I applied for a job, and received an out-of-the-blue email from a recruiter about a different job a couple months later (my resume must have landed in some "recent" bucket). The position was in Google Cloud. I was frustrated by the "you'll talk to a team after you've passed 100 hurdles" nonsense.
I had one phone screen with my recruiter, which was positive. She said we'd be scheduling a phone interview. I got a call a few days later; she said we'd be skipping the phone interviews and going to an on-site at Sunnyvale. I thought this was a good sign! In hindsight, I think they just needed to fill a lot of positions quickly.
I did the onsite, which I thought went terribly, and I left feeling really discouraged. My recruiter said my packet wouldn't go the hiring committee, but that she thought the feedback was positive enough that I could find another role at the company. I got handed to another recruiter for a lesser role doing developer support. That recruiter reached out to me a few days later to tell me that he didn't actually have any roles for me.
The whole process took a couple months, and ultimately made me feel bad about my abilities. Everyone I met at the onsite was kind of an asshole. My "lunch interviewer" complained about the bureaucracy and said he was looking for another job after being there for ~18 months.
It's unfortunate that positions at FAANG are so beneficial to my resume, because I'd love to never go through that process again. I'm going through it right now with Amazon.
The recruiter was nonplussed when she called me out of the blue months later trying to schedule my on-site. She couldn’t believe I was not interested in continuing - how could I turn down Google??
This was when the google koolaid was far stronger - early/mid 2000s. To this day I consider it the most amazing example of a company being so entranced by its own narrative that it was genuinely incomprehensible to her and required spelling it out slowly.
Google is still a great place to land as a new college grad, but these days I would consider many other options as an experienced professional. There are indicators that Google is starting to run into issues detailed in The Innovator's Dilemma, particularly with respect to its Cloud business.
And if you say smart, what's the current smart choice? (I will be checking back in 15 years to follow up).
Lol. I had the exact same experience back in the late 90s, but with... IBM. Arrogant as heck, took three months to follow up and were shocked to know I was no longer interested. It was beautiful.
Probably all the 900-pound gorilla companies go through that period of extreme arrogance when everyone's knocking on their door. Until they're not.
Actually (with that) he wasn't being an asshole; he was doing you a favor.
In revealing to you, quite candidly, just how disappointing the Google experience evidently is for a considerable portion of engineers.
> evidently is for a considerable portion of engineers.
I only see evidence that the experience was disappointing for a single Googler, the lunch interviewer, not "a considerable portion" of them. The interviewer's data point is certainly valid, but it's not clear to me how much you can generalize it.
As an interviewer myself and having interviewed for startups (which is a different beast due to the additional selling involved in converting candidates) I've learnt to break the ice, encourage the candidates, treat them as human and guide them towards the solution if they're off by a little. I do also cut short some interviews when I realise the candidate is an obvious mismatch. I do so politely and in the interest of saving both of us some time.
So, when the Airbnbs, Dropboxes and Googles don't extend the same courtesy - even though I know they have the upper hand - I lose any interest I have in joining them by the end of the interview. I have had really good experience with BrainTree & Pinterest & a few others. So I do know not all companies are bad and even within the company there are good and bad interviewers and it's just a matter of luck. Still, the doubts about self-worth are hard to squash.
Edit: I call out Braintree in particular because they conduct interviews in pairs. At least one person's job to listen at all times. IMHO, this makes all the difference. Any signs of bias, narrow perspectives and hostile behaviour should - at least to some degree - be reduced with this model.
I'm pretty sure that there is another "school of thought" that is exactly the opposite: start nonimpressed to make the candidate "fight for it". In some companies it's very plain how interviewers agreed a bad cop / good cop routine in advance.
My understanding is that this isn't a criterion for choosing interviewers, even lunch interviewers. The recruiters who line up interviewers with candidates aren't in a position know the views of the interviewers; I don't know any of them barely at all.
(Disclosure: I work at Google and have conducted many interviews, but I'm speaking only for myself.)
Obviously it is to be taken into account together with a whole slew of data points -- not just in the form of online postings, but from close acquaintances who have worked there over there years.
Humans don't work like that. That single data point and the experience he had allows quite some generalization.
Maybe this isn't how you build a ML model, but that ML model won't work very well when interacting with other people.
