Tag Archives: Life at Google

From Lagos to London, this marketer is making an impact

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post features Oiza Sadiq, an Associate Product Marketing Manager based in Lagos, Nigeria (soon to be London) who seeks ways to make real-life impact through her work.

What do you do at Google?
I’m an Associate Product Marketing Manager (APMM) at Google. The APMM program is a two-year rotational development program for early-career digital marketers. During our rotations, we work on different teams across Google Marketing to get experience and build our skills. In my current role as a Growth Strategist on the Growth Lab team, I work with product marketers to develop strategies and campaigns to help people better understand how to use Google products.

What have been the driving forces behind your career?

I’ve always been passionate about helping individuals and businesses grow. I get fulfillment from seeing people impacted by either the knowledge I share or the work I do — through creating campaigns, supporting product marketers, launching new features or learning more about our users. And I know that I can’t give what I don’t have, which is why I’m so driven to find inspiration and success myself.

Oiza, wearing a Google t-shirt, smiles and holds up the two-finger “peace” sign in front of the Google logo.

Oiza in our Lagos, Nigeria office

How would you describe your path to Google?

When I got to university, I learned about a group of students — the Google Student Ambassadors (GSA) — who shared resources and trained other students on Google products. I was drawn to how helpful and knowledgeable they were, so I joined the program in my second year.

After building my skills as a Google Student Ambassador, I landed my first job after university as a project and campaign manager at a digital agency. I eventually reached out to a Googler, who led the GSA program at the time, and told her I wanted to take on more challenging projects and someday become a Googler like her. She shared that there was an open contract role at Google for a Strategic Partner Manager, who would help establish partnerships to provide public Wi-Fi in Nigeria. She encouraged me to apply and put my best foot forward.

So I did, interviewed and got the role. After 16 months in that position, I transferred to the APMM program — and now, here I am.

What surprised you about the interview process?

I typically dread interviews, because it feels like you are in a hot seat trying to prove and convince people of your worth. So when I spoke with my Google interviewers, I was surprised that it felt like any other chat. Everyone was friendly and engaging, which really helped me be myself.

Oiza, with her arms crossed and wearing black glasses and an orange top, smiles at the camera for a headshot image.

What’s next for you at Google?
As part of my second rotation with the APMM program, I’m moving to London to join my new team. As a Growth Specialist, I’ll look after markets like Northern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe — and my home, Sub Saharan Africa (I’m from Kogi State, Nigeria and started in Google’s Lagos office).

And what excites you outside of your role?

Outside of my role, I love working with secondary school students and giving career talks and digital skills training. I also do voice-overs for events, including speaker introductions and program announcements.

Any tips for anyone hoping to join Google?

Be your authentic self, put your best foot forward and apply for that role!

How dreaming big and daring to fail led Chai to Google

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Chai Madan, a Google Cloud consultant in our Singapore office, who is passionate about making a difference through her work.

What do you do at Google?

As a Google Cloud consultant in Singapore, I work on infrastructure and security projects with some of Google Cloud’s customers in Southeast Asia. I love partnering with enthusiastic customers who want to change the world through their business, and seeing the impact of our work on everyday life — from booking a cab here in Singapore to ordering gifts for my parents online. Cloud computing is making this possible, which is why I’m proud to do this work.

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I’m Malayalee and was raised in Dubai until I was 17 years old, when I moved to India to enroll in university. When I’m not working, I’m most likely having fun with friends and family, fitness training, listening to podcasts, exploring restaurants or traveling around the world (at least, before the pandemic).

Chai, in a green shirt and black jacket, is standing behind a wooden table with a large Google Cloud logo sitting on it. Hanging on the wall in the background is Van Gogh’s self portrait, part of the exhibit she’s visiting.

Chai visiting an exhibit on Google’s ARCore, our platform for building augmented reality experiences

Why were you interested in this role?

Throughout my career, I’ve gravitated towards new and exciting areas in the tech industry. This includes the cloud computing space, which is where most businesses around the world are heading. And now, in keeping with my personal mantra of “dream big and dare to fail,” I'm starting a new role on Google Cloud’s Digital Natives team, where I'll help businesses with their digital transformation programs. I can't wait to use my skills and experience to make an impact with those customers, and I’m excited for the challenge.

What’s your daily source of inspiration?

I’m inspired by the fact that I enjoy my work. Particularly, I enjoy seeing and experiencing our impact in action. Outside of my core role, I also like participating in our fun work events. Last year, my daughter joined me for Google’s virtual Take Your Child to Work Day and won prizes for designing her own Google Doodle and making a Google-themed snack at home.

