Name yourself or stop with the ad hominem attacks. Thanks.
You know nothing about my situation, nor why I left Google. Please stop speculating. Even I never found out what calibration score I got. My manager promised a 3.4, gave something lower (his boss confirmed) and it was being appealed at the time I left. Call it -6.2 for all I care.
I was in the process of internal transfer and it was going alright; however, I got an offer from another company and left. I figured that a clean start would be better than an HR file that, while it wouldn't affect me in the short term, would have long-term implications come promo time and that it'd take months of grueling, bureaucratic effort (some of dubious ethical character) for me to fix.
It was like this: Option A is that I transfer, stay at Google, but may have an early-term smear of my Perf history and might have to cut bribes to people with HR database access in a few years when I rise to a level where even early, cosmetic, irrelevant stuff counts. Option B is that I get another job. Option A is unethical and unlikely to work. Option B is much easier. So I chose B.
Some time after I left, Google did something about a few horrible managers on the issues that I'd raised, but I don't know how much progress they've made and it makes no damn difference to me at this point.
Sorry but that's complete and utter crap.
If you had transferred to another group and consistently performed well no promo committee would have cared about what happened in your first few months. If anything they would have looked at it and thought something along the lines of "well he had a rough first few months, but since then he's been kicking butt. Either his first team was a bad fit, or he learned and grew since then."
Promo committees (and hiring committees for that matter) have to sort through conflicting feedback all of the time. When you're on a promo/hiring committee you are constantly "reading through" the feedback to look for patterns and trends, and trying to build a broader context to help interpret any outliers. A bad patch early on wouldn't have mattered, as long as your trajectory afterwards was positive.
Many (very) senior developers offered to sit down and talk with you privately. I'm sure if you had taken them up on their offers they would have said the same thing. There is nothing that happened in your months here that couldn't have been fixed by transferring to a group that was a better fit and focusing more on producing great software than on posting to the internal mailing lists.
Michael, you're complaining about rude attacks the day after you wrote "Choke on a fucking taint, Google. Choke. On. A. Taint" at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5508058 ?
Ad hominem attacks usually involve asymmetry of public identity and often place a target between two undesirable options: (a) letting the attacks stand, or (b) further exposing information that's irrelevant to the discussion and possibly compromising, especially with the persistence of the Internet.
I am fine with rudeness. In fact, in many circumstances, I encourage it.
If I said, "Google is a hellhole and you'll hate your life", then I'd be a liar because some people get great managers and the best projects and Google is really awesome for them.
What I do intend to say is that Google's HR infrastructure and upper management (at least on the people-management front) are irresponsibly bad at their jobs. That usually won't affect you if you have a string of good managers. If you land in the wrong spot, though, look out because there won't be any competent to fix the problem.
Google has a lot of ways it could become a great company again (open allocation) but for now, I'm going to come out and continue to say that their upper management (again, at least on people management) is disastrously bad and they are singularly responsible for ruining what used to be and still could be a great company.
I'm sorry, but I'm not going to let these assholes destroy billions of dollars in value and get away with it.
It'd be really nice if HN was not one of those circumstances.