I will be playing the part of a Googler. Today, I officially accepted a position at Google working with the Web Toolkit team. As you can imagine, I'm extremely excited to be working for a company with a reputation for doing cool things in an elegant and ethical manner. The other good news in this deal is we're headed back to Atlanta (no, not Mountain View).
If you are surprised to hear that Google has engineering positions in Atlanta, you are exactly where I was just a couple of months ago. I was probing around the web hitting the pages of every company I would consider interesting (I called it employment research, but it was more like thesis procrastination), when I saw an odd listing for Software Engineer in Atlanta on Google's job pages. The next day, I IM'd a friend of mine who works among the bouncy balls at the Googleplex to see what I could find out. Sadly, news of an Atlanta engineering office was as surprising to her as it was to me. I was intrigued enough though that I took her up on her offer to submit my resume into the recruitment database.
Before I knew it, I was in touch with a recruiter and in short order I was past the phone screenings and into full blown Google style interview mode. And by the way, contrary to what you read all over the web, the interview process was not entirely unpleasant. The recruiter was friendly and helpful and most of the folks conducting the interviews were, in my eyes, cool. They were, of course, very thorough in their approach, but I never felt any of it was unreasonable. Of course, I was also doing my best to be very thorough in my evaluation of them as well. I'm pretty adamant that a candidate should go into interviews with a sense of what they need answered and a critical eye on the interviewers willingness to address those needs (that's a side effect of having sat on the other side of the table when we did some hiring at Connexxia). There were certainly moments during the process when I found myself getting a little annoyed, but in all cases the folks responded intelligently to objections or concerns that I raised. When I started the process I was pretty indifferent to the outcome, but when I actually had the opportunity to meet the folks down in Atlanta I was sold.
My official start date is early September. Until then, I have to finish out my summer at IBM, find a place to live, get the movers squared away, get Trey registered for school and take a vacation. At that pace, this will all seem like a blur by next year, but man is it shaping up to be a great summer.