Chai, in a green shirt, black jacket, and black mask, is sitting on a couch in front of a window. On both sides of the couch are three stacked boxes that say “Google Cloud” and feature Cloud’s logo.

Chai attending a Google Cloud event

What was your application and interview process like?

I applied directly on the Google Careers website and heard back from a recruiter shortly afterward, who asked to set up a phone call. I remember thinking “It’s just a first round with the recruiter,” so I didn’t prepare much — gee, was I in for a surprise! My recruiter knew the requirements for the role and conducted a mini interview. I was a little stunned, but she ultimately helped me see that I had what it took to succeed. I had never felt so supported during an interview before. I would encourage anyone interested in exploring roles at Google to apply without hesitation!

Any advice for aspiring Googlers?

Have a strategy, but be open to tweaking it along the way. You will make mistakes, but you can learn from them. Once your interview is scheduled, practice, practice, practice. Write things down and do mock interviews. And finally, don't wait for a job description to be a 100% match. As long as you are passionate about the role and feel like you can get the hang of it, apply and make your mark!

A Googler’s story of overcoming obstacles and doubts

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Ernesto Gutierrez — a Partner Development Manager in our Mexico City office — and the obstacles he overcame on his journey to Google.

What’s your role at Google?

As an ISV Partner Development Manager at Google Cloud, I am responsible for opening the ISV (Independent Software Vendors) area in Mexico. Our goal is to help these software vendors use the Google Cloud Platform, and I help them do this. One of the things I really enjoy about this role is that I get to meet and promote so many passionate partners throughout the region.

What’s your typical work day like?

In the morning, I check my schedule to see what adventures await me throughout the day. I then wake up my 4-year-old twins — my motivation and the reason for everything I do. Together, we head to my home office, where they occasionally join in on my meetings throughout the day. These meetings are often with my partners to review our progress and identify challenges. Each partner has a very particular vision of the future and the strategy we need to get there — I learn a lot from them. I also meet with my manager to go over what I’ve learned and the way I think we should move forward. Last, I devote time to closing out pending issues and planning my next day. I spend the rest of my evening in my most important role — having fun and laughing with my twins.

Ernesto, in a dark blue button down with the top two buttons undone, speaking at a Google marketing event.

Ernesto speaking at a Google Marketing event.

What was your path to this role like?

Since I was a student, I dreamed of working at Google. However, I feared I lacked the professional experience needed to apply, so I didn't until I received an email from a Google recruiter. During my interviews I focused on just being myself — and I got an offer.

When I joined Google, I became Partner Manager for large agencies in Latin America and was responsible for promoting the use of data driven marketing. I was constantly learning new things. Around this time, I realized that the future is cloud computing, so I decided to make the change to my current role. While I didn’t have much experience with Google Cloud before, I am grateful for the ample opportunity I was given to grow into this role.

What resources did you use to prepare for your interview?

I prepared a lot for my interviews. I started by researching and reading everything I could find about Google’s Marketing Platform until I understood very well where the company was going. I also studied other companies in this space, which gave me a lot of clarity around how the same industry objective can be approached from different perspectives. Once I learned all of this information, I organized my thoughts around my own career. I reread the success stories from what I developed or participated in and I practiced articulating how my focus on innovation could add to Google's objectives. I also spoke with people who worked in companies similar to Google to measure my knowledge and test answers to possible complex questions. And finally, the support and trust of my family before and after each interview helped me get here.

Ernesto, in a black T-shirt and blue jeans, holding his Noogler hat and smiling to the camera.

Ernesto proudly holding his Noogler hat.

Any tips for aspiring Googlers?

Be your true self, and don’t be afraid to apply because you feel inadequate. Google looks for people capable of learning and problem-solving over people who have complete technical mastery. After you apply, be sure to prepare for the interview so you are able to confidently speak about yourself and your experiences.

What’s something people might not know about you?

I was born with a cleft lip, a condition that required seven surgeries, years of speech therapy and counseling to cope with the bullying. This condition made it difficult for me to speak publicly and socialize. But my mother challenged me to have big aspirations — she pushed me to dream big regardless.

Today I’m an Ambassador of the Smile Train Foundation, an organization helping children born with cleft palates and lips. I’m committed to inspiring these children that they can achieve any dream they set their minds to. I am extremely grateful for everything I have.

What advice do you have for your past self?

