My Journey To Google (8 minutes read)
Well, it's been a week at Google. I am thankful to each and every one of you who wished me. Also, I am extremely sorry to not answer most of your queries 1:1. That's the reason I have chosen to write this particular blog. Hope, it answers all of your questions. Happy reading! 😇
A brief about my background (Skip this section if you're lazy)
Like most of the middle-class kids in India, I am also just an Engineering graduate (2013 batch) holding a Bachelor's degree. It was a tier-4 college, which hardly used to place all of its students. Never in my college/school life, I liked to study, passing marks were my ultimate aim. Mathematics was the only subject that I used to love. But I had always been curious about technology and gadgets and how things work?. That's the only reason I chose Computer Science as a subject. And I guess it was this curiosity, which is doing all the magic.
How did it start?
When I finished my school in 2009, a friend of mine opened a Cyber-cafe. There was a 6-month gap between my school-end and college-start. I utilised this time by spending time at his cafe and learning programming languages (C++ & Java) at a coaching institute. It was this point, where I actually started my career unknowingly and unofficially. I got into computers so much, that there was no way of coming out from it. Played with Operating Systems (Windows & Linux), Networking, Hardware, Internet and of course PC Gaming. I spend my 4 years of college doing nothing in College Campus but doing something at Cafe. Meanwhile, everyone around me was busy doing nothing but also mocking me for spending time at Cafe (but who cared 💁🏻♂️).
Later I graduated in 2013, started my official career with a small company in Indore (it was small in 2013 at least, now it's not) as an iOS Developer. Plus point of being in a small company is you get to learn a lot, I was never restricted to just iOS. And the owner of that company, my boss is a highly ambitious person. So, apart from doing my job there, I used to observe and learn from his actions. After all technical growth is never enough. Even Jack Ma once said 'Your first boss will teach you a lot of things'. Now I guess that was a perfect career boost. And since then, the journey continues...
Frequently asked questions on social media -
0. How I got into Google?
- Short answer is by 'Learning'. But this is not enough, in this era of the Internet, anyone can learn almost anything if they wish to (even Rocket science, yes, you can reach Mars before Elon🤔 okay, this was too much, never mind). But the main thing along with learning is 'Selling'. How do you sell yourself? How do you get noticed? Answer to this is by 'Showing off' or say marketing yourself.
Most of you must be doing a job for some company, writing an excellent code (according to you), designing an excellent website/image (again according to you). But this is just not enough, you are only promoting the company you work for because they are the one who is selling it. If you have to promote yourself (no, not the increment you get every year from your company is a promotion, not in every aspect) you have to start selling something, that is purely your creation.
Now talking about how to sell it, the simple answer is by showing it off on social media and make it available to the public (this is what I did). For example,
If you have written a code, make sure to use your coding skills, try to incorporate industry-level standards. Stay updated with market trends. Upload your code to GitHub or to any public repository.
If you are a designer, use the latest tools that are used by big companies, learn from their work and showcase your design skills. Upload your work on Behance or similar site.
Create a short video clip of it (max 30 seconds, no one in this busy world has time to spent on you when you're a no one) and upload it on social media. Use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram to showcase your creation instead of showing off your Friday night party pictures. Follow people who are giants in the industry on Twitter and LinkedIn. Expand your social network. Their one like or follow on your post can make a big impact. Use appropriate hashtags. Follow the comments you receive, learn from it. Keep repeating it, without expecting anything in return.
I was doing the same since 2017, and finally, in 2019 a recruiter from Google in-mailed me on LinkedIn. And I got here.✌🏻
1. You were an iOS developer but now you are a UX Engineer at Google. How? Why?
- Yes, I did mobile development throughout my career. But for me, it's not about being on iOS or Android or Python. I just love to write code. So when they said, we do not have any iOS specific opening, I was cool with it. However, I was interviewed as a UX Engineer for iOS. I am confident enough to take on any challenge. IMO, if you love programming, you should never restrict yourself to one programming language.
2. How was the process?
- Well, after getting in touch with the recruiter on LinkedIn. In the very first call, they try to learn about you and your career. At the end of it, they might ask you any technical question there (yes, a non-technical HR person can ask you technical questions), which usually have a one-word answer. For me questions were,
• What is the complexity of a Bubble sort?
