Tuesday, July 04, 2017

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, fourth of July, was my first day at Google Zürich. It’s been a very interesting journey so far, and from the beginning I spent most of my time to focus on three things: switch to Product Management to learn how to build great product, work on scalable Enterprise networking solution from cloud-based SDN to intent-driven automation, and learn data analysis in-depth from data visualization all the way to Machine Learning, to be used in product development.

As you notice, I rarely post new blog since I joined the company last year. And I find it quite difficult to find any active blog from other Googlers too. Just like any tech company, when we joined all of us signed an agreement containing various obligations including the requirement to hold proprietary information and trade secrets in strictest confidence. But I believe there should be some non-confidential things that we can share in our personal blog.

So why can’t we blog?

First, we are very busy here. And not because we have to, but we choose to.

I mean, there are just too many interesting things to do and to learn at Google. If you work for the best company in the world that empower every employee to innovate, in everything we do, you surely want to spend time the best you can. We write a lot, like writing product requirement document, design specification, or execution plan, but then we will be busy building the product and getting things done.

Second, most of us feel that what we do is not new.

There are so many talented people in Google with great ideas and executing them everyday. So unless we innovate something completely new, or improve something to make it 10x better, most Googlers think what we do is not new, it’s common, and we assume everyone must has known this already so it’s not worth sharing. That could be true for within Google but some of the ways we do things here (again, the non-confidential things) could be very useful for people outside.

Third, we are trusted with so many confidential information, we don’t want to unintentionally share them.

Google culture is very open. Every Noogler, new hire, usually get access to Google codebase within the first week in the company. Employees share their salary and bonus in Google sheet. There is a weekly company-wide all-hands meeting called TGIF where top management to various teams present about a product Google has been working on, and then take any questions from the audience. Any questions from old timer to new hire and even intern. And we are all trusted not to leak the information to outside the company.

This has created the culture of trust, that make us believe we are truly part of the family. And as family member, you don’t want to break the trust by sharing confidential information even unintentionally to outside the family.

(Read here about the impression of company culture from an intern)

Having said those, I will still try to continue blogging here.
Watch this space.

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