Tags: , , | Posted by Admin on 5/9/2010 10:03 AM | Comments (0)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2dMmdewRxE&feature=player_embedded Want to apply for a job at Google? Fitz and Ben from Google’s Chicago office share useful tips that might help get your résumé noticed by the hiring managers at Google. One of the key things they stress upon in this video is open-source. If you are a software engineer who’s fresh out of college with no job experience, get yourself involved in some open-source project, contribute code and that may improve your chances of landing a job interview.
Tags: , , , | Posted by Admin on 7/19/2009 10:28 PM | Comments (0)
If you’ve gotten through the first job interview and you’re moving on toward the second one, the odds of being hired have just gone up. With that in mind, you really want to be prepared for that second job interview. The questions will be tougher and things will be more complex in a second interview. Make sure that you dress appropriately and that you are on time. You probably did that for the first interview, too, but make sure you do it for the second one, since that’s likely going to be where the final decision is made about hiring you or hiring someone else who presented himself or herself better. If you find that you’ll be late for your interview for any reason, call ahead. Let someone know. That’s much more responsible than breezing in the door fifteen minutes after your scheduled appointment time and saying you’re sorry you’re late but traffic was bad, etc. Another thing you should do is make sure you know about the company before you go to that second interview. You can’t know everything, but you can Google the company and read what is said about it. You can visit its Website if it has one. You can also see if it has a Wikipedia entry. If it’s a big company, it probably does - and some smaller companies do, too. While it’s never wise to believe everything you read on the Internet, this kind of information will give you a lot of knowledge about the company overall, and you’ll notice things that don’t match up properly. If you’ve done anything very important in between a first and second interview, such as received an award or completed your degree, be sure to update your resume and bring the new one to your interview. There’s no shame in letting your potential employer know that you’re still moving forward with your goals. It shows your desire to work, and that’s important. Ultimately, relax and be honest at a second interview. Think about what kind of salary you’re really looking for, and know what’s common for that position. You might be asked about it. Honest answers are very important for success. This article was written by Tom Sangers on behalf of Martin Ward Anderson who offer recruitment services for finance jobs Original story
Tags: | Posted by Admin on 9/9/2008 1:24 PM | Comments (0)
The New York Times reports that Google engineers try to improve finding good job candidates by assigning an automated quality score to applications. Maybe that’s not a bad idea if you receive over 100,000 job applications every single month; the NYT reports that the past hiring process often took months to consider candidates, and judging grades and interview performance turn out to be a sub-optimal way of finding the best people. What Google did now was to ask its existing employees to provide their “personality data” covering a wide array of topics – everything from “is your work space messy” to “what pets do you have.” Now they connected this “biodata” with the employee’s performance (aggregated using another 25 separate approaches on its own), and boom – if you believe in the magic of significant overlaps in statistics, you now know whether or not you ought to hire messy people with dogs (pictured above, sort of). Specifically, having a pet didn’t turn out to significantly correlate with work qualities... other features turned out to be relevant, though. Still, the NYT says for Google it’s too early to tell if the system, in action since a couple of months, is really working... and some Googlers don’t even like this approach too much. Oh well, I guess it’s better to automatically screen applicants for more than just their educational grades, e.g. to check if they started a couple of websites, a club, or if they published a book (disclosure: my own biodata definitely skews me towards believing that university’s not the only good measure for successful workers!). When I was judging tech applications at my old company – yeah, like judging 10 people a month is comparable to judging 100,000! – I’d always screen a candidate’s online record... did they create interesting websites? Are they active in web discussion boards? Did they ask lots of technical questions in usenet newsgroups? I’m getting very suspicious if someone derives all their knowledge from often outdated traditional (German) learning courses or (German) tech books, and then doesn’t feel the need to try out this knowledge for hobby projects. In the kind of day-to-day web development I was involved in, it is often more successful to know the right strategies of how to find new information quickly than to rely on whatever you were taught years ago... and often, people acquire this knowledge when working on beloved projects of their own at home.
