Scribe Notes 1

Scribe: Haylie Toth

Dean’s Introduction:
Eric Graduated JCU in 2015 as a Computer Science. He does back end work for Google. His favorite class at JCU was CS 328, the algorithms class.

He has been a software engineer for a year and a half now.
He wants to talk about what it's like, what you need to do to get into it, and a typical day.

He solves problems at Google.
Works on the storage platform for Google stuff.
-One example was Youtube comments. All the comments being made, he deals with batching and what not.

Batch processing:
He works on optimizing scheduling for different jobs and figures out how to safely change production.

How to get into software engineering:
Problem solving is important.
He recommends a book called Cracking the Coder.
"Don’t be afraid of math." Discrete math is pretty cool at JCU.
Have projects in your resume, use Github to show contributions you’ve made.
Tutoring, lab assisting, research with professor

A Typical Day:
Check email to make sure he know’s what up. Works on a team with 18 people.
Checks on ache jobs. Makes sure things are working and moving smoothly.
Some days he has meetings and doesn’t get as much coding in.
If not eating, he is bug hunting or code reviewing. You have to get approval first form another person, and then you can commit the changes.
Goes home around 6 o’clock.
Google provides for all 3 meals, so if he does stay later he eats dinner.

New things he has discovered:
It is cool working in an environment where he doesn’t own everything. Google you are a small fish in a big pond, rather than shark in a swimming pool. You get to ask questions and meet people. You don;t know the entirety of something and get to learn.
Google Piper.
Use version control; helps with mistakes and having to find last working code.
Learned about how to create maintainable code, you have to make sure other people know how to read your code as much as you know how.

Cool things about Google:
Individual tools specific to Google.
Their code is kept in one giant repository. it’s magical how it all works.
You can read about all of this online. ^^
They get time to work on their own side projects, called 20% time.
Works on silly stuff, not just important stuff.
A huge part of their culture is jokes.
Small opportunities to travel.

West coast:
He liked it mostly,
Pros to moving: it’s nice all year, you can always go outside, there's fun things to do (biking, camping, going to the city).
Bikes to work everyday (it's faster because of traffic)
Google has a team in San Fran so he can use the shuttle to go to there.
Lost of mountains, and he is a fan of mountains.

Cons: Cost of living. The salary is higher, but still hard to buy stuff. Time zones are tricky when you have friends and family across the country.


Emily: How do you keep the files secure?
Eric: We have a variety of security to keep things secure. There are a lot of things they probably don’t even know about in the background going on. They limit access to as few people as possible. Not everyone has access to everything. He doesn’t have much access to stuff.

Bernard: Cultural between Cleveland and Mountain View?
Cleveland: Midwestern, more likely to say Hi. They are friendlier.
Mountain View, you don’t get the bless you after you sneeze. People are still nice, they stay more to themselves.

Palmer: How long did it take you to get comfortable out there?
Eric: I still slightly feel that way. Had a trinket on his desk, hasn’t removed it. he still feels like the new guy, possibly because he is younger. Once he made more friends, he felt more comfortable.
Palmer: as far as what you are doing?
Eric: About a year to be comfortable, still not 100% though.

Bernard: Cons to working for Google, do you see yourself staying there?
Eric: Cons include everyone is really good at their job. It is hard to feel your accomplishments are noticed. Google leaves a lot of room for advancement, so he could see himself working there for the considerable future. The one thing that would drive him away is the high living of the west coasts.

Tim: How far off is the internship movie from actually working at Google.
Eric: We don't actually have those paddles where you say yes and no during orientation. The perks were spot on, free food, coffee, snacks. Work wise it was pretty correct. They don’t pin the interns against each other though.

Nick: Do you make the code readable and commendable or design patterns?
Eric: Sort of both. Design Patterns was a pretty good class! When I talks about good maintainability, he has to be understandable. Writing good documentation and using design patterns and other things that work time and time again. They have documentation about the best practices to use.
Nick: What languages are you working in?
Eric: Java primarily.

Tim: Google has its own repository, is it only available to you guys?
Eric: Yes only for us to see.
Tim: Google code was discontinued then?
Eric: Yah that was discontinued a couple years ago.