"I think you will like it here, me I'm bailing because I can't stand it"
The fact that someone in the interview chain is willing to tell you significant negative information dramatically raises the Bayesian prior.
An interview chain is normally extremely well vetted for people who are positive-only. The fact that this failed is a dramatic cause for concern.
Having worked at four companies I have yet to see there being any serious discussions on merits of which questions to ask, the style of interview to be conducted, how to grade candidates reliably, or the amount of help and guidance to give candidates. In short as far as I can tell the whole tech interview process is generally a mess.
I have tried to push for discussions on all of the topics above and most engineers simply do not find the topic interesting enough to engage at length. There's a lot to discuss and everyone complains about the current state of the interview process across the whole field yet few do more than complain. Alas that is life.
As for vetting for "positive-only", I am not sure that's something that can even be done. Usually conducting interviews is part of your performance and you are expected to do them or it will reflect poorly on you as an employee. So every senior engineer or above typically will aim to do some amount of interviews and, let's say you are one of them and you are not very happy, when you get asked by your manager whether you are a positive employee, you are very unlikely to say no.
Also unhappiness is a pervasive quality regardless of title and you can very easily find high level managers and one year out of college engineers that are equally unhappy if you were to ask them candidly. This is a separate topic, but we as an industry have potential to make our workplaces incredibly engaging and rewarding but that potential somehow seems so very hard to achieve.
That's a huge difference from any of the places I have worked. If you didn't want to be on the interview loop, nobody in their right mind thought it would be a good idea to command you to do so.
Normally people wanted to be on the interview loop simply so they had input on the people who might become their colleagues. But there were people who wanted nothing to do with the loop and that was okay, too. Maybe you simply had too many deadlines or just were an introverted personality.
But forcing people to do the interview loop? That's seems like a recipe for disaster.
Interviewing is apparently the most popular choice to fulfill this requirement, so get ready for a glut of disinterested people interviewing you at google.
I also interviewed there last spring, but I thought it was super positive, even though I didn't get the job. I had to push myself really hard to get the onsite and I think that was beneficial to me. I have no computer science background at all and it forced me to prep intensively between interviews. So, I kind of went into it figuring I probably wouldn't get it but who knows and that it would just be good to have the experience of this super tough interview.
I learned some things! I started thinking about my job a bit differently, which is cool. Also, at the very least, the process made me better at interviews. Ha! There's always something you can take from a difficult experience (and it was for sure difficult.)
I don't think you should feel discouraged or feel bad about your abilities. It sounds like it was just a poor fit and you should be happy it didn't work out! Plus, now you've been through it once. You know what it's like. You can do it again somewhere else and it'll work out.
Good luck with Amazon!
It has not been a mistake.
As plenty of people have mentioned, more than a million people interview here every year. With that many interviews, I cannot imagine how bad some outlier horror stories can be.
In aggregate, something like 78% of people consider interviewing at Google a positive experience, despite the fact that only less than 2% of respondents actually go on to work here.
I dunno about every one else, but usually there's a high correlation with satisfaction and getting the job. The fact that hardly anyone ends up getting a job here, and the vast majority of people are satisfied seems like the process isn't terrible.
I doubt there's many companies with a better track record.
I hear nothing but good things about Microsoft recently, so I wouldn't be surprised if their numbers are better.
If 100 people apply, only a small subset move on to the phone-screen. And you need to at least take the phone screen to be given a chance to fill out the satisfaction survey. Otherwise, there's not much for you to be satisfied or not with.
I'm not sure what the percentage of people that make it to the phone screen and have a chance to fill out this survey. Let's say it's 20%. Of those 20%, only a subset actually fill out the survey. Let's say it's 33%.
So, with my napkin stats, if 100 people apply, 6.6 would fill out the survey. Of those 6.6 respondents, ~1 of them went on to work here, and is hopefully satisfied with his/her experience.
Another ~4 should be satisfied. And the other ~2.6 would be dissatisfied.
It's possible that the other ~13 people that didn't respond were all dissatisfied. But they didn't respond, so we don't know.
Hiring 1/100 applicants is not unusual for any company. Put up an ad on any job site and you'll get hundreds of resumes from across the planet. Given the low effort of putting in the initial application, the odds are not a big issue there. The interesting question is the number you seem to be guessing at, namely the odds of getting an offer after investing so much time and effort in the grueling interview process. If that's very low, then they are quite evil.