Tags: , , , , , , , | Posted by Admin on 8/14/2007 8:35 PM | Comments (2)
This a follow-up to my previous post about my interview process with Google. Once a post gets as long as that one did, I’m sure to forget to say some things. Rather than updating that post, I thought I had enough new to say to warrant a new post. First is the picture I got of their development process. There are plenty of other places on the Internet about their development process, so I won’t go into detail about what they told me–it pretty much matches up with the available information. It really sounds like they try to match the amount of process required to the specific project at hand. Projects with a huge public impact have lots of process (Google’s front page, indexing, etc.), while those that are newer and much lower impact (stuff in the Labs section, and even graduates of the Labs) have a much more flexible, agile process, designed to get improvements out the door very quickly. I like that–no mandatory bureaucracy where it doesn’t make sense. Aside from process, however, it seems that they are very intent on giving developers an environment designed to help them succeed. From what I understood, the company actively tries to remove stupid barriers to productivity (needless paperwork, poor IT, bad workstations) and give you whatever you need to do your job how you think best. Obviously, there are rules and standards, but it just sounded more flexible. It really sounded like an ideal development environment: Obstacles removed, needs granted. Now, how much of that is the official “show” they put on for all interviews, who knows, but Google is obviously doing something right. Bottom-line is that Google is a company of engineers for engineers. They’re the ones in charge of what the company does. That is a very nice place to be if you love coding. Also, I should mention that the Google Boston office is MUCH smaller than their Mountain View headquarters. The way things are done, while it will still be “Googly”, will most likely have a different feel and pace than at headquarters. I had read many reports on the web about how people worked late hours, on weekends, and basically sacrificed their lives for the company. I did NOT get that impression in Boston. They were definitely smart and very hard working, but it sounded more like the company was flexible and if you got your work done, who cares? (That’s the way things ought to be done for sufficiently self-motivated employees). I did ask about inordinate over-time (mistake on my part?) and work-life balance and I came away with a satisfactory impression. Whether this means Boston is special, or the accounts I read on the Internet were not representative, I don’t know. Probably a lot of the latter, for sure. I also wanted to address my final link in my last post. I know it can be a little disappointing to read that kind of post and realize it’s not talking about you, because you’re interviewing for jobs. I wouldn’t take it too literally. Maybe my link text is a little black and white. I think the principle is definitely valid, though. The better you are, the more freedom you have to choose where you work and what you work on and the less chance your going to fall into a company’s hiring process. It’s really more about statistics from a company’s point of view of finding the best, not necessarily for individuals. Hopefully, that’s all I have to say on the subject, but if you have questions, just leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them! Original story
Tags: , , , , , , , | Posted by Admin on 8/14/2007 9:06 AM | Comments (18)
A few months ago I received an e-mail from a recruiter at Google asking for an opportunity to talk to me about available development positions. Needless to say, I was pretty excited. I’m fairly happy in my current job, but–it’s GOOGLE. You don’t say no to an interview opportunity at Google. I’m writing this account in order to contribute to the meager resources available on the Internet about the Google interview experience. I signed an NDA, so I’m not going to say what the specific questions were, but I think I can give a pretty good idea of my experience. I apologize right now for the length. I traded a few e-mails with a recruiter in Mountain View. I had a phone conversation with him, wherein he asked me general questions about my skills, desired work locations (giving me a choice of Santa Monica, Mountain View, and Boston). I have no desire to live in California, so I chose Boston. I was then passed to another recruiter, who setup a phone interview with an engineer in Mountain View. There was a false start, when they couldn’t do the interview at the original time, so we postponed. The phone interview went very quickly. He was very nice and asked about my specific talents, things I enjoy doing, and projects I’d worked on–especially those I listed on my resume. He asked about the ray tracer I wrote in college, since he had an interest in that. He also asked some general questions about the stuff I do for work. Then he got into the technical question. It was an interesting problem, and I asked follow-up questions, talked out loud, wrote things down in front of me (and told him what I was writing and why). I immediately thought of the naive solution–always a good place to start. He was interested in the asymptotic complexity. I knew there were better ways of doing it, so I started thinking of optimizations