Emily: Pattern matching?
Eric: I run across regular expressions. I use Grip, regular expressions are important.

Joel: Is angular a good match with java?
Eric: I am pretty sure there are well known tools with angular so i’m sure its used.

Bernard: How often do you Google questions for answers?
Eric: Its surprising but everyday. Stack overflow is key. If you don’t want to look for something someone else did, we use regular expression to search within our internal search engine. Searching is a really large part, knowing how to search is important?

Nick Grace: Interview process?
Eric: My interview process was difficult. Talked with a recruiter, had a phone interview. He shared a design doc and he had to write his code there. After that he talks with the recruiter, was accepted and then fly into mountain view and set up with four additional interviews. The day starts at 9, two 45 minute interviews. Then lunch, a break, and two more interviews. They ask you a question that requires a solution in java, tutoring helped him with these. Knowing how to work through and talk about a solution, withing code on a white board. Then you either get told you are accepted or rejected. I highly recommend looking at a few programming interviewing books.

Nick Krotine: What would you say is the most important things you picked up at the job that you didn’t learn at John Carroll?
Eric: Being able to read through a lot of code that isn’t yours. Able to read through it quickly and understand it. What i have to do is find a bug, so I look through lots of code to find where something is failing. So doing that is the most valuable thing i’ve learned outside of jcu.

Bernard: Which CS class was the least beneficial to your career?
Eric: web design because he doesn’t do a lot of front end development.

Tim: Are there any projects you can tell us about?
Eric: I can’t mention any names so that makes it difficult. Basically, the main project I work on is about creations, deletes, and main operations to make changes to something. You specify IDs and it returns the comment. It is not a product you would use externally. The projects he works on are internal. The other thing I work on is batch processing.

Palmer: Are you flexible with the projects you are working on?
Eric Generally locked into a project for a quarter. Objectives and key results. You set an object and some results you want from that objective. You do have the opportunity to choose between projects though, whatever you find more interesting is usually what you are given to work on. You can also apply for different jobs within the company, managers are supportive of this. It is more of a transfer than new job type situation.

Peter: Is your management harsh, per common gossip?
Eric: I wouldn’t say Google has harsh managers. I could see some other companies who are more notorious for this, like amazon. My manager is great. I don’t have anything bad to say about him. He is good at bouncing back and forth.

Palmer: I’ve heard silicon valley companies tend to have very high salaries, but then once someone is not contributing anymore you are shown the door. Is that what they refer to about harsh management styles?
Eric: Probably, I’m not sure if I can comment on this.

Dean: I once watched a ted talk where they spoke about how people actually get to Google. They mentioned a termed called emotional intelligence. Has this term every emerged in the interview process or work environment?
Eric: I haven’t heard of it. I don’t think emotional intelligence, I’ve heard the term to be honest.

J: How are the teams divided and how much do you interact with all the teams?
Eric: I interact with the team of 18 on a day to day basis. Normally everyone within a week. I work on smaller projects with 6 person and 2 person teams. It’s more of an hourly chat basis. The larger team is more of a monthly process. 18 is embedded within a 60 which is within a thousand and so on.

Emily: Strategies to employ yourself into your work environment? How did you form connections with your coworkers?
Eric: Being friendly. Asking people what they are doing outside of work casually. Getting to know people outside of work is important. It makes working with them more enjoyable. We also have off sites, so a group will get together to have fun with people and not think about work. We went to Lake Tahoe once, those oppurtunities are good for getting comfortable with people you work with.

Bernard: Is there disparity within gender at Google?
Eric: *Searches* Within tech, 81% is male, 18% is female. I would say it’s a problem. Within the company overall, we are doing a lot to encourage all people to apply. I think this issue is important to address.

Luke: What is the demographic age wise?
Eric: I am one of the younger people, the average age person I interact with is within their late twenties. Not too many people I’ve seen over 40.

Callen: Do you feel you have a good life/work balance?
Eric: We have flexible hours, which helps with the balance. It allows you to work more one week if you need to work less another or whatever else. We have a lot provided for us at work and are expected to work harder while at work. Overall, it is a fair balance. there is a large expectation to do work though.

