Anyone else at Google not passionate about tech?

New irl54
Sep 14 26 Comments

I joined Google because of the prestige (google comes at the top of every single prestige poll on blind), the TC, and the opportunity to potentially transfer to an ML team.

But I’m not really super passionate about all the infrastructure work and all the tooling work and that’s the kind of team I’m on. I feel like there’s already a saturation of “best practices” for infrastructure and software engineering, and you’re just following those and there’s not much room for creativity. Is this true?

Anyone else feel the same way and wish they were working on some exciting ML or research projects?

TC 200k

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TOP 26 Comments
  • Google yODa40
    If you want to do creative work, start painting.
    Building software is hard. It is about infrastructure, it is about writing tests, it is about taking care of versioning, it is about writing good CLs, it is about managing state.
    Even if you work for startups, it is about taking care of your customer needs.
    Even if you work in an M/L team, it is about Data Cleaning. It is about debugging. It is about performance, it is about explain-ability

    So, first you reset your expectations of your role in this industry. You are paid to the hard, boring things. If you really want to be creative, make those hard, boring things easier for others.

    There is no magical la-la land where you just sit and think ideas and your ideas will be perfectly delivered to the end user by a factory of minions.
    Sep 14 6
    • Wayfair / Eng tAcq10
      Damn it, you just repeated what I said, but better... 😥
      Sep 14
    • Northrop Grumman HowCouldYu
      @uWu hiiii
      Sep 14
    • Google Mr. Glass
      That’s not fully right. Running existing large systems (operations work) is hard. But when you’re inventing new stuff you get to be creative and don’t have to focus on boring operations or best practices stuff, because there’s no best practice for the new stuff you’re building. You think Zuck’s first version of Facebook was about tests and best practices and design docs on managing state? No. You think Uber’s first platform code was about infrastructure and integration tests? No. Work on new things and be creative. Google isn’t the place for that because it’s too big to let each engineer be creative. It’s now a big company where you just follow the best practices and become a good cog in the wheel.
      Sep 14
    • Google yODa40
      Mt Glass, Zuck was not getting $200K.
      Unless you are the co-founder, you are pretty much driven by what your stakeholder wants (co-founders, customers)
      Sep 15
    • Google Mr. Glass
      Yes but you get to choose (and fire) your customer and market segment too. Zuck was free to choose which investors to take on, and free to choose which customers and market segment to build for. And free to pivot as and when needed. So that point is moot.
      Sep 15
  • Northrop Grumman HowCouldYu
    Welcome to google... wait I don’t work there wtf am I saying
    Sep 14 0
  • Amazon
    Yolo!

    Amazon

    PRE
    Motorola Mobility (a Lenovo Company), Google
    Yolo!more
    ML Engineer is a fancy word for hiring SDE’s to do DevOps work on behalf of Applied and Research scientists.
    Sep 14 1
    • Waymo PdAX50
      Interesting. Not the case from what I've seen at Google & Waymo.
      Sep 15
  • Facebook easzss
    did you really make a decision based on blind polls?

    Everyone wants to work on ML - few are qualified
    Sep 14 4
    • New irl54
      OP
      No I knew it was the most prestigious and I joined because they said there’s an opportunity to switch to research/ML with 20% projects and team transfer after a year.

      I’m just curious if anyone else feels the same way as me
      Sep 14
    • New irl54
      OP
      I am qualified to do ML
      Sep 14
    • Facebook irqL16
      Don’t listen to blind! Listen to “Glassdoor’s best places to work 2019”
      Sep 14
    • Glassdoor voyfa
      Don't listen to that either ^
      Sep 15
  • Wayfair / Eng tAcq10
    Honestly I don't think work is ever all that interesting no matter what you do. Even when I'm working on my own projects there are huge swaths of work that you just have to grind out if you want to finish it. I wouldn't put too much stock in finding a job that enthralls you 24/7. Just focus on TC and learn to enjoy the grind.
    Sep 14 0
  • Apple hahaisn
    Xoogler here.
    What I observed is, people burn out in initial 3 years and then go to comfort zone
    Sep 14 4
    • Waymo PdAX50
      :(
      Sep 14
    • Uber / Eng itsdara
      Burn out how? I thought Google was chill?
      Sep 14
    • Apple hahaisn
      That’s because most of the old gogglers are in comfort zone
      Sep 15
    • Uber / Eng itsdara
      Oh no, I was hoping to slip into comfort zone after 6 months
      Sep 15
  • Uber h74hsx
    I’d suggest chatting with folks who actually work in ML at Google. It might not be as sexy as you think. Many “ml engineers” are basically just tuning hyperparameters on models they have no control over for 8 hours a day.
    Sep 14 0
  • Flexport bdjdjua
    Apply to Flexport, ML is ground floor but problem Flexport is solving is arguably biggest TAM in world and interesting beyond just tech
    Sep 14 0
  • New / Eng
    xoogler420

    New Eng

    PRE
    Google
    xoogler420more
    ML

    1. Get into office
    2. Run borg jobs that optimize hyperparameters
    3. Write down results you receive from jobs from the previous day, usually by email
    4. Be a disorganized shit like me and forget where you wrote certain things you are looking for
    5. While waiting for your jobs to finish, write python scripts to automate some of your workflow or hack infra code to support your models.
    6. Good luck showing "impact" to promo committee because you had like 2 merges to production in the past 5 months.
    7. Switch companies and become a SWE
    Sep 15 1
    • Waymo PdAX50
      Haha yes! Except impact isn't always hard to show, depending on team.

      There are also other things: write rater templates, manage ratings, look at lots of examples (write up spreadsheets of annotations), work with analysts, some feature engineering, some math, etc. But most days are like you say.
      Sep 15
  • New kCeA88
    Lol!!!!
    Sep 14 0

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