Google: Not Your Grandfather’s Search Engine

On September 21 the Workforce Development Committee, led by Chair Richard Porras of AT&T, welcomed Ruth Anne Doane, Senior Software Engineer for Google, who shared an overview of the company, it’s philosophy and it’s workforce needs. Consisting primarily of engineers, Google has grown from a 10,000 employee company to 30,000 in just a few years. And Google’s product line continues to expand: Mobile, Search, Docs, Maps, Google+, Gmail, Translate, Analytics, and Reader are just a few of the innovations the company is bringing to people around the globe.

Google is unique in the manner that it operates. Whether its collaborative work environments where no one has their own office, three-month project cycles, or the company’s flat hierarchy, Google is in a league of its own.

The company has a rigorous and selective hiring process; individuals are not hired for specific positions or projects, but rather under general titles like “software engineer.” Google places importance on transparency – with users and with employees. Leadership shares with employees the company’s strategy, vision, upcoming launches, and financial information.

Doane shared two qualities that would better prepare students to enter the workforce: the ability to conduct quantitative analysis, and problem-solving. When students are provided with the latest and greatest technology, rather than broken or faulty equipment, they lose the opportunity to develop a solution. In order to better prepare students to enter the workforce, Doane often conducts Mock interviews, Google-style. Though the interview process is competitive, those who make the cut are rewarded: in addition to hiring engineers, Google employs chefs and massage therapists who service the employees, and an open bar kicks off the weekend every Friday at “TGIF” – a company-wide video chat with Google’s CEOs. For more information contact Alicia Berhow, Director of Workforce Development.

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