to the algorithm, trying to come up with ways of caching information, reusing previously-computed values, etc. He gave me some gentle prodding, and I think I understood immediately where he was going. I answered the question fairly well, I though. And that was it–just a single question. I was surprised. The entire thing lasted less than 30 minutes. I was almost disappointed, and thought–”well, that’s that–I won’t hear back.” I really wasn’t expecting any follow-up. The next week, I got an e-mail from my recruiter who said I had impressed and was going to get the opportunity for an in-person interview in Boston! They hooked me up to a travel coordinator, as well as the recruiter in Boston. Very exciting. I had a convenient time to go, so I set that up, took time off from work and went up to Boston, staying in the Cambridge Marriott. Very nice hotel. 40″ flat screen TV in the room ( which I never turned on). All expenses paid for, of course. I did have to pay for hotel and food up front, and save the receipts. (And yes, I promptly received a reimbursement check from them a few weeks after I sent them in.) I arrived on Monday afternoon, figured out Logan International (a very confusing airport, I thought), and got myself to Cambridge, in the heart of MIT, an hour or so later. I checked in, then went walking. I found the building Google is in on the very next block from the hotel. They have a floor in a building that MIT leases to startups, tech incubators, and the like. There are plenty of news articles about the Google Boston office–just…you know, Google for them. I walked past the ultimate geek bookstore– Quantum Books. Discount tech books. COOL. I would definitely have to stop there later. Then I got some cheap, awful Chinese food at the food court right under the hotel. Why? When I could go out on Google’s dime? I think I was just tired and wanted to get back to the hotel soon and start studying. I ate dinner in the room, took pictures of the wonderful view of the Boston skyline. Studying What did I study? I brought two books with me: Robert Sedgewick’s Algorithms in C++, and a C++ reference manual. I went over advanced C++ topics, STL, simple sorting and searching algorithms, properties of graphs, big-O, and anything else that popped into my head. By far the most valuable thing I did was write out algorithms before-hand. I picked something and wrote it out by hand in a notebook. It was hard going at first, but I knew it was the best thing I could do to prepare. I did selection and insertion sort in both array and list form. I did string reversal, bit reversal, bit counting, and binary search. All by hand, without looking in a book at all. As well you might know those simple algorithms, it’s harder than it sounds. I went to bed relatively early–9:30, and woke up the next morning at about 6. I went to breakfast in the hotel restaurant, got a rather large meal, and then headed to my room to study more. I wrote more algorithms and redid some I had done the previous night. Oh, I also wrote down in my notebook (beginning on the plane ride up) questions for Google, as well as answers to questions they could ask me (standard interview fare–projects, favorite project, languages, strengths, passions, getting along with people). My interview was scheduled for 10 am–I checked out at 9:30 and left with my bag (I had everything in a single bag I could carry–it was very heavy) and sat in a little square for a few minutes. At about 9:50, I went in, took the elevator, and was greeted with ... google. The Google Dr. Seuss land! Yes, that was my first thought. I think the door was green, the reception area was very colorful. The receptionist was very nice and asked me to sign in on a computer, which printed a name badge for me. They had some research papers by Google employees on a wall, so I grabbed a couple (their hard drive failure study, and map/reduce). After a few minutes, my Boston recruiter came out and greeted me, offered me a drink from their free fridge, and took me to a small conference room, furnished, it appears, from Ikea. It was simple, clean, and very nice. There was a white board. I would get to know that whiteboard very well. My first interviewer came in and we got started. I talked about my projects for a bit, they answered my questions, and then we got to the problem. Each interviewer asked me to solve a single problem (could be some sub-problems involved), and I had to do it on paper or on the board. I wrote C/C++ code. They take note of what you write and ask you further questions, especially if your first solution isn’t optimal. I tried to take extra care with my code and not let stupid mistakes creep through. I used good variable/function names, made sure my braces matched, and I ran through the algorithm on the board once I had written it. The first interview was one of the toughest. I was more nervous. I think I made more mistakes–I didn’t see things as quickly as I did later. I had three interviews before lunch. They then handed me off to someone else who would not be evaluating me, but would just be an escort for lunch. The Google cafeterias in Mountain View are legendary, but the Boston office is far too small to warrant such lavishness. Instead, they have a catered lunch every day. It was wonderful. They also have all the free drinks and candy you could want, available all the time. I spent much of the time asking my escort questions about Google, what