- In my mind, I was like seriously, who remember Bubble sort now. It's been 7 years I left my college. But I took a deep breath and answered here.
- I answered her O(nˆ2) and it was wrong. But she was cool with it. Even you don't know the answer. Go Google it. 😁
After messing up it in first, she asked me an iOS/Swift specific question.
• How do you make sure you do not create a retain cycle in a closure?
- I was happy there in my mind
- I answered, bypassing a weak instance of an object. Tadaaaaa!!😎 I felt like doing a dab. But no! Behave.🤓
Overall this went good, she was happy. She said she will connect me with someone from the team for the first round and this will be purely technical. A couple of days later, I connected with someone from Google on a hangout call. I cleared this one as well. Then after they call you onsite (Bangalore in my case) with 5 interviews back to back. 3 are usually Data Structure & Algorithm, 1 purely coding and 1 is cultural and management fitness. All 45 minutes each. That's it.
3. Do they look for experienced candidates or even fresher are welcomed?
- Yes, they look for experienced candidates. I mean, every company prefers that. Even freshers are welcome but I guess your education background matter in that scenario or maybe projects that you have done as a student. I am not 100% sure about this one. As I am just one week old at Google, maybe I will be able to answer it better after exploring more in office.
4. Which domain you got? What will you work on?
5. What does a UX Engineer do?
- This is the toughest one to answer. Well, most of you must be Software Engineer in your respective companies. There when creating a product you used to be taking care of UI + UX + Data altogether. But that's not just the case with Google. In Google, they have teams working on every single element. So, I will be just taking part in UX Engineering.
6. Have you ever been rejected by any company?
- Oh yes, there is a long list of companies there. I won't be naming them here, but those are all famous once, doing great in the market and you know their name. I got heartbroken many times in my career due to this. But I never stopped, and I guess it is the only thing that matter. And trust me, it's not always your fault if you get rejected by any company. No one can judge you right in those 60 minutes. I have heard so many stupid reasons for rejection. One of which I will share with you. The reason given was 'this guy speaks English too fast, hence he won't be able to communicate with our Spanish customers'. I was like, Seriously!🤯. Sometimes, if there are 5 answers to a question and you have answered 4 of it. They still reject you because interviewer wanted to listen to only 5th one. And there are so many. So, never allow a rejection let you down. You are much more than that.
7. I am a student or I am a non-tech person. But I want to become a Software Engineer. How can I prepare myself for big companies?
- Well, I will recommend you to start by understanding the basics of programming. Best way to do it is by joining some class/institute in your area and learning it by being physically available. Or else if you're good self-leaner, many YouTube channels can help you. Once you are done with basics, chose a programming language that is doing good in the market, or based on your area of interest. For example, chose Kotlin if you're curious about Android, chose Swift if you like iOS (or Apple tech) or Python if you are interested in the backend engineering. Once you select it, you will find plenty of resources online in the form of YouTube channels or blogs. Start from there and keep setting a bar for yourself.
Apart from learning a programming language, you have to prepare yourself with Data Structure & Algorithm. It is a crucial part of being a good programmer. The only way to master it is by solving problems. The best way of doing it is by creating a profile on hackerrank.com and taking challenges. Once you have a strong profile on hacker-rank, you can highlight it in your resume/LinkedIn/GitHub profiles. You can also do the same by answering questions on stackoverflow.com and building a reputation. Happy Coding. 👨🏻💻
Few tips for folks who are in the initial phase of their career:
Always make sure you are in the room that has smarter people than you. If you're the smartest one in the room, trust me you're in the wrong room.
Rejection is Redirection. Stay optimistic.
Whatever you do, showcase it. (Feel free to check out my resume on how I showcase my skills)
Stay active on Twitter & LinkedIn especially. Connect with the right set of people and learn from them. Social networks are much more than just memes.
There is always a next time.
P.S. Above shared answer and experience are strictly personal. Other Googlers may be having a completely different experience.
If you still have questions, feel free to inbox me on LinkedIn. I might reach late to you, but I'll definitely try my best to reach.
Created at: 06/Feb/2021 03:00 PM | Updated at: 08/Feb/2021 02:00 PM