I don't give a toot about how this unfolds because I think all things that Tech brings forward these days are bad for humans and society. So whether it's the cloud or ActivityPub or motherfuckers who believe the blockchain will cure the worlds ills ... the only thing that is on my mind is making it until spring, so that I can fuck off again into the woods for a couple of months and not think about it.
But go on with your vague insults if it eases your own personal suffering.
It's already the case, no? My company recently contracted G Suite with a guarantee that the data stays in Europe.
> Tired of its businesses turning to foreign cloud-computing providers such as the Google, Microsoft and Amazon, the German government is leading the push for a European cloud network called Gaia-X. France is also on board. “Data will be the most important raw material of the future,” said German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier in a statement this week. “The European economy urgently needs an infrastructure that ensures data sovereignty.”
> Just like their American counterparts, more than half of European businesses with over 1,000 employees now use a public cloud platform. But European governments aren't so sure that they should trust their data on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Google Cloud, or the IBM Cloud. They worry that the US CLOUD act enables US law enforcement to unilaterally demand access to EU citizens' cloud data -- even when it's stored outside the States.
> Germany and France are introducing a government-backed project to develop European cloud infrastructure in an effort to help local providers compete with U.S. technology giants, which dominate the global cloud market.
> However, if you dig deeper, you’ll find that a growing number of organizations have public cloud buyer’s remorse. A recent VotE Organizational Dynamics 2017 survey found more than one-third of companies surveyed migrated data from public to private clouds in 2017. Forrester Research shows migration to hosted private clouds are on the upswing, with adoption rising from 28% to 33% in North America in Europe. In that same survey, 36% of cloud adopters and planners state hosted private cloud is – or will be – their primary computing platform.
> Out of 400 IT decision makers who participated in the survey, more than 80% of them agreed that their organization either migrated applications or data that were primarily on public cloud environment to on-premises data centers or private cloud solutions in the past 14 months.
But on the software side it's lacking. And suggesting SAP might bridge the gap for software quality would get a laugh from anyone who regularly uses their product.
In the sense of being customer centric, offering thorough services, standardizing and operating on thin margins in order to reinvest most of their profits into the company itself.
A lot of small players in the cloud fields either offer an incomplete set of services, or adopt hardly-scalable models of operations.
If you want to at least have a chance of winning european customers concerned with data privacy and stuff from AWS you should try to replicate their pros -- offer a compelling alternative.
They decided to back off from being a cloud provider. They got no skin (top-level don't know how to pull it off) nor skill (EU engineers aren't the best in hi-tech) in the game.
Last I saw they only tried to build a shim-layer on top of CloudFoundry to orchestrate infrastructure running on other cloud vendors.
They got zero clients for SAP Cloud Platform since their customers prefer "best of breed" (AWS/Azure). If they say they have customers, it'll be "internal" customers: SAP other divisions who used them and they charged those divisions (that's how SAP works).
Why not both? That’s how AWS operates in China.
I strongly agree with this. But there is a response to everything and companies don't operate in a vacuum. I'm not suggesting that SCION is our version of "let's build a wall and make Americans pay for it".
Apart from protecting regional interests (which is just 1), SCION has too many advantages that let operators/carriers monetize on, to be ignored.
“Google Brass Set 2023 as Deadline to Beat Amazon, Microsoft in Cloud“
The clock is ticking for Google Cloud.
The Google unit, which sells computing services to big companies, is under pressure from top management to pass Amazon or Microsoft—currently first and second, respectively, in cloud market share—or risk losing funding. While the company has invested heavily in the business since last year, Google wants its cloud group to outrank those of one or both of its two main rivals by 2023, said people with knowledge of the matter.
AppEngine has been around for more than a decade. GCP might not catch up to AWS but it's not going away.
It's still supported and has plenty of usage so I don't see it as "hanging by a thread" unless you have more data than things that people said but apparently you forgot?
> The standalone legacy SDK and appcfg tooling
Just use the newer `gcloud` command-line tool.
> Go 1.9 (GA) and Node.js 8 (GA)
Upgrade your language man. This is PaaS. You're expected to keep your app up to date.
> Admin API v1beta4/v1beta5
These are beta versions of the API. Why don't use migrate to the GA versions?
Etc, etc. In fact the large number of deprecations on that page only shows how rapidly new features and runtimes and frameworks are being developed to replace old ones.
As far as I know, AWS has never discontinued a service or turned off an API. They may deprecate a feature or make it unavailable for new accounts or regions.
Heck AWS still supports running an EC2 instance outside of a VPC if your account is old enough,SimpleDB , and using S3 as a BitTorrent seed for old regions.
it isn't, so draw from that what you will
Also Youtube != Google Cloud.
Is it really that you just don’t feel they’re committed enough for your standards?
They've been hiring the pushy sales types to deliver one end of it but not the delivery people required on the other.
As opposed to MS. If a business has a legacy app that requires a 10 year old version of Sql Server running on a 12 year old version of Windows, they will put that in Azure and probably offer extended support for the OS for free.
They push you to use a Beta feature as it's the "preferred" way of interacting with their internal APIs. Meanwhile they know definitively that there's a race condition in their code when using this feature that will _take down the entire service_. It took down our entire Production project, they weren't forthcoming with any information to get us a fix for several hours (until we started sending nasty escalation emails about our P1 ticket not being handled) and then they blamed us for using a feature that was still in Beta.
We'd had literal face to face meetings where they'd told us we need to use this feature.
Interestingly enough, we were assigned new reps this week. I wonder if our AM and TAM were laid off.
Oracle flew 23 people across the entire country, all in expensive suits, to sit in a conference room for a full 10 hour pitch meeting where only 2 people talked.
We didn't buy anything.
Rip Dyn. :(
And isn’t that the pitch of every startup? We are worth $billions because the size of the market is $billions x 10 if we only capture $a_small_percentage.
Android was a hedge against Apple. GCP is a hedge against AWS. I don't see Google putting the brakes on GCP anytime soon.
Apple makes more from Google in mobile than Google makes from Android.
Google's Android operating system has generated revenue of about $31 billion and profit of $22 billion since its release, an Oracle Corp lawyer told a U.S. court hearing the software company's copyright lawsuit against Google.