he was working on (couldn’t tell me), the area, the office, the commute. We were also joined by the head of the office, who didn’t realize I was an interviewee, and we had a nice conversation as well. Lunch was an hour, and then I was back in the conference room. I had two more interviews. Then the recruiter came back in at about 3:15 or so and debriefed me–asked me my impressions, how I felt. I reiterated what I had told him on the phone previously, and that morning before we started: that I was trying to take this as easy and nonchalantly as possible, to have fun, and learn, and let it be a good experience. I had a job that I enjoyed, and didn’t NEED this one, but I think I would do well there and enjoy it very much. They came to me, after all. I think by the end of the day, I was really pulling that off well. Once I got over my nervousness in the first interview, I really did have fun and enjoy it. General Notes They didn’t ask me any stupid questions. None of this “what’s your biggest weakness?” garbage. Not even the recruiter asked me anything like that. Nothing silly at all. They also didn’t ask me easy technical questions. They got right into the problems and the code. I had to describe an algorithm for something and write code for it. It was serious, they were all nice–I met people with serious reputations online. I felt like they were respecting me as a fellow programmer–almost. I wasn’t one of them, but they really wanted to see if I could become one of them. I did receive prompts to get through certain problems, but not overly so. I answered every question they asked. Some I answered better than others, but the ones I didn’t get right away, I had alternate solutions, and I understood where they were going as soon as they started talking about it. Why I didn’t get the job Well, companies these days won’t tell you why. I think they fear it opens them up to lawsuits. I think that’s silly. It prevents those of who really do want to learn and improve from knowing what we’re deficient in. Oh well. They told me that they thought I would do well at Google, but that it wasn’t a good fit at the time, and I should apply again in the future. (Of course, I didn’t apply in the first place.) My suspicions, however, are that I lean too much towards Microsoft technologies. I do a lot of work in .Net. That’s where more and more of my experience is. I do consider myself very good in C++, but I’m doing more and more C# work. I’ve always been a Microsoft Windows developer. I also am not really interested in web-centric technologies, and I told them so. I’m more interested in client apps on the desktop, and server apps. Of course, it’s very possible I just didn’t answer the questions to their satisfaction–that I needed more prompting than I should have. Oh well. It could also be that my GPA wasn’t what they wanted. I goofed off my freshman year of undergraduate work. I really hurt my grades. I came back, though, and got straight A’s for my last few years where I took the hard CS classes. I also got straight A’s in my Master’s program while I was working full time. I don’t think this was the issue, but it’s possible. Lessons Having your own web-site is a no-brainer. Do it. Update and maintain it. Do personal projects. You must be passionate, you must love programming. You must be good at it. Not average. You must aspire to excellence and be working towards that. Know what you’re talking about it. Don’t show off–just display your knowledge as it applies to what they asked you. Use an interview with them as a learning opportunity and ensure you have a good experience regardless of the outcome. Don’t take the interview too seriously. Make sure that not everything rides on the outcome. You must be comfortable, confident. You must try for success in every possible way, but yet be completely prepared to fail–and have that be ok. This is a hard balance to achieve, but I think it can really make you have a healthy outlook and have a good time while still showing your best self. If you don’t get an offer, realize that even being selected for an on-site interview by Google puts you above the ranks of the average-good programmers. Google gets 1,500 resumes a day. You’re already in the <> Practice writing code by hand in a notebook. This helped more than I can express. Do stuff that’s hard that you don’t know how to do immediately. Time yourself. Make the problem more challenging. If you can’t stretch yourself, they will and you’ll probably break. They did not ask me to do any of the specific questions I had practiced–but the experience writing out and the THINKING is what helped. Be able to explain your background (90% technical / 10% personal) in a few words. At some point you’ll be asked. Have a lot of questions for people. You’re interviewing them too. Make sure they’re good questions. Asking about salary is not a good question before you’ve been made an offer. I let the interview build my own self-confidence. I have no doubt that I could walk into an interview anywhere else and it would be laughably easy. Don’t ignore obvious, simple solutions. Sometimes a table lookup is better than an O(n) algorithm. Bring a good, FUN book for the plane ride back. On the way, I focused on the interview, but on the way home I wanted to do anything but, so I had my current novel (Dickens’ Bleak House–very good book, by the way). If you do all of those steps, it actually doesn’t really matter if you apply to Google or any other great/famous company–you’ll probably get the job you want for the pay you want anyway. Somebody, sooner or later, will come across you and give you the opportunity. Great programmers will rarely, if ever, need to look for jobs. I hope this long, rambling essay is helpful to some. I make no claim that my experience is typical or that I’m being completely objective. In other words, YMMV. Original story