Never be afraid to express when I don’t know, and never try to hide my cleft lip and palate. Acknowledge that if I don’t know how to do something today, I can learn it tomorrow.

This engineer creates community for Indigenous Googlers

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Tamina Pitt, a Google Maps Software Engineer from our Sydney office and a founding member of the Google Aboriginal and Indigenous Network chapter in Australia.

What do you work on at Google?

As a Software Engineer for the Directions Platform team, I build the directions experience on Google Maps. I code for anyone who needs help finding their way. I love working on a feature that benefits so many people every day.

I'm a Wuthathi and Meriam woman, meaning that my ancestors are Aboriginal from Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands in Australia. I was born and grew up on the ancestral lands of the Gadigal and Bidjigal people in Sydney, where I still live today. When I came to Google, I wanted to create a community for Indigenous Googlers like me to come together and build a sense of belonging at work. So I co-founded the Australian chapter of the Google Aboriginal and Indigenous Network (GAIN), an Employee Resource Group (ERG) for Googlers from, or passionate about, Indigenous and Aboriginal people. I also contribute to the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), Google's commitment to empower and create equitable opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As part of this work, I run events featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speakers to help Googlers learn more about Indigenous culture.

Why did you apply to Google?

I first applied to Google when I was a student at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. I was in my second year and still unsure about my future in engineering. I hadn't been applying for internships because I didn't think I was good enough, but my parents pushed me to apply for one at Google — and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

Tamina stands outdoors in front of a wall of greenery, tossing a graduation cap. She is wearing a red outfit with a shrimp pattern, a black graduation robe, a red, yellow and black sash (the colors of the Aboriginal flag) and a blue and green sash (the colors of the Torres Strait Islander flag).

Tamina at her University of New South Wales graduation, wearing sashes representing the colors of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.

Describe your path to your current role.

I studied electrical engineering for a year or so, where I took a computing course that I really enjoyed. I eventually transferred to study computer engineering and discovered that I was interested in the software side.

Interning at Google helped me officially try software engineering out for size. My confidence grew once I got some hands-on experience — and now, I’ve been working at Google for two years as a full-time software engineer.

What inspires you to come in (or log in) every day?

I'm inspired by my community of Indigenous people in and outside of work, including the Indigenous activists and Elders who fought and continue to fight for our rights to be recognized. I'm also inspired by the growing interest I see in young Indigenous people and women to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It makes me really excited for the future.

I really enjoy working on Google Maps, too. Every time I meet a new person, they share their love of Google Maps or send me feature requests. I like knowing that the product I work on is useful for so many people and that I’m part of the team that can make it even better.

Tamina stands in front of a wall of leaves. She is wearing a red shirt with a black-and-white floral skirt. She holds cardboard signs of the Google Maps red logo and the Google “I’m Feeling Lucky” search button. She also wears a Noogler hat — a green, blue, red and yellow hat with a propeller.

Tamina at her Google orientation in Singapore.

What was your interview experience like?

I was very nervous for each interview, because I felt like I didn’t have enough coding experience. I was surprised by how friendly the interviewers were and even found myself having fun. As a new graduate, I was relieved that they didn’t expect me to perform at the same level as someone who's been working for many years.

What advice would you share with your past self?

When I was a student, I didn’t feel like I belonged — I was one of few women and the only Indigenous person in my class. Today, I know that so many people feel the same way. I would tell my past self to stay strong in my identity and feel proud of my achievements. I feel so supported by my community and I want to help other women, Indigenous people and anyone historically underrepresented in tech see their potential in this field.

A new podcast season about people powering the internet

Professional football player. Organizational psychologist. Mechanical engineer. Ice cream factory worker.

This list of careers may seem random, but they have something in common. They’re all part of the personal and professional histories of people who now work at Google data centers. These individuals, and their stories, take center stage in Season 2 of Where the Internet Lives, a podcast about the hidden world of data centers.

In Season 1, we pulled back the curtain to share how data centers work, what they mean to the communities that host them and our goal to run them on 24/7 carbon-free energy. In Season 2, we’re focusing on the lives and career journeys of ten people who help keep the internet running.

You’ll hear from folks like Mamoudou “D” Diallo, who grew up in Guinea-Conakry in West Africa. After scoring exceptionally well on a standardized test in high school, he traveled to Ukraine for college to study computer engineering — a subject that, up until that point, he had only read about in books. He later moved to Ohio for graduate school and spent 20 years working on technology in the financial sector. He has since shifted to the tech industry, and is now the site manager for Google’s data center in New Albany, Ohio.

