Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Interview with Google

The organising committee recently caught up with Isa Notermans, Talent & Outreach People Programs Specialist from Google (Australia) who are a Platinum Sponsor of NZCSRSC for an interview.

NZCSRSC: Who and what is Google?

Isa: At Google we are making the world’s information universally accessible and useful to all, which can come in all shapes and sizes such as our search engine, Android and Chrome operating systems and our wonderful world of apps. Google was founded in 1998 by two Stanford Grads – Larry Page & Sergey Brin and the term Google comes from ‘Googol’ – 10 to the 100 zero’s relating to the fact that there is an endless supply of information out there.

NZCSRSC: What makes Google tick?

Isa: One thing over all else powers Google’s momentum and that is it’s people. Those that are passionate about making a difference and making the world’s information universally accessible and useful all contribute to what Google has become and what it will be. We share a few common values, top of most is our belief that if we focus on the user, everything else will follow. For example, search is what we're known for. For us we won't be satisfied until a user finds exactly what they are looking for first time, every time. Naturally we still have a long way to go!

NZCSRSC: What can we expect from Google in 2010?

Isa: We are constantly innovating and working on ways to improve our products, so you can expect to see lots of exciting things this year ... locally, we're busy working on products and features that make life easier for Australians and New Zealanders, like making it easy to search for movie show times near you, or being able to see public transport options on Google Maps.

NZCSRSC: What is Google and the Internet going to be like in 2020?

Isa: It's very hard to predict ... with a flourishing internet eco-system, you never know where the next application will come from. We do notice a few major trends though ... the web is becoming increasingly social as people want to share the useful and fun information they find, and more and more people are visiting the internet from their mobile phone. As these trends converge we're going to see some really interesting new products emerge.

NZCSRSC: How is Google helping with global issues such as climate change?

Isa: Climate change is something we feel very strongly about, particularly because it fits so well with our mission of organising information and making it accessible and useful. More information
about how power is being used can help consumers make more informed decisions, which is why we have created a feature called Power Meter (available in the US right now) so people can manage and monitor their usage more closely. We've also developed special layers for Google Earth that share climate change information. To make sure that we're doing our part, we're committed to being carbon neutral, and we've designed some of the world's most efficient data centres, as well as developing on-site renewable energy in some places, to reduce our impact on the environment.

NZCSRSC: What involvement within the NZ ICT community does Google have?

Isa: We are currently about to embark on our Australasian national campus tours. We will bringing our roadshow to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Waikato. We also have several Alumn’s working at our office in Sydney and around the world and our Girl Geek Coffee Clubs on campus currently have a chapter running out of the University of Auckland.

NZCSRSC: How is Google helping support women in computer science and technology?

Isa: In lot’s of ways! The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship is in it’s 5th year! Through the scholarship, we aim to encourage women to excel in computing and technology, and become active role models and leaders in their communities. Such scholarships have created programs like the Google Girl Geek Coffee Clubs on campus as well as sponsorship of the Girl Geek Dinners in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. We also want to encourage young girls to think about computer science at a tertiary level which is why we started the Girls@ Google Day. This year we hope to launch the Junior Anita Borg Scholarship for such girls hoping to study an ICT discipline at University.

NZCSRSC: Why is Google a great place to work?

Isa: We still maintain a small company feel. At lunchtime, almost everyone eats in the office café, sitting at whatever table has an opening and enjoying conversations with Googlers from different
teams. Our commitment to innovation depends on everyone being comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. Every employee is a hands-on contributor, and everyone wears several hats (as well as bare feet and shorts if that is what you feel comfortable in). The rumours are true, we enjoy a very colourful and entertaining workplace that is filled with inspiring people, projects and passions.

NZCSRSC: Are there any employment or internship opportunities at Google?

Isa: There sure are! As we continue to grow, we are always looking for those who share a commitment to creating search perfection and having a great time doing it. We are aggressively inclusive in our hiring, and we favor ability over experience. Also, take a look at:

We have a year round intake of interns for our 12 week full-time program for all degree levels check out: http://www.google.com.au/intl/en/jobs/students/internships/

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