The Unexpected Mail From Google

I share my experience of a Google interview call.

Can you quickly estimate what number is equal to two to the power of 64? If you can, then you just solved an interview question at Google. I was quiet excited as I got an unexpected email from Google, on Sunday. A friendly woman from the recruitment team found this site, saw my projects on Github and was quiet interested in my passion to Free Software. She asked, if she could catch up on the phone. So we arranged an appointment. Haven't had an interview in english, so I've thought this could be an interesting experience. The next day I picked up the phone and we did some brief chit-chat. She told me, that she would ask me some technical questions.

At first I was quiet shocked, but then I tried my best to answer. The questions were basically about data structures, algorithms and time complexities. I guess there a lot of Google interview questions on the web, just search, if you're interested. After the quiz she told me, that there would be another phone interview which involves writing code in a freely chosen programming language to solve a given problem in 45 minutes. The goal isn't just solving the problem, but also iteratively improve it with known data structures and algorithms to best efficiency. A software-engineer at Google would expect explanations on the phone, and would ask me some further technical questions. She sent another email with learning material, basically books about algorithms, data structures, threading, tips for a successful technical interview, videos, articles and a link to research papers. I think that one important key factor to success is to be really passionate about it - as far as I remember, this worked out pretty well on realisitic opportunities, but here comes the twist:

There are two main reasons why I stopped striving to get the job. With all respect for Google's technological advance, I'm fearing Google and its future vision. There is a lot of criticism of Google and there are plently of books about it. Covering topics among others are Page Rank, Copyright Issues, Privacy, Censorship and Monopoly. I think it's even more important how the future will be. There's no doubt that Google's glass would change how we live, like social networks did, but even though we couldn't estimate how technology impacts on society I think that it's only reasonable to use open unrestricted technologies. I really recommend you the Freedom in the Cloud talk of Eben Moglen, which covers the dangers of information monopoly. For further information Jaron Lanier's book You Are Not a Gadget covers some interesting human-centered perspectives on the subject. The second more important reason, which is mainly an addition to the first one, is simply happiness in life. I guess you agree with me, that happiness is a major goal in life, therefore also in the present moment. I think it's actually a major motivation of life, too. Working and living at a place, that I fear would definitely make me unhappy. I'm passionate about my craft and my ideals, and I'd loved to work at place sharing the same ideas.


One or two mails a month about the latest technology I'm hacking on.