Claudio Cherubino's blog Life of a Googler

5Apr/115

One year at Google (or how I was hired)

Exactly one year ago I started working for Google so it's about time to look back at how this new life has been doing so far.

I came to Google after a very long hiring process. It's not usually like that, but it took 11 months for me to get from the first contact with the recruiter to the job offer.

Everything started on June 2009, when a Google recruiter saw my submission on the job site and sent me an email offering to schedule the first of a series of phone interviews for a Developer Programs Engineer position in Mountain View.

In my opinion, the phone interview went terribly bad, but apparently the interviewer disagreed with me and I was asked to setup a second phone interview with another Googler. I did that at the beginning of July and this time I was quite positive about the results.

And I was right, everything was going well and I was invited to fly to a Google office for the onsite interviews.
Actually, I thought everything was going well, but instead something went wrong. The position was filled by someone else and there was no open headcount for me so I had to wait and wait and wait...

I was on hold till December 2009, when the recruiter finally contacted me again for a new opportunity for the same position in London or Dublin. My preference was still for Mountain View, but you don't say no to Google, do you?

This time things moved faster and I went to Dublin for the onsite interviews right after Christmas, only to find one of the coldest winters in ages and have 3 out of my 4 flights cancelled due to the snow. I eventually made it to Dublin and went through 7 interviews, from 11.30am to 5.30pm!

I went back home tired but enthusiastic and I kept my fingers crossed for days, waiting for the response from the hiring committee. It took less than I was expecting to get the answer, and I'm here now, so you may easily guess what that answer was like ;-)

Well, I guess I'll talk about my first year at Google in the next post...

9Mar/110

Dissecting the Google Developer Advocate Team page

One of the side projects I worked on at the end of last year is the Google Developer Advocate Team page, a web application that provides bios for all members of my team and allows to track the public events we are going to attend.

We'll probably end up open-sourcing the code but I've already got questions about the technologies adopted so I decided to write this post to explain some of the design choices.

The application is written in Java and runs on App Engine, which provides scalability and simple deployment and administration.

One of the main requirements when designing the application was that it had to seamlessly integrate into our existing workflow in order to be as easy as possible for Google advocates to insert their events. Internally we use Google Calendar to track our trips and speaking opportunities so it was straightforward to use the Calendar Data API to fetch data from a shared calendar.

A cron job periodically checks that calendar, parses new events to extract the relevant info (date, time, location, speakers, products, description) and updates the Datastore using JDO.

Advocates' profiles are stored in a Google Spreadsheet which we can internally update using a simple web form. The public page uses the Spreadsheets Data API to get the relevant pieces of information and display them.

The Google Developer Events Calendar page embeds a Google Map using JavaScript and uses the Geocoding API to map event locations to geographical coordinates that can be pinned to the map or searched for.

Want to see your face in the Google Developer Advocates page? We are hiring!