By TJ Kinion
In the age of technology it is almost impossible to go through your day without talking about or using a product from one of the tech giants; Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. These companies have not only shaped the world we live in today but they are building the world of tomorrow and while articles are written about them ad nauseum we rarely get the chance to see what goes on behind the curtains.
This last Wednesday LearningFuze had the opportunity to host Google’s Director of Engineering, Robert Gardner, and no one wanted to miss this one. The crowd included current students, future students, and a good deal of alumni all eager to hear from someone on the other side of the behemoth that is Google (or should we be saying Alphabet).
During the presentation as well as a lively Q&A, Robert covered a wide range of topics that included; his path to Google, his role in leading the engineering behind Google Analytics, what Google looks for in an applicant, and finally what it takes to succeed once you’ve been invited to the party.
Here are a few takeaways from the evening that we think can help developers whether they end up at Google or decide to blaze their own path.
- You don’t have to be a CS Major to work there. Robert got his PhD in Physics before building his own company that was then bought by Google. He recently hired a former History teacher that went through a bootcamp in San Francisco!
- To be successful at Google you need to impress your peers. Changing your mindset to work for those around you instead of above you leads you to do better work. It’s also easier for peers to see when someone is slacking rather than relying only on managers.
- A mix of both hard and soft skills is necessary to survive at Google. Hard skills will help you keep a job or get your foot in the door, but it is often the soft skills that will help you to thrive and/or be promoted.
- And probably the most important takeaway from the evening: learn how to learn. The technologies we are using today could likely be obsolete in the future and if we are not able to pick up the new ones we will be left in the dust. Figuring out how you best learn and getting really good at learning will keep you in demand for years to come.
Once again we want to thank Robert for spending his evening with us. At least twice a month LearningFuze students have the opportunity to hear from experts in the field like Robert. No matter what industry these speakers come from those in attendance leave with more insight into life as a developer, how to land your first development job, and most importantly how to be a rockstar once you’ve gotten your foot in the door.