Tags: , , , | Posted by Admin on 5/17/2005 1:30 PM | Comments (0)
A short warning: There is a lot more information here than what is just about Google. Specifically, possibly boring details of plane travel, Bay area real estate, etc. Feel free to skip sections that don't sound like they interest you. By skipping sections you'll miss a few little details that are in the section that might be more interesting, but that's probably not a big crime. The Plane flight out I flew out of RDU airport on a Sunday evening, First Class on America West airlines, courtesy of Google. The first leg of the trip was on a brand new Airbus A315. The flight landed in Phoenix Arizona, where it was 99 degrees. When you stepped out of the cabin, you were basically hit in the face with the heat. It was a "dry heat", you could say, as it wasn't sticky, but it sure was hot. I transfered planes to a rather old Airbus A320. :) The plane I transferred to was old enough to have ashtrays that had been used. ;) There was some difficulty with the Aux power units on the plane working, so the AC on the plane wasn't very comfortable at first. The crew tried 3 times unsuccessfully to start the plane w/ the Aux power units, and each time, the entire electrical system would shut down, and the plane would go completely dark. It was a rather unnerving experience, even with the knowledge that the Aux power units had nothing to do with keeping the plane in the air after we took off. After we got off the runway, the plane cooled down and the rest of the flight was rather uneventful. The hotel Upon landing at SFO, I took the train over to the rental car location, and picked up my rental from Budget, also courtesy of Google. I then drove down US101 to CA85, then to El Camino Real, where the hotel I would spend the next two nights in was located. I got checked in by 11:30 and went up to look around. The place was very unusual in a lot of respects. It definitely had style, everything was decorated with paintings and artwork by 20s and 30s Russian artists (according to one sign), but the whole place had a very "square retro" feel to it. There was no overhead lighting in the room, just lots of lamps attached to various bits and pieces, including the headboard, the desk, etc. They were all of a similar style, with highly conical frosted shades, that were tapered unevenly at the end (i.e. cut through the cone at an angle). They were all controlled by local dimmers on the lamp bases, and made for an interestingly lit, yet dim, room. There was a desk with a very comfy Suede covered desk chair, and a squared off retro living room chair with a round green leather ottoman reminiscent of ones my parents had when I was a child. The sink bears mentioning as well. It was an above counter sink, with a really cool design, and a faucet that stuck up high enough to be able to pour water into the above-counter basin. This had the interesting effect of reducing the counter space consumed by the sink, as where it met the counter was farther down the taper of the sink, so in a home environment you could actually put things "under" the lip of the sink without problem. I eventually got to sleep by 12:15 or so. As a reminder, that's 3:15am according to my biological clock at he time - a rather long day. :) Apartments I woke up the next morning, got a shave and shower, and planned a short trip up to Google HQ and past the one possible apartment near there. This trip gave me a good feel for how long it would take to get to Google for the interview, as well as a first look around their campus. It took about 7 mins to drive from the hotel up to Google, and on the way back I got my first look at apartment living in the Bay area. The complex was nestled in the back of a residential area, and looked a lot like all of the other houses in the area. The units were single floor, and grouped in sets of maybe 4 to 6 at most. The all had a nice pleasing green color, that went well with the foliage surrounding them. The looked a bit older than I might have liked, but not terribly so. I didn't notice it at first as an apartment complex, it took a bit to "find" it even though I was right out in front of it. After that, I headed back to the hotel to plan a longer route to look at some other various possibilities for apartments in Mountain View. I planned out a big circle, going north on 85 to US101, then down the San Tomas expressway, back down across El Camino Real, then down to Cupertino to check out one place down there, then back up to El Camino Real and the Hotel. Silicon Valley The bizarre and wonderful thing about this trip was not the various apartment complexes I saw, although I'll touch on that in a minute. The startling thing was all of the businesses I passed. Places like NVidia, Sun Microsystems, Canon, Hitachi, Network Appliance, Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, and I'm sure dozens of others that I've since forgotten about or didn't even notice. This really brought home one of the key things about the