Claudio Cherubino's blog Life of a Googler

22Dec/105

Fixing bugs for charity

It's always hard to find some time to write about my job at Google but I really want to tell you what my team and I have done last week as that makes me proud of them and the entire company.

I work in the Developer Relations team for Google Apps APIs and one of our tasks is to write and maintain the GData client libraries for the various languages supported, mainly Java, Python, .NET and PHP.

This obviously includes fixing bugs in the libraries and once in a while we plan a fix-it day, during which each team member ignores other tasks and focuses on fixing bugs. This is quite normal, but last week we decided to go one step further.

Instead of having a fix-it day we organized a fix-it week and added some Christmas spirit to it by setting an extra incentive: for each bug fixed 10$ (5$ from our manager and 5$ from Google) would have been donated to charity!

And since we all love games, we also put a special "prize" for the team member who fixed the highest number of bugs: that guy had to pick the non-profit organization that would get the money.

Those rules made everyone interested in fixing as many bugs as possible (i.e. more charity) but also created an healthy competition among us to be the one to choose the target organization.

At the end of the week, 31 bugs were fixed and 310$ were donated to Save the Children.

Many people believe that Google's motto "Don't be evil" is just a slogan, do you know of other companies where something like that could happen?

Merry Christmas everyone!