As for 2/100, I thought you meant onsite interviews, which would be especially crushing for those of us who are going to do a google onsite interview pretty soon. If its just applicants, I can’t imagine it being even that good since Google must get a lot of resumes and without a recommend your chance of being noticed isn’t that great. And with the recommend, it looks like you can skip the phone screen, further skewing the numbers.
1/100. I think that’s literally a lower acceptance rate than most top level military special forces units. People getting these offers from Google must be truly god-tier.
I walked away feeling like if I really wanted to I could knuckle down and study for longer and get a job there, but I decided it wasn't really my thing and went in other directions. Like I said, I took the studying and the subject matter as a challenge and I feel pretty pleased with how far I got considering I have a painting degree.
3 years ago i got that impression too. Google seems to be scrambling to get into cloud business believing that they are somehow entitled to success in what is a completely foreign business for them. Anyway, it was a surprise mirroring the experience of a couple acquaintances (who is in the same boat - long time enterprise software devs) - the interview wasn't a big deal and the result was an L5 with very low comp (not sure why they bothered at all offering below even regular companies not just FAANG), naturally didn't go for it. As far as i see Google runs the hiring as an academia/exec style appointment committees - those hiring/compensation committees - where one has to have the good looking on paper achievements to hit reasonably well, and the interview just gets you in the door.
that was my google onsite experience in 2013. I haven't been back and wouldn't try again.
In contrast, my Amazon interviews were extremely efficiently done, and I loved their planning around it. Quick, no-nonsense, quick turnaround.
Came back a week later to sign the paperwork after I emailed with the recruiter a few times about offer details. Started a week after that. (And then went on a one week vacation after working for only two weeks and got paid for it, because it was already scheduled).
And this wasn't an outlier. Pretty much everyone we hired had a similar timeline. Sometimes the candidates made us wait for an answer because we were so quick that they hadn't even had their first round at Google.
So they see hiring as a relatively low risk proposition and will make decisions faster since the long term effects are greatly lessened.
But even so, most people did not get fired, contrary to popular belief. I don't remember the stats, but almost no one was fired within their first year for example.
Also, interesting - if a person is a high performer for the first couple of years and then becomes a low performer - most likely something is wrong with the company and/or the particular project/team itself.
Yes, a bunch. They are some of the highest paid H1B workers in the country. 
> I mean it would be a horrible experience for such persons - firing fast (and without any notice?) would most likely result in deporting her along with her family.
That is true, but it was never with no notice. You didn't get put on an official plan, but when someone was fired it usually wasn't a surprise.
> Also, interesting - if a person is a high performer for the first couple of years and then becomes a low performer - most likely something is wrong with the company and/or the particular project/team itself.
Netflix had no issues letting people go who just weren't needed anymore. They might have been very good, just not needed.
For example when we moved from the datacenter to AWS, everyone who dealt with datacenter ops was given the option to learn AWS or get a generous severance package. Also, when we moved from relational databases to Key/Value, the DBAs were asked if they wanted to learn to managed Key/Value stores instead, or if they wanted to look for new jobs.
Interesting, looking at the data, besides a couple 350K-400K (which is a norm at Netflix), they seem to be underpaid compared to non-H1Bs (i.e. the norm). Also, considering that "all in cash, no benefits/bonuses" policy of Netflix, H1B base salary data is indeed a total payment.
Even those living 500+ miles away?
Do you mean based on the short talk during lunch? That must be quite a stressful lunch I guess :)
It would explain why I've never been contacted by either. I have no expert level skills in things they're interested in. (I've mostly worked at startups - breadth over depth)
But most companies hire for a specific position. The way Google does it is the outlier.
Google's interview process is notoriously bad for some folks, and that is absolutely true and something Google tries to fix. And there are absolutely plenty of unhappy people. Even if the odds are very low that any particular person is unhappy (and they aren't), the total probability across the company is quite high.
On the other hand, you don't hold on thousands of workers--most of whom has many, many choices of place to work--if you aren't doing _something_ right.
So the experience is valid, but generalizing is tricky.
One complaint that I have seen over and over (even in this thread) is his frustrating moment #3: "Google doesn't respect your time". That's of course entirely subjective and many people may be ok with months of preparation, days of interviews and weeks of waiting for feedback (with recruiters occasionally going dark for months). But many folks are justifiably irked.