Illustration of Mamoudou smiling and wearing a dark-colored suit and orange tie against a blue and orange background. Behind him are illustrated images, including two children playing with a soccer ball, a computer, a city skyline and components of a circuit board.

You’ll also hear from innovators like Juliana Conroy-Hoey, who designs mechanical systems, including ventilation and cooling for data centers in Europe. While she’s always been interested in the mechanics behind how things work, she never imagined the scale of what she’s working on today — a scale that has grown as data centers have, too. “The demand for data centers has increased significantly from the first data center that I worked on,” she says.

Illustration of Juliana smiling against a green background. She has long blonde hair and is wearing a white shirt and pearl earrings. Images in the background include a hand reaching for a computer chip, a data center, the skyline of Dublin, Ireland and industrial-sized fans.

These are just a few of the folks you’ll hear from in this season of Where the Internet Lives, and how their unique life experiences and backgrounds help them power the internet.

Listen to the first five episodes today, and subscribe to get notified when new episodes launch — including the next five in January 2022.

How a Google recruiter prepared for her own interview

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Jennifer Jones, a recruiter from our Atlanta office, who originally wanted to be an elementary school teacher and shares her journey from studying education to recruiting engineering talent.

What’s your role at Google?

I am an Early Careers Software Engineer Recruiter at Google. I work specifically with candidates looking to start their software engineering careers with us.

I tell all of my candidates to think of me as their coach, and that my job is to help them get to the finish line. I love how I can incorporate so much of my personality into my position, while tailoring each experience to what my candidates need. It's an honor to be part of such an important decision in their lives.

How did you get into recruiting?

My path to recruiting (and Google) has been a unique one for sure. I had no intention of becoming a recruiter — I stumbled into this career. But ever since I found this role, where I can be myself and help others at the same time, I have been obsessed with what I do.

After graduating high school, I went to Temple University in Philadelphia for a year and a half with the hopes of becoming an elementary teacher. But the more I attended classes, the more I knew it wasn't for me, and I decided not to pursue a college degree. I went back home to New Jersey and started working in retail, which led to account management and eventually recruiting.

I first applied to Google in 2015 and made it to the onsite interview, but I didn’t get to the offer stage. In 2017, I took a contract recruiting job working out of Google’s Austin, Texas office. From the moment I walked through the doors, I knew I belonged there. When my contract ended, I went another direction — but Google always stayed top of mind. There was no other place like it for me.

This past year, I applied again for a full time role at Google. Imposter syndrome and negative thoughts were definitely creeping in. "I don't have a degree, can I really do this?" "What if I have to move, do I really want to do it?" But I applied anyway and got the job!

Jennifer stands next to and gestures towards a neon red cursive Google sign

Jennifer at Google’s Austin, Texas office

What inspires you to come in (or log in) every day?

I love how liberated I feel in my position. My manager trusts me to execute my work, but she is always there if I need her.

Google also has some of the most incredible people, and it's amazing to work with change makers and innovators. It's such a collaborative environment and a place where I’m comfortable bringing my whole self to work each day.

What was the interview process like for you?

My recruiter prepared me for my onsite interviews in a way that I had never experienced before. Each step of the way, he shared updates — even on weekends. I'll never forget, I was walking out of my local grocery store when I saw his email that I had passed my onsite interviews. I cried right there in the parking lot! It was such an incredible feeling.

Can you share some of the resources you used to prepare for your interviews?

I treated my interview prep like a part-time job. I spent time writing down everything I had accomplished and scenarios that I wanted to mention in my responses. I searched for "hypothetical interview questions" and "behavioral interview questions," and practiced answering using the S.T.A.R. method. All of this helped me feel comfortable when it came time to interview.

Do you have any tips for aspiring Googlers?

Don't give up. I interviewed three times over the course of six years before I became a Googler. There were so many times that I almost talked myself out of applying. If I listened, I wouldn’t be here! Learning to quiet the negative voices and think positive thoughts helped tremendously.

How this Googler celebrates Native American Heritage Month all year

When I was growing up, my Misho (my grandfather) was the chief of our tribe (Prairie Band Potawatomi) and would often tell my brother and me stories and tales sacred to our Indigenous history. When I was in second grade, I asked my Misho to come into my class to tell his stories for show and tell. I was immensely proud of him, and grateful for the opportunity to share my culture with my classmates. But after he left, my classmates started calling me names like “Pocahontas,” and war-whooping at me on the playground. After that, I didn’t mention my tribe or Native affiliation to classmates or colleagues again until I was in my 20s.

