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How the hell do you build hardware remotely?

"The majority of people here are doing low-level systems programming, usually networking related, and a handful of people are doing data analysis (call it big data, if you like) to figure out how to optimize Google's next generation hardware and software platforms."

If you're doing firmware/software people can just mail you devkits, proto boards.

devkits and proto boards do have bugs, especially during the early iterations. There are many occasions that I (firmware engineer) need to sit down with FPGA/Hardware engineers to figure out why the system is not performing as designed, sometimes it is firmware issue, sometimes it is hardware, and it was the combination of firmware/hardware and ambient temperature!! It is way more ineffective to perform this kind of debugging with someone in a remote site.

That could be quite time inefficient, depending on where you live...

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