Friday 22 March 2019

How does it feel like from Inside Google?

It’s a lovely afternoon here in Warsaw. I am sitting in an empty training room in Google office; after finishing my week long training; waiting to board the flight in a couple of hours. Ooh yes, I hear you! What a waste of time sitting in an empty room on a sunny day in a historic city like Warsaw!!!!
15 mins ago I thought exactly the same and made a marvellous plan to head to the town centre for sightseeing.

But.. 13 mins ago I dropped my plan as I don’t feel like dragging 15 kgs of luggage with me around the city. Also, currently I am less motivated for yet another tour as I’ve been visiting places since the time I landed (literally). I landed in Warsaw on Sunday 12:30 PM; and was at a walking tour in the old town at 2:00 PM. Sorry for the distraction, let’s get back to our story!
So.. 10 mins ago I went to the micro kitchen and made a cup of tea for myself.. wondering all the way how to kill time.
5 mins ago I came back and sat down on my chair, still wondering what to do. When I turned around; I noticed 6 characters hanging from the ceiling inside the window (as shown in the picture above) and I instantly knew how to kill my time… write a blog! (still sounds boring? Maybe.. but let me write it anyway)
So, 4 min ago I took a pic of the Google logo in front of the window, uploaded it and started writing this blog post “how it feels like from inside Google”!
And now I am writing this line.. without any idea on what I am going to write next.
Let me think!
Okay! Let’s start from the day when I became a Noogler (45 days ago). BTW Noogler is really a word used for “New Googlers” (I didn’t know that earlier). If you don’t believe me; here is my official Noogler Hat! Ta-da…

Google In One Line : A Totally Different World!!

If you ask me to describe my Google experience in one line, I would say “its a totally different world”! What makes it different is that although it is a company with over 98K employees, culture-wise it’s like a super-set of many startups. Penning down a few points which make me feel so about Google.
The freedom to take up different initiatives
Google is known for its 20% innovation time! Almost everyone has a project where they spend the time doing what they are passionate about — be it coding projects, community participation, conferences, and speaking initiatives, opensource contributions etc. To me, that’s the biggest asset of Google. After all, that’s where innovation comes from!
In the past few weeks, I took up initiatives in diverse areas like tech series generation, organizing user group meetup, joined a group for mentoring graduate level techies, participated in Women’s day events etc. There are no limits to creativity and passion.
Approachable culture
As I said, Google is like a massive startup where everyone is easily approachable. For instance, I wanted to develop externally publishable tech content. My managers encouraged me to take this initiative and explore the options with other teams. This is how I started “walking the network” (walking the network is when you talk to someone and they in-turn introduce you to someone else who has more knowledge on the subject). In my first month, I had one-to-one meetings with almost 50 Googlers from other business units; spread across different geographies. It doesn’t matter which office you are in; a hangouts invite is all you need to reach out to them. Although not all meetings were productive; the part I liked is that there is no communication barrier (or at least I didn’t encounter one till now).
Intensive training
One of my worries while joining Google Cloud was that I didn’t know much about GCP products. I was relieved when I saw the onboarding guide. It’s a very detailed doc with the weekly training schedule based on your role. It includes tutorials, shadowing someone else in their customer assignments, reverse shadowing during my initial assignments etc.
Every Noogler gets a buddy assigned to him/her who helps during the on-boarding phase. Buddy is the go-to person for all tech, non-tech questions. Thanks to my buddy Henry, who never gets fed-up of my questions. I found the Cloud Architect training classes very useful. As a Googler you get credits for Coursera and Qwiklabs for self-paced tutorials. The company also encourages taking up courses from outside (if it’s not available internally) and the fees get reimbursed. I am planning to take up Python course soon :)
Apart from those, there are few interesting workshops too. The one I really like is #IAmRemarkable which focuses on building self-confidence. Other workshops in my ToDo list are gardening, yoga/meditation and learning how to make a good cup of coffee!
Finally.. yummy food!! :)
That’s one of the most attractive perks for many Googlers. During orientation, I came to know that Google employees 6000 catering staff who serve thousands of meals daily for Googlers around the world including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And it’s of top quality!
That’s all for now! Its time for me to head to the airport. Stay tuned as I keep sharing my experiences from #InsideGoogle.

Priya Saxena
Strategic Cloud Engineer

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