Joel: What has been your favorite side project?
Eric: One of the things i’ve done recently is I found a website with a bunch of cross word puzzles. So I made a multi player crossword puzzle game. I didn’t make it live but it was cool to play with a friend across the country.

Bernard: You said there aren’t many people over 40. What happens to those people?
Eric: I think they end up being more managerial roles. I work with mostly engineers. Once you get to a certain level, the next step of the ladder is to go into management.

Abel: Does Google give training to keep employees updated with the current technology or do they expect you to learn it yourself.
Eric: There are internal classes you can take which teach you things. If you are switching languages because a new project come by and its in a different language, there are classes for that. We do a very good job at making sure there are lots of opportunities for learning. The classes are taken during work hours. You just say you are in training and no one asks questions.

Emily: Do you find Google to be a stressful environment? Silicon valley in general?
Eric: I think it is team by team. No one creates a stressful environment in my team. Of course there are some times where things get stressful. Some weeks it feels like you are doing a lot because you having coding and other tasks to do or when releasing a projects it can get more stressful by nature. But generally its never too bad.

Corey (maybe): are you every distracted by the stuff going on in the company?
Eric: there is a lot to do like bowling and mini gulf, but I’m mostly distracted by the food.

Bernard: How has your weight change since working at Google?
Eric: I think i gained ten pounds. There is something called the Google 15 and it’s very real.

Tim: Is Google glass making a comeback any time soon?
Eric: *laughs* I don’t think so.

Abel: Do you know the show silicon valley and how well does it depict the environment?
Eric: the show is exaggerated but its really right in some of the small details. For example: When they move into their new offices, they use the small moving boxes as Google uses. There are a lot of details of the show that are shockingly accurate. The show focuses more on start-up companies.

Emily: Do people really eat that healthy in the West Coast?
Eric: We have both healthy and junk foods. There is a lot of hate on kale. There is more of push to eat healthy and strong pushes for healthy eating. There are a lot more parks and hiking than I’ve ever seen in Cleveland.

Peter: do you interact with lots of other companies in the area?
Eric: I have not. I have some friends outside of Google, but at work I do not.

Peter: What is the conference you are going to about?
Eric: it is about pipelines which is batch processing for large things (or something like that)

Dean: Companies in Cleveland you would recommend?
Eric: Highland and Progressive

Luke: How did the recruiter find you?
Eric: I wrote a few papers with Kirsch and Palmer which were public. The recruiter just happened to find my paper.

Palmer: Was the first questions asked about you was whether you actually wrote those papers?
Eric: Yah they definitely did want to make sure I wrote it.

Peter: Did you have experience prior to Google?
Eric: No I just did summer research with Palmer and Kirsch.

Tim: How long after graduation did you get a job?
Eric: One day after I was contacted and then about a month after I got a job.

Tim: Something about more companies coming to midwest cities rather than silicon valley.
Eric: It is almost unsustainable having all the companies in one area. I could see other cities gaining tech companies soon.

Digression about housing and how expensive it is on the west coast (and east coast like NYC).
A small house is well over 1 Mil.
Palmer mentioned that mortgages there increase instead of decrease. So you keep having to pay more and more.

Palmer: Any advice or info you would like to have known before you graduated?
Eric: Don’t get too nervous, it is only a job. I’m really bad at advice. Just stay calm, everything will be alright. Practice problem solving is the best advice I can give you. Look online at interview questions. Practice writing code on a white board. Practice interviewing with someone else.

Palmer: I wasn’t aware of how close you could get a program to work by process of elimination rather than knowing how to code exactly.
Eric: That is the number one thing that will get a lot of people in technical interviews. They will get up to the whiteboard and not know what to do.

Palmer: So are there a lot of white boards where you are?
Eric: We do have a lot of white boards, yes. Give you have a lot of engineers that are using a white board every so often, you’ll see use of it everyday. I recommend switching from eclipse to intellij

Bernard: What kind of art is that and why did you get it?
Eric: The beach? Yah I like the water so I just got it.

Luke: What is your stack overflow?
Eric: I actually do not have one, but I should probably create one. I could help a lot of people.