Mar 01

I’m at Google

EDIT I wrote this in January of 2017 when I restart­ed my blog but it’s about an event that hap­pened in 2016 so I back-​dated it.

Well I guess third time real­ly is the charm. I final­ly passed through the maze, defeat­ed the mino­taur, and exit­ed vic­to­ri­ous. Yay me!

I was work­ing at a start­up med­ical com­pa­ny when I got a cold-​call from a Google recruiter. I almost did­n’t answer the phone because I did­n’t rec­og­nize the num­ber. But I did and had a nice chat with the recruiter. I was­n’t look­ing for a job as I had start­ed with Lifecode only 10 months before, but I decid­ed to talk with them for fun.

Well, I went through the process, phone inter­view, in-​person inter­view, and it start­ed look­ing like I might actu­al­ly get the job but I already had one. I would feel bad for leav­ing Lifecode after such a short time but I prob­a­bly would­n’t get anoth­er chance to work for Google. This gave a bit of stress for a while. Then, after being with Lifecode for almost 1 year they told every­one that the mon­ey had run out and they were clos­ing the doors. Boo, I liked the job. Yay, I was free to go to Google with­out regret. Boo, I did­n’t have a job offer yet. Yay, I did­n’t have to make the dri­ve to Foster City any­more. Boo, I was out-​of-​work.

So the stress of pos­si­bly hav­ing to leave Lifecode turned into the stress of not hav­ing a job. At this point, I’m almost through the process at Google and every­thing is look­ing good, so do I wait for Google to get back to me or do I start send­ing out my résumé. I decid­ed to wait for a lit­tle while. Then a lit­tle more. And a lit­tle more. Argh, I think I’m get­ting an ulcer.

Finally, after almost a month with­out work I get the call.

  • We’re going to offer you a posi­tion
  • Yay
  • But…
  • But? No But! No one said any­thing about a but…
  • You have to have a project to join before you can start with Google
  • Ok…so…?
  • So now we have to find a group that wants you
  • What? You mean like more inter­views?
  • Well, sort of. Much more infor­mal. You’ll just talk to the man­agers over the phone. If they like you, you’re in.
  • So how do I know who will want me?
  • Well, you won’t until they call you. If they call you.
  • How long is this going to take? I’m kin­da do’t have a job any­more. Or a pay­check. Or food.
  • Don’t wor­ry, it should­n’t take more than a week or two.
  • Uhhhh.…

Anyway, I only talked with three man­agers, and the third liked me, asked it I could come in and meet the group. So I did and every­one loved me and show­ered me with gifts…well, they did like me and I start­ed the next week.

Dec 19

Information and Usefulness

I just Googled myself and the results are inter­est­ing. I did not expect to find any earth-​shattering infor­ma­tion but I was a lit­tle sur­prised at what I did find.

First I just typed James Keesey in the Google search. The third item on the results page was indeed mine but it is my TWiki home page. I reg­is­tered for this in April of 2005 and I haven’t touched it since. I only reg­is­tered so that I could get some infor­ma­tion for work (which uses TWiki). That job passed to anoth­er so I have not touched it. Yet this is the only item that is relat­ed to me on the front page. Google sure knows how to deflate an ego!

Next I typed “James Keesey” in the search. Now the first two (three if you count the sec­ond item which is a sub-​item of the first) relate to me. The first item is a web page that was cre­at­ed by one of my teach­ers at SJSU to show off a project I did for his class. Now I got a good grade (A) for the project but still it is an under­grad­u­ate project and hard­ly rep­re­sents me, my life, or my accom­plish­ments. The sec­ond item is that sil­ly TWiki page again.

Next I typed “James L Keesey” in the search. Now things get inter­est­ing. There is only one result on the page. This result does relate to me and in fact points to one of the four patents that I have been award­ed as inven­tor or co-​inventor. So just search­ing for James Keesey puts on the first page a TWiki home page but not a ref­er­ence to a patent? BTW I’m try­ing to sug­gest that my patents are hyper impor­tant (they are not) but Google has no way to deter­mine this–at least I don’t think they do. Even more inter­est­ing is that there is a link on the page which says that very sim­i­lar hits have been hid­den. I click on that and now there are two items both of which are my patents. Why would Google hide one also matched item that is for a dif­fer­ent patent? Strange.

Next I typed “James Louis Keesey” (which is my full name) in the search. This finds one item as well which is anoth­er of my patents. But only one item is found. This is bizarre.

So depend­ing on what vari­a­tion of my name I type in I get dif­fer­ent answers and none of them show all of my patents nor the three patent appli­ca­tions that are in the sys­tem. You can find these through per­se­ver­ance at the Patent Office pages but it takes many dif­fer­ent search­es just like these.

So appar­ent­ly the most impor­tant infor­ma­tion about me in Google’s eyes in that I once reg­is­tered with the TWiki site. I find this strange and a lit­tle dis­turb­ing. With the way that the world is mov­ing, it seems as if Google is the major infor­ma­tion source for just about every­thing, but as this lit­tle demon­stra­tion shows, Google is very selec­tive in what it records in its data­base let alone what it reports. When we do a search, how are we to know just what infor­ma­tion is left unfound? Given the size of the Google data­base just how can we be sure that we are find­ing rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion?