- Scala has been gaining lots of traction in the market space recently. I think Scala is and has been reaching its tipping point. I'm hoping to contribute everything I can to sure it remains a viable language for everyday development.
- While Google does have 20%time to work on individual projects, this correlated to about a day a week to work on all things Scala within Google. Rare was the opportunity to do anything significant or to contribute back to the community, due to time constraints. While I was able to accomplish one pretty good thing, aligning my work with my passions seemed like the best thing to do.
- It's part of a new weight loss program called "pay for your own food". This was tempered by my wife's purchase of a new grill for my birthday, which has seen heavy use in the past few weeks.
So, while I see Scala's future as bright and rosy and I can't explain how excited I am to start at typesafe, I'd also like to do a little reflection on Google and some of what makes it a great company.
Google cares about employees
This is not a lie. Google, as best as it can, tries to mean what it says. At my previous companies you'd hear "I'd love to do this, but my hands are tied". At Google, you often hear "I don't know, but let's ask someone who does" which usually turns into "Yes, go ahead". It was rare that something I asked for was denied. My *perception* of what was acceptible is an entirely different thing. At Google, there are people who think what you think (at over 10k engineers, it's guaranteed one will probably agree with you about something), and that engineer might have also tried to accomplish the same task as you. Go ask about it and find like-minded individuals. You'll be surprised how much Google tries to do what they say.
The other side to this coin is that the *corporate entity* and by that I mean the higher ups like to do things for all Google employees. Like bonuses. They really do happen, and they really do try to treat you like a human being.
The other side to this coin is the interview process. I've seen so many negative posting about the interview process. Well, I'm here to dispell a few of those. Google's interviews will challenge your technical abilities. If this annoys you and you don't take the job, then good. You're probably not the type to
In the future I know my interview style will change. No more will interviewees be allowed to just talk about experiences without showing some code. It's amazing some of the depths you can learn here. It's even great when an interviewee fails to answer the question correctly because you *learn their thought process*. I know for me, a few candidates who struggled were the ones I wanted sitting beside me coding, more so than the ones who blazed through a question but had a more 'better than thou' aura.
So, the point here is care about your employees and care about who you hire. Your company will be in far better shape if you do this.
Culture is faster than process
Google tries to instill a culture of 'doing the right thing' its employees, rather than outlining software process to a T. There are a few 'inconveniences' that exist, but other than mandatory code reviews, a lot of the process is up to the team to do what's best. The other side to this coin is the corporate culture tries to help define and change what's best. It's amazing how one executive making a statement in an all hands meeting can suddenly alter the perceived "best way to code" and get the company to move. It's also surprisingly hard to change culture once it has been really embedded into the engineers, which is the danger. A sense of 'right' in the ways of writing software can be beneficial, but can also turn into anti-patterns if not tempered. I'd love to go into more details here, just feel free to bug me.