I meditated on leaving Google for a long time, but I was hesitant because it also meant losing a large network of nice friends and amazing engineers.

I have so many good memories of Google, which is why leaving is such a mix of sorrow and relief.

@kai hehe... I will announce it next week! 😏

@codewiz I remember you had wanted to leave Google, but they were allowing you work in Japan, but now that you're not in Japan, you no longer need Google, so it all makes sense!

@kai Before leaving, I also wanted to launch my last project, which is an important privacy feature. There are still a few bugs to fix before it can be enabled for all users, but the code is in good hands.

@codewiz interesting first hand information about the evolution of a company. Unluckily my company has the same attitude as your previous employer, but never moved away from the hierarchical company structure ever.

@5tr34k_ From day 1, Google's founders trashed the standard book of management to try something radically new: what if we hired engineers with a startup founder mindset and retained them by giving them the autonomy and dignity they expect and deserve?

@codewiz These days the founders are pretty much gone, though.

We would have benefited from having you over at Chrome OS, but that doesn't solve the corporate concern you apparently have :-/ Godspeed to whatever is next (I'll eagerly await your reveal :-) )

@patrick I would have loved to work on Chrome OS! In fact, that's the project I had chosen when I was hired in Cambridge. I saw it as our only hope to finally celebrate "the year of Linux on the desktop".

Then, the week before my start date, the CAM site director called to share the news: my team was being defragged and they wanted to see if I'd be interested in joining Search Infra instead 😭

I actually don't regret working on Search: it was an amazing codebase ran in production by some of the top SREs in the company. The lead of the GWS SREs was Red Hat's employee number one, who ported sysVinit to Linux.

And among my neighbors in Cambridge was Robert Love, author of one of the first books on Linux kernel development.

All my coworkers were superstars, and for the first time in my career, I didn't feel qualified for the job.


@codewiz I totally believe that it's an interesting place to be but I prefer not processing user data (I guess I'd run into conundrums rather quickly), so I guess I'll stick with firmware and tooling and it seems that Search needs rather little of that ;-)

@patrick By the way, which Chromebook should I get these days?

For personal use, I want a fast mobile cpu and plenty of ram and ssd for Crostini.

@codewiz phew, good question. For my own personal use I'm limited by the poor selection available in Germany, so...

Given the CPU + RAM requirements, you're stuck with Intel/AMD, no ARM. https://www.newegg.com/lenovo-20ux001tus/p/2WC-000J-00YC2 perhaps?

@patrick Looks very reasonable! Except for the small SSD... but perhaps it's replaceable.

@codewiz Don't think stuff is replaceable these days, hardware is designed under the assumption that people want "thin" and "stylish", not flexible.

I guess you could add a 1TB Micro SD card but I'm not sure if it can be used for crostini storage yet without jumping through lots of hoops (tracking bug: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=827705), and it won't be as fast as the internal storage.

@codewiz according to your experience, it appears they trashed their own book as well...

@codewiz You did exactly what you should, thanks a lot for the move. Can't wait to see where you end up next!

@codewiz I'm considering a few recruitment offers from FAANG folks, is it really worth the time? I'd like to not work for a larger company, but I don't neccesarily have any apprehension to it (and getting hired with a resume as short as mine is hard enough)

@smoldesu I don't regret working at Google. The things I learned from my coworkers are priceless. For expats like me, it was also the safest path to US permanent residency.

The hard part is not spending your entire career there: once you're used to the perks of Big Tech, you'll be frightened to switch to a small startup, or start your own business. You'll have to cook for yourself!! 😱

@codewiz fun fact, leaving a job at google after many years is actually easier than leaving gmail, gdrive, analytics and android after many years.

@chebra Yes. Google has unmatched office collaboration tools and corporate infrastructure. Good tools give every employee a significant productivity boost, and that might have been a factor in Google's success.

...but I'm afraid I won't be able to use Google's apps much in my next feat 😢

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!