trip. When I moved from Greensboro to Raleigh, I found this thriving flourishing Linux community, and hundreds of wonderful people who shared my goals and interests, and a thriving business environment for the type of work I like to do. Driving around the bay area made me realize that moving from Raleigh to there, would be just like moving from Greensboro to Raleigh, up an order of magnitude. This change in environment continues in my mind as one of the primary advantages to moving to the Bay area. As for the Apartments, there were numerous things I saw, based on somewhat unusual criteria Deborah had defined in an online search. Specifically, places that were cat friendly, that had either washer and dryer, or washer and dryer hookups. So, needless to say, it's possible that what I saw was a bit skewed, but it seemed to be a rather unusual mix. There were a couple apartment groupings that were relatively similar to the current place we live, in that they were rather new, and 2-3 story, nicely kept locations. One of the complexes was gray, and the other was in the apparently more common style of south-western adobe / orangey-brown. Some were older, and a couple certainly didn't look like places we wanted to live. Generally though, my impression was that it'd be quite reasonable to choose one of the places from the list and we could live comfortably and happily in the rent range of $1400 - $1800 per month. The Interview On the way back around my loop I had Taco Bell (yeah, I know, a rather uneventful ~$3 lunch even when Google was paying up to $30 / day in food expenses, silly me). I made it back to the hotel at about the appointed time (12:30) to change and head over to the interview by 1:15. I erred a bit on the side of caution, and arrived at about 1:00pm. I met Stacie, my recruiter / guide for the next few mins, and she informed me of some of the details of how the proceedings would go. I was escorted to a small "interview room", which judging by the signs on the wall there may have been quite a few of. I sat down with Stacie, who informed me that I would be meeting with 4 pairs of individuals, for about an hour each. I met with 3 pairs of tech folks, and one pair of managers. The tech guys basically grilled me for the entire time on various tech aspects, ranging from file system internals, to networking, to service level questions on things like apache, DNS, etc. Their purpose wasn't just to see what I knew, I think, but also to see how I reasoned out solutions when they found corners of the *NIX world that I didn't know cold. Specifically things like the inner workings of TCP Syn cookies, how EXT2 inodes handle storing filesystem permissions, data, blocks, etc. There were also interspersed questions asking "Why do you want to work for Google", "Why did you want to be a System Administrator, etc". They also asked a few open ended questions such as, "Are there any questions we haven't asked you, or is there any aspect of your experience that we may not have seen that you want to talk about?". There were also opportunities for me to ask questions of each of the various interviewer groups. I probably should have taken better advantage of that, and reversed the question in the form of, "If (or when) you were in my position, what question would you ask of Google that I might not have thought to ask?" :) Unfortunately I wasn't the clever on my feet. After the Interview After leaving the interview I was so brain-fried that I tried to talk to Deb on the phone about it while driving, and I couldn't really get past the physical details. My mind wasn't very good at processing information after all of that, it had started to shut down. :) I got back to the hotel and took a nap for an hour or so, and again foolishly passed up the ability to go out and get food on someone else's nickel. I suppose I wasn't up to the task, as my mind was still mulling over the afternoon. I ate a bag of beef jerky that I had brought with me (it started as a snack, honest...) and vegged on the laptop for a bit, then fell asleep. Getting home I set the alarm back to 7:00am the next morning, and woke up at 7:05, bizarrely not to the alarm. As I was telling myself that I had to get up or I'd miss my plane back, the alarm went off at 7:07. I checked the setting of the alarm again, and it was still set to 7:00. So strange. *shrug* I got packed up as quickly as possible, woofed down some breakfast at the hotel's breakfast room, and hit the car. I got into the car and onto the road about 7:35 or so, and traffic was really messy. It's disturbing how people are completely unable to merge in the Bay area. Traffic on US101 would be fine, up until we'd get near an on ramp, and then it would grind to a halt. It was especially bad as we went past the enormous and gorgeous Oracle building. Eventually I made it up to the rental car return around 8:00, got the car dropped off very quickly (which was a blessing in disguise), and then went up an elevator, jumped on the train, went down an elevator, over a ways, up an escalator, etc, etc forever too far. I finally got to the ticket counter, tried to check my rolling bag, and was told that it was too late to check baggage for my flight (not surprising, as the wheels up time was only 25 mins away). I wasn't sure if they'd stop me for my lock picks, but I stowed them in my laptop bag and went over to security. They closed the security lane I was put in at first, right in