Most recently was this past June and I have to say that while the process was protracted, they did do a pretty good job of keeping me informed along the way. Eventually, I accepted an offer elsewhere as it seemed like they intended to under-level me and the choosing the team after the fact really doesn't work for me.
Most people think you have to go in and regurgitate a solution you memorized, but really most interviewers are looking to see your process working through the problem.
They do an initial quick screener, and then a one day interview. Not really sure how much more they could do to respect your time.
The point is that in this world of billions, there are enough who will like the way Google works to imply that Google is NOT doing anything special.
Sounds like you're deep in the GOOG machinery. Good luck to you bro.
Probably one inherent benefit of a process this shitty, in addition to whatever benefits of the criteria they're selecting for, is that selected candidates identify more strongly with their co-workers and with the company than they otherwise would (see: Cialdini's Persuasion on the benefits of hazing)
I'm not sure this is a great way to hire engineers, but at the same time I'm sure it feels pretty familiar to people fresh from grad school.
I don't think anyone cares and there is no reason to make them read the wrong title.
Exactly. The only successes or failures we care about are our own. Very rarely do we even think of someone else's embarrassing moments. We are all pretty self-centered and that's liberating in a way.
"I was worried about what people think of me, but now I know they don't think about me at all."
Most people (especially if they didn't win the birth lottery by being born in CA, USA) go to schools and colleges for YEARS and YEARS to come even a few steps towards what you can get at Google and FAANGS by working for a month or two to prepare for the interview.
Take a step back and consider just how damn pampered we are in this business when doing exercies for a few weeks before interview for a 250.000$+ job is too much for you.
So yeah, you can spend ages preparing for an interview, but remember you're probably topping your odds out. A genius well prepared might have a 90% success rate, if they don't prepare that's 0%. But not many of us are a genius and none of us are 0% prepared. So maybe you're actually boosting your odds from 40% to 50%.
Then finally, you've got your dream job! Oh but actually 3 things are possibly true. 1: You're surrounded by people who walked the interview in which case you are going to be sprinting to keep up and actually your job is going to be incredibly difficult. 2: You're surrounded by people who also had to desparately prep for the interview for months- so none of you are well suited to the job, actually google is interviewing for the wrong things and actually your life is going to be tough. And 3: Anyone who can't afford to spend months prepping for Google won't be working with you- anyone with any responsibility in their personal life probably won't be able to afford to do this stupid prep work and so they're simply never going to work there, so you're now in this homogenous leet code clique.
This is a pretty steep exaggeration.
Living in SV your expenses will roughly be at least $45k/yr.
So you save $135k/yr (180 - 45). That's great, but a far cry from being a millionaire in just a few years.
Of course as you get promoted your comp increases, hitting $500k gross at L5, but that takes more than a couple years to achieve.
My effective tax rate is much closer to 30% than 40%, but I'm married so I get a bit of a break vs. being single since there's a big gap between my income and my wife's income.
Even so, $135k per year post-tax, post-expenses is a fantastic amount of savings.
This is much more than I made pre-tax, pre-expenses earlier in my career.
Just having access to $135k means you're more or less a millionaire if you invest it and never need to dip into your investments.
The S&P 500 has averaged around 10% or so over the last 90+ years. Over 30 years, at a 7% growth rate, you'd have $1 million in savings with no additional contributions, assuming I didn't screw up my math.
With such a high income sustained for just a few years, it'd be hard to screw up later in life so long as you avoid the hedonistic treadmill.
Who's paying 40% taxes on $300k/year? Your math is wrong straight off the bat. Including 401k and match, this hypothetical person is making at least $200k after taxes. Even more if they're married or have a dependent or two.
And as others have noted, $135k/year will make you a millionaire in 7 years even if it's cash under your mattress. You'll make it there even faster if you invest it in an index fund like most people would do.
People in California.
> $135k/year will make you a millionaire in 7 years
Yea if you are a person who somehow has 0 expenses over the course of those 7 years. Again, all but impossible in California.
