Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Month of Google Zurich

I re-joined Google a little more than a month ago. My friends have been asking me how it is. Obviously, I can't say about what I actually work on, can't talk about the Endoxon deal and also won't be able to disclose the Master Plan. But I can say a couple of things.

Above all, I love the team I work with. There's my friend Douwe, best known for inventing Google Trends. He has about two multi-billion-dollar ideas per week. We should hire an intern just to follow him around and write up all the stuff he comes up with. My manager, Oliver, won the best-PhD-thesis-award in Germany before he joined. Jonas, my super-friendly co-worker, has churned out a cool demo of what we're building. Then there's our charming Austrian product manager Chris, whom we should really get to work less. Our intern Alex should also get an award for his achievements: He produces tons of code, but is hauntingly quiet. When he does point out something, it's usually some tiny detail we forgot about but would have cost us days of debugging later on. Last week, he returned to his native Eastern Europe to get his degree, but our recruiters 'convinced' him to return afterwards.

When US companies put engineering offices in Europe, it's usually the dull work that they're concerned with: Localize this, translate that. Google's EMEA Engineering HQ in Zurich is different. I'm happy to report that we work on really crazy, brave, and fun things. You don't need to be in Silicon Valley to do that.

The most popular pastime at the office is foosball: I really need to get some mad skillz.

5 comments:

leo said...

I'm shure, working for google is fun. But I realy don't like that even the color of there toilet paper is part of there master plan and I'm shure you can't talk about that ;-) Working for a company you can talk about all this things with your friends is also a good thing.

You allready do a foosball tournament with the search.ch-guys? Or you stil hiring more foosball-pro's to win against them?

Gabor said...

I think it's safe to say that my NDA does not extend to the color of toilet paper. It's white. I must have missed the Tech Talk where they talk about our long-term plans regarding this.

Apparently, foosball skills are not one of the hiring criteria. Else, they wouldn't have hired me.

Re: The foosball tournament: Get it on.

rolf said...

macht google development verteilt auf alle niederlassungen? welche kriterien gibts da eigentlich? oder ist das in der schweiz eine art research lab? rolf

Gabor said...

Rolf: Please comment in English!

Google's office in Zurich is a full-cycle development office, not R and D or a research lab.

ground15 said...

Watch the new google office in zurich under
http://www.newofficedesign.com/
from the architectural point of view, it is very interesting. I think the architects did here a very good job,