Un Ex-Google habla

Te has preguntado cómo sería trabajar dentro de Google (quizá la compañia de IT de mayor crecimiento en el mundo y un serio competidor de gigantes informáticos), bueno pues un ex trabajador de Google nos platica de todo ésto en una entrevista.

Se trata de Jordan Sissel un Administrador de Sistemas (SysAdmin) que trabajó en Google y que ahora realiza proyectos por su cuenta.

He aquí la transcripción de la entrevista:

1. How old are you?

2. What are your qualifications?
Graduated from college with a bachelors of science in Computer Science and
minor in Economics. I don’t have any industry certifications, and never will (I
don’t believe they provide value). I taught myself systems administration
because it was fun, and it turned into a career 🙂

3. Where did you work before join at Google.com?
Small part-time, remote-work jobs, but nothing full-time. Google hired me out of college.

4. How Did you join at Google?
I had intended to submit my resume to Google, but a recruiter found me first and set me up with an interview.

5. How many interviews did you before join at Google?
A few phone and one on-site (flew out to california for an in-person interview).

6. Some funny anecdote in the interview process?
I was pretty nervous. Nothing notable to say about the interview process, though.

7. How long are you working at Google as sysadmin?
I worked there for 2 years.

8. In which city are you working?
The main campus in Mountain View, CA.

9. Could you explain us how is a tipical sysadmin day at Google?
Similar to other places, I’d guess. The list of things to do includes writing automation tools, improving monitoring systems, fighting fires (service outages, etc), helping out other engineers with design or capacity problems, and other small tasks. We also had an on-call rotation.

10. What OS do you use?
For personal use, Linux, Windows, and FreeBSD. At work, whatever is most convenient for what I need to do – which is often Linux.

11. Do you use some Propietary Software at work?
I don’t think I can answer this.

12. Are you active in the Open Source World? (I mean if you are active in some Open Source project)
All the personal projects I develop outside of work is open source (http://semicomplete.googlecode.com/). Additionally, I’m slightly active in a few open source communities CPAN (years ago) and freebsd.

13. Do you work in a workgroup? If yes, how many are you?
Yep, my team was about a dozen people.

14. Do you have free time to invest in your own personal projects?
Depends on what you mean by personal. Outside of work I maintain and develop a few side-projects. Inside work, my "personal projects" are usually automation tools written to make myself (and my team’s) life easier. Google has a 20% policy where you can spend 20% of your time working on another project. I don’t think systems administration allows for such luxuries – I joke with other sysadmin friends (even outside Google) that we all have a 110% project, which is our main job.

15. Which is the best achievement you have get done at Google as sysadmin?
I was the ‘go-to’ guy in my group, which is a fun position to be in.

16. How about the social life in Mountain View ( or your job location ).
Mountain View is in "Silicon Valley" which is pretty heavily populated. Regarding geek life, there are BarCamps and other fun social geek events happening fairly often. There are also lots of concert venues and other things. San Francisco is only a 40 minute drive from where I live, and there’s always something to do there.

17. Could you give us some advice to get a Job at Google as sysadmin?
Being able to come up to speed on new tools/techonology quickly is a plus. Additionally, being good at troubleshooting (requires knowledge of the tools for troubleshooting). If you really want to work there, submit your resume. If you don’t pass the interview process, it’s not the end of the world. Focus on filling in you knowledge gaps and try again in a year or so. I had a fairly wide (but not complete) knowldgebase of networking, system troubleshooting, debugging, and monitoring which helped me greatly while I was there.

18. ¿What OS do you use at google.com?
Probably can’t say.

19. What filesystem do you use at google.com?
In production? Google has released papers about some of it’s technology it uses internally: GFS, Bigtable, etc.

20. What high availability system do you use?
Probably can’t say. There might be some papers on research.google.com that talk about this subject, but I haven’t checked.

21. How many hosts, aproximately, do you manage?
I can’t say.

22. What brand are your network hardware?
I don’t know that one, I never touched the hardware.

23. How do you make the backups of such quantity of data?
Probably can’t say.

24. Which monitorization system do you use?
I can’t say.

25. Which is your favorite programming language?
Whatever one fits best for the task. At Google, we mainly used Python in my group.

26. Could you show us in percentage the tipical activities in a normal day?
(for example: 20% optimization, 30 fixing problems, 10 debugging…)

If I am on-call, the fixing problems and debugging values are much higher.i
Otherwise, I tried to spend most of my time developing tools and automation so
we could spend less time on fixing problems and debugging.

27. Something you want to add?
I really enjoyed working at Google!

Interesante charla con un conocedor de Google, es interesante saber que la mayor parte de su trabajo lo hizo en Linux, y me resulta curioso la naturalidad con la que dice "También uso Windows".

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