The only way you'll end up with a tax bill that large is if you contribute $0 to tax-advantaged retirement accounts. And that's taking into account state taxes, SSI/Medicare. You don't have to believe me, try it out yourself. https://smartasset.com/taxes/california-tax-calculator. Putting in $300k of income for a single person, it gave me $175k take-home pay + $19k in a 401k, which is an effective rate of 35%. Keep in mind, I'm not including the 401k match, which is pretty darned generous at the BigCos. If we assume the max allowed IRS match ($9.5k or thereabouts) the effective rate falls to 32% and this hypothetical person is banking $145k/year after living expenses.
Lots of people (especially young, healthy people) also opt for health plans with HSAs, which give you more deductions.
> a person who somehow has 0 expenses
Where did you get 0 expenses from? GP stated pretty clearly expenses of $45k/year - on the modest side (probably assumes living with a housemate, or not eating out too much). I was going with $60k/year expenses on $195k/year after taxes.
I've lived in Silicon Valley my entire life, except for when I was in college, and I don't think my living expenses ever got close to $45k/yr until I bought a house, which was an entirely optional decision on my part.
There are people I know who live in the bay area on less than 45K/yr in wages, so no its not at all absurd.
Heck assume spending $70k/year on $205k/year after taxes and 401k + match. It's still $135k/year. I don't know why you're arguing against arithmetic.
Realistically you're going to do 401(k) and match so you're probably taking home a bit over 200k. Allow 50k/yr living expenses and you'll have another 150/yr or so. Quite plausible to bank 1 million in 5 or 6 years with these numbers.
Also, stock appreciation. A $500k grant last year is worth $640k this year.
A FANG developer in London has even more opportunities
Max out your pension (Tax relief at 40%) plus presumably an employer match around 5-8%
Put £20k a year into a Stocks and Shares ISA - which puts that beyond tax for income and CGT (apart from stamp duty on share purchases)
Put £30k into premium bonds and than start thinking about VCT's and EIS
This is ignoring any shares scheme you are in
I'm not really sure why you keep pushing back on all of this. It's just how the math works.
The short version is, if you make $300k year if you are careful with the money you can have 1 million in savings in (conservatively) 6-8 years just by doing the obvious things, assuming reasonably similar market conditions.
Depends on what you do at Google.
Google Guava is a data-structure/algorithms-heavy great Java library.
Dart and Golang are programming languages. I'd imagine you have to know how to write a compiler etc and the standard library definitely has sections for data-structure and algorithms.
They pay tons of money and prefer people to stick around and do different things within the company so I guess that's why they set the bar high for that specific section of skillset (algorithms and data structure).
Some people are willing to go through that for the Money, Prestige, and hopefully the experience. Some people don't. That's life.
I imagine they have multiple PhDs working on those projects. For your bog standard SDE these interviews have very little to do with the day-to-day job.
Separately, I'm sorry the original poster had a crappy experience: that does sound awful. It happens, unfortunately, and I'm glad they drew attention to it.
Disclosure: I work at Google.
How confident are you about that assertion?
A lot of Googlers are doing generic web/app work that happens elsewhere from those I've talked to.
Not HQ tho so maybe it's different out there
If you truly believe that "no one is writing basic CRUD apps at Google", then their marketing has been incredibly effective and explains why their interview process remains the way it is
This is like claiming nobody at Amazon or Facebook works on CRUD apps, lol.
If influencing democratic elections is your idea of interesting, sure.
Disclosure: I worked at Google twice.
I figured I'd give it another go with more experience, so the second time I was hired at L5 (expected to be leading teams). Liked it even less the second time, but stuck around for about 2 years for logistical reasons.
In my experience at Google and other large companies, the team you join ends up dictating your experience. I would be open to a third stint at Google, but would be very careful about vetting the team (especially the leadership).
Having said that, I don't think I like the culture at Google. Especially the second time, it felt very mercenary and there was cutthroat competition. It didn't feel like I was working on a cohesive vision, but just moving protobufs around. I think I preferred Google when Eric was CEO, maybe because it was smaller, but it felt like Larry was running Google with too much emphasis on the bottom line and not enough on product or vision.
There aren’t enough good problems to go around and a lot of folks who were promised the world end up bored, working on just another mobile app or whatever else.
I see this style of interview questions pretty frequently and I really question their effectiveness, vs say something more open ended and fluid.
Problem is someone else will. And there's no easy fix.
If there was an easy way for a group of uncoordinated people (applicants) to coordinate against bullshit (stupid-long interviewing processes sometimes unrelated to the job and other stuff) we could solve many of this world's problems, don't you think?
