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Why Blog? Because Google Might Hire You

Ok. Now that I have the official word on not getting hired by Google, I'm opening the Can 'O Worms. Yes, I almost took a job with Google, and no, I wasn't job hunting. Let me tell the story.

It's a quiet day. I'm sitting in front of Hercules (R.I.P.), my faithful laptop, coding away, when I see a new email in my inbox from Google. The title of the message- "Hello from Google!". Curious, I open it up. The body of the text is as follows:

Hi Aaron-

My name is Dan McCarthy; I'm a talent scout for the engineering team here at Google. I came across some of your work on the Web and was impressed with your development experience - particularly the breadth of your background in Linux and your abilities in Python, both of which are extremely valuable here.

I actually recruit for the engineering team here, which is the group of engineers that's essentially the mission control of Google. They're responsible for the design and development of the infrastructure for all our web applications and internal services. You'd be able to tackle some of the most unique scalability problems in the world and work on the newest products we have. It's a mission-critical role that involves a lot of coding and requires a high degree of creativity and troubleshooting expertise, so we're looking for Unix experts and great coders with broad skill sets (like yourself)! We have several positions within the department that I feel would be a good match for your skills and qualifications. The positions are currently available in:

Mountain View, CA
Santa Monica, CA
New York, NY
Kirkland/Seattle, WA
Dublin, Ireland
Zurich, Switzerland
Sydney, Australia

I'm not asking you to quit what you're doing now - just seeing if you might be interested in exploring opportunities with Google. If you're at all interested in the department or in Google in general, I'd love to speak with you about the opportunities we have here - and of course, if any of your talented colleagues would be interested, feel free to forward my name and contact information to them as well.

You also may have noticed that a couple of weeks ago we were named the #1 company to work for by Fortune Magazine:

Thanks for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Best regards,

-Dan McCarthy
Engineering Staffing Team

I was excited, needless to say. Even though it is a recruiter, and his job may be scout out possible new-hires for the company, I felt flattered. Whether it be a form mail that he sends out to anyone and everyone (insert name here), or a personal mail sent just to myself, I had to keep my options open. I replied saying I was interested, and what the next steps would be. I forwarded him my resume, and within a couple days, had a phone screening.

I was asked where my strengths lie, how I felt in certain areas of technology and software development and where I would best fit given the talents that I had. After everything was in order, I was asked a few technical questions to review my competency, then the review was left to the Hiring Committee. After a week of review, it was determined that I was not a good fit for Google.

During the phone screen, I was given the opportunity to ask any questions that I had. I seized the moment, and asked Dan how I was discovered. The initial email mentioned that he was impressed with my work on the web, and my Linux experience, but other than that, I was curious just exactly how he found me.

The response? My blog.

Because I blog, regularly and consistently, and stick with very specific topics, I was weeded out from the millions, and given the opportunity to work for one of the greatest companies, if not the single greatest, on the planet. Who would've thought that blogging could create such opportunities? I certainly didn't. So, should I pass up the opportunity to work for other companies? No way! Keep my options open, and ready to respond. I never know who will be on the lookout next.

Am I bummed that I didn't get a job at Google? No, not really. I work for a fantastic startup company, namely introPLAY, which I am confident will take off and do fairly well. I love the environment that I am currently working for, and love those that I work with even more. I don't know if I would enjoy going back to a M-F 9-5 environment with corporate management and rampant politics. Then again, it is Google. Who knows? Maybe Google will acquire introPLAY, and I'll end up becoming one of the borg anyway.

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