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moof's prattling


November 21st, 2010

Why I left google. @ 05:59 pm

Current Location: Toulouse, France
Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

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Date:November 21st, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
Man. I am really sorry.

Your manager is supposed to care about your career; in fact, that's, AFAICT, one of only two jobs a manager has at Google. Your mentor is supposed to be useful, but mine wasn't, despite being a great guy.

If you decide to consider Google again, I recommend the New York, Kirkland, or Mountain View offices, those being the three largest offices in the company and thus having the largest selection of projects. In fact I recommend Kirkland because I'm there and because we have a mutual friend whom I believe would be made very happy by you moving to this area. Also, in Kirkland at least, the office is... how shall I say this delicately... older, and there seems to be very little of the "work absurd hours" mentality. In nearly four years there, I've worked exactly two weekend days.

I've been there coming up on four years now and I only now feel like I'm figuring out how to diagnose failures on Borg jobs.

And I'm surprised and disappointed about the pay. We're *supposed* to be paying at (well, prior to next year) the 75th percentile market rate.

But, I'm actually considering moving on myself in the next year. My favorite PM just left Google to be a VP at AOL and it's making me wonder if I'm really at the sweet spot for risk/reward tradeoff. Although right now my risk tolerance is damn low. but you should move to the Seattle region anyway . Yeah, the weather sucks like London's but we have awesome food and a lot of good tech jobs.
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Date:November 21st, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
My manager, while socially a nice guy personally, did not realize the sentiment of his team, and was kind of a dick in his manager position. (His final words to me when I gave him my resignation letter: "Thank you for being forthright and making the decision on your own.")

I quite enjoyed the Kirkland office when I was there. The environment was much, much nicer (and compared to London, the weather was fabulous.)

It wasn't the Borg job diagnosis per se as the ancillary stuff: figuring out where all the logs were, how that fed into borgmon, htf the borgmon code worked, ad nauseum. (The fact that the borg config language was kinda-python kinda-not didn't help one jot. Google loves its custom languages way, way too much.)

I think that one of the primary things google needs to adjust to is that it's not "the" cool company to work for any more, so it can't get away with implicitly inducing one to overwork; similarly, snazzy Xmas gifts only go so far. When I talked to one super-old-timer, he attributed a lot of the culture going downhill to the 10% time thing being eroded away (and as a partial result, inter-team cooperation becoming less common.)
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
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Date:November 21st, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
A lot of it was definitely due to the London-specific circumstances; I have no doubt that if I'd been elsewhere, doing any other job for Google, things would have been better. Even had I been in Kirkland and doing effectively the same job, things would have been tons easier - but regardless, that particular job still wouldn't have been my cup of tea.

I was surprised overall at the salaries in London; compared to the Bay Area, they're really pretty low.

One big thing that this episode in my life has shown me is just how much of my self-worth is tied up in the work I do. Blah.

For what it's worth, you're one of the few people who helped me eke out the remains of my sanity in London; I very much appreciate that.

moof's prattling