But yes we do have tons of jobs and IME most places don't do this crap. So that's nice, compared with how other workers have it. Though you won't get anywhere remotely near FAANG comp without encountering those sorts of hazing, high-prep, high-variability interviews.
I bet investment bank or hedge fund jobs are/were just as tough for anyone to apply to and get.
Get some perspective, c'mon :(
This isn't very compelling. Qualifications are a different bar. Perspective indeed.
I personally think that that's a feature, not a bug, we don't actually need that many bright people working for companies like Google given how much data they have available (the same goes for FB).
> Problem is someone else will. And there's no easy fix.
Isn't that... eventually... Google's problem that their interview process is putting of substantial numbers of engineers?
EDIT: Just, in general, it would be pretty difficult to commit time to such a task when it's more fulfilling to work on personal side projects (and potentially leverage that for employment offers).
Or if you, I dunno... have a child. That's something that (as a relatively new parent) leaps out at me with interview requirements like this. It feels like you need to get a job at Google before becoming a parent, or you're going to need to wait until your kid is in high school.
This isn't about going in for a one day interview. It's about the huge amount of time required for the interview preparation that comes long before an actual interview. As the post I replied to said:
> even if you were to ignore the upfront preparation costs just the timeline (months with not much indication)
And the fact that it isn't just one day of interviews, as the post details it's multiple interviews, some remote, some in person.
All of these things are an absolutely enormous time suck.
Google doesn’t need you. They probably already have a clone of you. They have gobs of rank-and-file SWE effort on reserve should one of their key products fail.
The process is designed to entertain the hiring manager and certain key employees. They don’t want you for your productivity. They want you for the chance that you help surround one of their favorites with things they like so that this other guy doesn’t bounce elsewhere. This other Googler likely already has a competing offer— that’s how he got promoted last year.
At this stage, if Google hires you, you are almost certainly being used to aid in the retention of somebody else. You’re going straight for the bench.
Don’t prepare for months for just Google; prepare for your own future. Don’t let Google hijack your capacity for critical thinking.
"At this stage, if Google hires you, you are almost certainly being used to aid in the retention of somebody else. You’re going straight for the bench."
I mean, just wow. Do you really believe this? This is fantasy to an incredible degree.
* Google's current hiring process lag from first contact to start date is 4-6 months. That's based on reports in Blind and a couple of recent hires I know. That lag is double that of large competitors. Google wants to make candidates wait in order to appear more exclusive. "Projects need staffing"-- clearly not as much as Google needs to maintain its brand.
* "You're going straight to the bench." This is based on a variety of comments, some posted here, some from former Google PMs and SWEs I know. It takes more than a year to get a project that most people consider meaningful. Some have different expectations upon joining, though.
* "you are almost certainly being used to aid in the retention of somebody else." I used to work with an ex-Googler who had a large role in Google's Ads team. He couldn't code very well, and routinely struggled to have accurate assessment of senior engineers. It's questionable how he passed the SWE interview bar at Google. But he was "good looking" and "affable" (he once appeared in a vanity magazine in a shirtless photo shoot). He routinely claimed that his female Google superiors hit on him. Other ex-Googlers told me there where many people in the office who seemed to be "fluff" for everybody else.
The bottom line: Google prides itself (excessively) on having a uniform brand, yet is large enough today that the long tail of "out-of-brand people" is quite large. When you submit your resume to Google, you're feeding their index and ranking of all-of-SWE humanity (literally-- they heavily apply ML to their resume pool). Don't get brainwashed with the brand, and think critically before letting a _company_ have this sort of power over people.
But after all, most of the newer Google products really seem to be there just to entertain their own people and give them something to do. No one can tell me, for example, that there was a serious business case behind Google Allo.
No matter how you see the ink blot, everybody should be exercising their critical thinking skills, especially when it comes to the hiring process. Don't take things at face value; and don't take things too seriously. Don't let the brand or hype of any company disarm you of your ability to question the process, nor of your ability to invest yourself in your own passions.
Hahaha no. Please talk to a hiring manager at Google, especially if they're trying to fill an even slightly niche role, about how tough it is to get anybody through the hiring process.
Also, for "generic" roles like SWE, the hiring manager has literally no input into the process: the hiring takes place first, and team allocation only happens afterwards.
