New Job with Google!
I'm stoked to announce that starting June 1st 2010 I will start a new adventure as a Developer Advocate for Google in Mountain View, California.
It's a very bittersweet moment, as this means I will have to leave my island paradise home. Hawaii has welcomed me with open arms and has grown to be my true home with all my friends and family. I have loved every minute of living here, and I believe that I shall return one day.
However, the real hot spot for emerging web systems, technologies, and companies is the San Francisco Bay Area. Silicon Valley has the momentum, the people, and the energy that can really fuel my passion for building web systems. It's extremely hard to replicate that environment, especially on Hawaii.
I made a very tough and personal decision to explore Bay Area options, as I felt it was time to kick my career up a few notches. I wanted to aim high, and the highest I felt like I could go was working for Google.
Luckily, through Aloha on Rails and my general involvement in the web engineering community, I was able to reach out to current Google employees. I was also fortunate that a friend and ex-coworker recently started at Google. This really helped, as they were able to steer me towards the right position.
My New Title is Developer Advocate
We decided that Developer Advocate would be the best match with my skill set and experience. I didn't even know this position existed, but I'm very glad I was recommended for it. A Developer Advocate is a mix between Teacher and Developer. My main goal is to ensure that other developers are successful with Google products and APIs. This means there is a lot of teaching and instruction, which I am trilled to get into. I've always felt that I would someday focus more on teaching. Well, that someday is now!
The title Developer Advocate itself is very deliberate. I want to make clear this is not an evangelist role. This position's main responsibility is to advocate for the external developer to the product and engineering teams. That is, I am to listen intently to what developers are doing with the products and what they need from the products. I am to take their concerns back to the engineering team, and then ensure the developers that their voice is heard.
Meanwhile, I will be leading classes, teaching workshops, writing demos and tutorials, and generally reaching out to current and potential developers.
Focusing on HTML5 and Chrome
I'm tentatively slated to join the HTML5/Chrome/ChromeOS team. I will be learning an entirely new set of technologies for some very cool, emerging, and strategically important products.
As you can imagine, Google wants everyone to be successful with the Web. And the lingua franca of the Web is HTML, and soon HTML5. HTML5 enables very rich user experiences, and with rich user experiences comes more interesting products and services. And with more interesting products and services comes more changes for Google to sell ad space. So Google is definitely invested in promoting and developing a more rich, and open, World Wide Web. Here I am, thrown right into the middle, and it couldn't be more exciting!
The Interviews Were Lots of Fun
Some quick notes on the interview process, because I've been asked about this a few times.
I had two phone interviews and one on-site interview. Each phone interview was 45 minutes long, and each was conducted by a peer (and engineer and a developer advocate). The first phone call was solidly technical, with questions about SQL and algorithm analysis. There was a bit of coding on paper. The second phone interview was half technical, mostly dealing with scaling web sites, and half mock-teaching. For example, my interviewer asked me to "teach object oriented programming to newbie developers".
My on-site interview consisted of, if I recall, meeting five people each for 45 minutes. The format was the same for all: half technical and half instructional. Everyone I met there was very friendly and helpful.
I loved every second of it! I thought the interviews were more fun than work, and I could have riffed on the questions all day.
Oh, and I was treated to a delicious lunch. Google takes its food very seriously, I'm looking forward to my Google 15.
Start on June 1st, Two Months Vacation in Hawaii
I am taking a few months off to enjoy Hawaii as a tourist and not as a 8-5 work-a-holic. I'll use this time to visit the places I've never been and to bond with the islands. Plus, my parents are coming out at the end of May so I'll be able to hang with them right before I leave.
I'll actually be back on Oahu on September 11, 2010 for a Ruby on Rails class for the Pacific New Media program, part of the University of Hawaii Outreach College. Maybe now I can also teach an HTML5 class for them as well! :)
Where to Live in Bay Area?
Finally, a call for help. I'm a total Bay Area newbie. If anyone can recommend places to live that are family friendly, pedestrian friendly, near good schools and are close to the Googleplex in Mountain View, we'd really appreciate it! Any nudges in the right direction are most welcome.
I cannot wait to start with Google. I believe in their mission, I think they are a great company, and I am most certainly going to have my mind blown. This is a huge step for me and my family, and we are ready for the adventure.