The Noisy Channel

 

Week 1 at Google: Information Overload!

November 13th, 2009 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

As you might imagine, it’s quite a switch to go from criticizing
Google from the outside to being on the inside. Jeff Jarvis, who was
gracious enough not to make fun of me in public, nonetheless admitted
to me privately that the news had made him chuckle.

As I finish my first week, I can sum the experience in a word:
overwhelming. The tools for accessing internal information are better
than I expected, but both the volume of baseline knowledge–technical
and cultural–and the relentlessness of the update stream are
daunting.

Indeed, the internal ecosystem is so rich that it’s easy to forget
there is a world outside it–ironic given Google’s enormous role in the world outside it! Then again, this is just my first week–it will take me
some time to pop up the stack from the build system to the surface.

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Max L. Wilson // Nov 13, 2009 at 11:24 am

    great to see a first from-google blog entry :p

    i’ve heard from others that it can be overwhelming joining google. Another told a whole student conference that they got their to find out that google had already discovered the conclusions of his phd some 3 years previously.

    anyway – i’m expecting real exciting changes from google, now they have you, by the end of the year. consider that your social responsibilities :p

  • 2 Jeff Catlin // Nov 13, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Boy was I shocked to hear you’ve moved to Google, but I probably shouldn’t be. I suspect you’ll be able to geek out to your hearts content.

    Congratulations on your move and best of luck.

  • 3 jeremy // Nov 13, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    So when looking through all the make files (or do they use gmake ;-) ), have you found the evil.h or evil.jar library files yet?

    ;-D

  • 4 Brent Watson // Nov 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Really surprised to hear of your move as well! But I know you’re a measured guy and I’m certain that you thought it through thoroughly. Best of luck and I hope to catch up with you soon!

  • 5 Daniel Tunkelang // Nov 13, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Max, I’m not surprised–there’s a thriving internal community. In general, people have very free discussions internally, but that transparency doesn’t extend outside the firewall. In some cases, that secrecy surely leads to waste. But I do understand how being painted with such a large bulls-eye (by SEO artists, malware purveyors, competitors, etc.) can induce a certain amount of paranoia.

    Brent, it was a long thought out decision that consumed me over a few months. Even that feels quick, considering that I spent over 10 years at Endeca!

    And Jeremy, there’s no evil.jar, just evil cookies. :-)

  • 6 Christopher // Nov 14, 2009 at 3:29 am

    This “The tools for accessing internal information are better
    than I expected, …” is great to hear, it’s an area that a LOT of great companies fail at. In fact sometimes I think they succeed in spite of self-learning knowledge transfer.

    Christopher

  • 7 jeremy // Nov 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    there’s no evil.jar, just evil cookies.

    Oh, touché.. touché! :-)

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