Since you are comparing to AWS, do you have any source for apparently lots of products that were killed in Google Cloud?
Also not totally fair because Google has provided a ton of free web apps and Amazon hasn't, but I think it feels more personal when Google removes something that provides a daily quality of life improvement for many people.
I could compare it to a company like Cloudflare, who do offer lots of different public, free services (even if their market is different) and don't seem to have shut anything down.
Maybe not the best analogy either, but the problem is no other company has the kind of breadth of free public consumer-facing services that Google has, so no analogy would work. On one hand that could be a defense, by saying what Google's doing is unique and risky so sudden cancellations are to be expected. But on the other hand who knows how another company might handle a similar situation; we have no way of knowing.
Source? I'm very skeptical this is true. I am not a huge fan of Google's promotion process but it isn't that bad.
Joe Beda, one of the creators of Kubernetes, had a giant competing offering from Facebook. Turned it down to stay at Google, got some more freedom, and now we have Kubernetes (!).
If you look on Blind, there is plenty of discussion of using counter offers to force the promo process to work.
Moreover, promo decisions are made by a committee of engineers who don't work with you -- they have no incentive to even care about your outside offer.
The promo process is fairly opaque, so there's no way someone would know if the committee or manager took a competing offer into account or if they "forced it".
It seems more likely they were qualified and the timing was coincidental with the competing offer.
Is this public knowledge? Otherwise, I think it is uncool to talk about other people's situations on a public forum without their approval.
I enjoyed the write-up but I have a small correction to make about "Frustrating moment #2. You can pass every interview with A grades and still not get a job, because a senior Googler decides that you're the wrong person to be hired."
The author is referring to hiring committees, whose job it is to take the feedback from every interview and make a hire/no-hire decision based on the blended results. I've done hundreds of interviews at Google and I've never seen universally positive interview feedback result in a no-hire decision.
The problem is that most feedback is not universally positive (or negative). So the hiring committee has to dissect the feedback and try to figure out if the identified negatives are (1) credible and (2) sufficient to be disqualifying. That can be pretty difficult (especially if the feedback is contradictory) and why a committee does it rather than the recruiter or hiring manager.
The first interview put me in contact with a recruiter who would basically be my guide throughout the process, at first he asked me some basic questions to feel out where I was weak and then told me to prepare those weaknesses for the next round.
The next round was 2 phone interviews, lasting about an hour each and over different days, one focused on my programming skills (of which, I have little because sysadmins don't typically do anything relating to data structures) and the second one was surrounding linux internals and debugging (which I was very strong on).
I spent roughly 2 working days worth of time preparing for them.
Preparing for the on-site was pleasant, I was put in touch with another google recruiter who ensured I knew where I was going and what I was doing, they told me that I'd be there the whole day and while they couldn't tell me what I would be asked/who I would meet/what to prepare; they gave me an approximation of the _kind_ of questions, very broadly.
I spent roughly 18 working days preparing in my weak areas, including leetcode/data structures and reading comp-sci papers (paxos and ilk).
On the day, I went through about 5, 1-hour long interviews that focused on various aspects of SRE (one of them being 'googliness'), some were about distributed systems (where the interviewer got hung up on the fact that I said I would use postgres instead of making my own database) and others were heavily programmer focused (linux internals was more about knowing the implementation of 'ls', scripting was all about the kinds of questions you get on leetcode).
I'm not going to lie, it was gruelling, and I'm typically pretty comfortable interviewing;
I thought I'd be fine with these interviews because I'm considered to be "shit hot" in sysadmin/writing glue by my peers, but I guess not, as I'm not a Google-SRE. :)
(sidenote: everything in TFA rings true, including the tips, google recruiters are quite transparent about your process. But they also said that the last stage is not the interview, it's roughly 5 hiring committees that are looking at your application "package" through different lenses)
My brother hires for a consulting firm and he was talking about how there really is a shortage of talent out there. That's true, but in an earlier era, companies would hire a bunch of people out of college and spend resources training them. I know there are a lot of intelligent people out there who would be more than capable of performing if the entry bar wasn't set so high. Unfortunately, I guess that model doesn't work in the era of job hopping.
Exceptional talent is rare. There's only a shortage if you're unreasonable. Lots of employers are some combination of apathetic, unreasonable, or plain ol' lazy. It costs them nothing to fish for talent for 6-12 months, accept hundreds of applications, and then complain when a unicorn didn't come along who was willing to take at or below market rate.