front of me. I got into the other lane behind two old ladies who were taking forever, and apparently the security guy took pity on me as he opened up another lane just to run me through quickly (and turned away the half dozen people that tried to follow behind me). :) So they scanned my baggage, and I was off for the dash to the gate. I got there as the next to last person to get onto the plane, and apologized profusely to the poor gate agent. :) While working for US Airways I've heard them chat about how they hate people who show up late, so I always feel bad. Anyway, safely aboard, the transition in Phoenix went rather smoothly, with some time to recharge the laptop and iPod so I'd have time to continue writing this on the second leg of the flight. I snarfed down a bratwurst with sauerkraut from one of the airport vendors and I was good to go for the rest of the afternoon (well, except for the Mrs. Fields cookie I couldn't resist from the flight attendant). :) Thoughts on the process / What's next All in all my confidence level of the interview was very high, although I won't know any details about that until the middle of next week some time. The process goes something like this. The 8 people I met with will fill out some form, evaluating me, which seems to involve a score. They take that information, add it to the previous information of my resume and my phone interviews, and then it goes before a hiring committee. That committee meets twice per week, once on Tuesdays and once on Thursdays. Given the time frame, I probably won't hear back from them until after next Tuesday. I look forward to hearing how the salary and other associated stock / bonus benefits stack up, to determine if it's financially realistic to move to the west coast. That along with the decision of position (junior, intermediate, senior sys admin, etc) is all decided by the hiring committee, based on the available information at hand. At the moment my thinking is that if it is financially logical, I think I'd like to go for it. Why Google? My mother has asked me several times if it's as cool a place to work as I thought it'd be, and why. I tried to explain to her the quality of the people I was simply interviewing with, not to mention the rest of the Google crew that's surely as knowledgeable or more. Regardless of whether it's reasonable to move out to Mountain View, I'm curious simply to see what their opinion of me is. Do they think I'm a senior, intermediate, or junior administrator, compared to their ranks? :) I suppose that's just my ego talking. The Google Campus (aka The GooglePlex) In addition to the cool people, there's the whole atmosphere of Silicon Valley, which I babbled on before, and of course the amazingly cool GooglePlex. There were actually 6 people playing volleyball on the sand volleyball court when i arrived for my interview at 1:00. There are fridges full of drinks as well as numerous snacks, etc in the kitchens which are scattered around all over the place. True to what I'd read on the web, they all seemed to be a little different, with slightly different stuff in various places, but each having the basics (water, soda, some juice equivalent, etc) covered. The whole complex itself is architecturally interesting, from the floor to ceiling windows on one side of the building which allows you to look in and see the thriving workplace and all of the work areas. Speaking of work areas... There are cube walls, but they're not laid out in the traditional manner. There are groupings, of what looked like usually 4 people, who share a mostly open work area in the middle, and are surrounded by nice cube work which has glass windowing around the top. This would seem to have the dual benefit of allowing you to see through across the entire area, while still keeping noise distractions mostly contained. Also by the whole wall not being clear you wouldn't be distracted by motion behind your monitor or some such. As for monitors, I saw a lot of LCDs, and I don't think I saw a single conventional CRT, but I didn't go walking through cube land too much, and I don't know if the area I was in (Building 41) was at all representative of where the Admins work. From the information available, it seems that Google has 11 buildings in the immediate vicinity, with 4 being on that same lot (not separated by official roads, just surrounded by the parking lot and internal sidewalks, etc. There seemed to be internal parking under at least one of the buildings (43) that I imagine is a perk of some fashion, as there is also external parking (where I parked) which seemed to be occupied by some staff. The original building design and layout doesn't really lend itself to a "guard house" or any kind of entrance control, so their solution was sort of novel. They erected pylons in front of one entrance, so that you can't drive a car through it. Then, at the other entrance, they stationed a guy with a little chair and umbrella who checks visitors coming in and directs them to the appropriate place. Presumably this deters the casual walker through. That coupled with mag-locks on all the doors which require a Google card to be swiped past to open, presents a fairly secure environment. I didn't venture to the other buildings, so i can't comment on their setup personally. Anyway, I think that about covers the details of my trip. If I get some frequently asked questions after this, perhaps I'll make an amendment. :)