It's so many distributed databases around there, no one is better than one good PostgreSQL for the majority of uses cases.
Actually, I'd probably do the same.
Huh? Google thinks it's valuable for their SREs to be hand-writing databases in place of industry standards? SREs specifically?
Sure, PostgreSQL scales relatively nicely on single nodes but I chose it because it has a write-ahead log, strong transaction isolation and b-tree indexing, which would have been useful given the question I had.
Edit: Note that there were SRE's working on these things as well, infrastructure teams are often mixes of SWE's and SRE's and their roles overlap somewhat, sometimes SRE's builds entire things themselves because they understand the production environment better.
My solution was dependent on splitting the data into sub-categories; for the bulk of the data I was going to use idempotent sharding based on a unique key, I said I would have implemented it as a SHA1 of a userID modulus'd by 512, with 512 being the upper bound on the number of shards/machines, (or a multiple of that; at the scale I was given it would have worked).
I then went into detail about how much a single machine would need to ingest and my own experience with postgresql performance, I also spoke at length about what the maximum theoretical volume of data was for a single DC (however, that was "not important" the recruiter indicated I had a magic datacenter that did not have problems with cross-connecting many, many hundreds of GB/s in a mesh).
Frankly, I already build global solutions in my day job, sure they're not google scale, but they're built to order, quite cost effective and what's more important: they function very well and are engineered to the point where we know beyond reasonable doubt that they will perform as needed on day 1. (I work with always-online video games, the first day is the worst day, scalability wise)
Well, then this is different than your original description, I'd need to get more details about the problem but he is right that machine to machine connections in a data center doesn't scale very well. This might not be a problem at the scales you are used to but it is a problem at Google scale. This is a very common problem that is not obvious at first when you work with data centers, I guess he just assumed that you would know this. Knowing your background you would probably adapt to it quickly on the job, but I guess they just asked the same question to every experienced SRE they got?
Edit: Another problem with your solution is that you used a static sharding strategy and didn't consider that increasing demand in the future would force you to reshard the database. Downtime might be accepted in the video game industry, and there you most likely wont even get much more demand than day 1, but using sharding strategies which lets you reshard in real time without downtime is more or less a must on the projects I worked on.
The interviewer probably saw my use of technology as a cop-out and wanted to challenge it. When I told him why I chose it he probably just took it as unwillingness to change my position.
It is very possible that I poorly communicated the fact that my position was completely mutable.
EDIT: the magic datacenter was the interviewer removing that as a constraint. I did not indicate that _I_ had a magic datacenter and I kept challenging the limits of networking, which was handwaved away.
Also, I heard that I have only two remaining attempts of on-site at Google
This is a good enough reason for me to stay away tbh. I did not hear this from my recruiter.
In contrast, Microsoft was much more professional and a real pleasure to interview at. They have been really interested and all the engineers I talked to have been great.
Disclosure: Did not decide for any of these - went for a smaller company as it was overall what seemed best for me. Did not regret my choice even though the Microsoft offer is something I'd love to try out in a parallel universe.
A recruiter sent me a bunch of questionnaires to fill out and then connected me with a Tech Lead for the initial phone interview. The Tech Lead introduced himself and the position, said the position was available in 2 locations (neither of which were my preferred location), and that was that.
I followed up with the recruiter and she expressed surprise, since she saw the same job posting I did.
A couple days later, Microsoft's site tells me I was not chosen for the job, no further information.
But of course, that's just one experience, and it's a large company, and all that. Maybe I'll apply for something else there.
Microsoft and Google interview thousands and thousands of engineers monthly, do not try to generalize the interview experience for everyone based on your one anecdotal experience (or that of a few friends) and naively assume it's that same way for everyone else.
Seems like a lot of engineers there get the job after many months of (unpaid) preparation and years of interviewing many times. I can understand doing this for one's dream job, but my issue with the whole thing is that you don't even know what group you'll be placed in, which is in stark contrast with the interviews at most other companies. I'm not spending months practicing Leetcode questions and going through some hazing interview process only to potentially be placed in some boring group working on something super specific and uninteresting.
However, 10,000 other people are ready to.
It's just a game of supply and demand.
I'm sorry, but this made me laugh quite a bit