An older man with brown skin and white hair and a mustache in a pale blue button down short sleeve shirt (Cheryl’s Misho) is holding a younger girl (Cheryl) with brown hair and white skin, in a white short, puffy sleeved shirt. They are both smiling at the camera (Misho with a closed mouth smile, Cheryl with a tooth-smile).

Cheryl and her Misho

When I got pregnant, I realized I wanted to reconnect with my culture. I wanted my son to know about the powerful, strong history of the Prairie Band Potawatomi, and about his family and my Misho. I threw myself into trying to learn the language, the history and our stories again. I bought my son children’s books written by Indigenous authors, and watched every film and movie I could about Indigenous culture — even if it wasn’t about the Potawatomi.

As part of reconnecting with my heritage, I also joined Google’s Aboriginal and Indigenous Network (GAIN) to stay up to date on any native-focused events at work. I’d been a member of other employee resource groups at Google before, like [email protected] and [email protected], but I wanted to find a group of other Native and Indigenous people. I was thrilled to discover GAIN and see that there were not only other Indigenous Googlers like me, but that there were enough of them to organize their own group.

During this time reconnecting to my heritage, I watched a film about the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) movement. According to the United States Department of Justice’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Initiative, “American Indian and Alaska Native people suffer from unacceptable and disproportionately high levels of violence, which can have lasting impacts on families and communities.” In Australia and Canada, Aboriginal and First National Australian women are six times more likely to be victims of homicide than non-Native women. In the U.S., a Task Force was recently created with the purpose of working with tribal governments and developing protocols for the cases of missing and murdered Indigenous peoples, among other things. I remember feeling completely gutted after listening to the stories of Indigenous women disappearing from their Indian reservation, never to be seen again. This is particularly traumatic for many Indigenous tribes as funeral drum and burial ceremonies are critical for the spirit to move on to the afterlife, and for those of us behind to mourn.

After seeing that film, I reached out to GAIN leadership and asked what we could do to raise awareness for MMIW. The next thing I knew, we had a working group of more than a dozen people raising awareness and resources for MMIW organizations. We’ve even held 10 events with Googlers, including panels with Black and Indigenous women to discuss the intersectionality of murdered and missing women of color, began a podcast listening group, held a 5K run and hosted other fundraising and awareness events. This experience has made me feel more connected to my tribe and my culture. It’s empowered me to share more of my whole self at work — I’ve introduced colleagues to my language, for instance, and I’ve felt like I have a space to identify as Native American. I’m proud to be a member of GAIN, and appreciate how much they help to raise awareness not only about Indigenous culture but also MMIW.

There is a saying in the Indigenous community about MMIW: When an Indigenous woman goes missing, she goes missing twice — first her body vanishes and then her story.” With help from Googlers and GAIN, and through the work of MMIW organizations and their volunteers, I hope these Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit peoples do not go missing forever. You don’t have to be a Googler to take part: You can educate yourself about MMIW, look into policies meant to address this issue, or find ways to support organizations that advocate for MMIW. These missing people are not just faces on missing posters. They’re family — and we are all connected.

This Googler is dedicated to making a difference

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s story is all about Lerato Seopela from our Johannesburg office. Lerato shares her path from management consultancy to marketing at Google, plus her passion for sustainability and beekeeping at home.

What do you do at Google?

I’m an Associate Product Marketing Manager (APMM) for the Ads Marketing team in Sub-Saharan Africa. My work often comes to life through local tool launches and events that share insights and practical tips with clients to help them reach their business goals.

The Google APMM program is a unique career path on the Google Marketing team. As a cohort-based, two-and-a-half-year rotational development program, it provides an active community, leadership roles, and job rotations to help you discover different marketing teams across Google.

I’m also an inclusivity advocate. Since joining Google, I have helped create inclusive marketing campaigns, research, and business training specifically for the LGBTQ+ community in the region.

What have been the driving forces behind your career?

My family has had a huge impact on my career. My parents, aunts and uncles have all achieved success and happiness despite the adversities they faced during the Apartheid regime. The values they’ve instilled in me have influenced how I empower myself and others through education. I feel fulfilled in my career when I know that I’ve contributed to improving the lives of others, whether that’s through supporting people’s business needs or helping them develop new skills.

How would you describe your path to Google?

Before Google, I was a marketing consultant at Discovery Health, an insurance company that encourages people to live healthier. Towards the end of 2019, I decided to look for a new job that would give me the opportunity to build my problem-solving skills, develop strategies and work with different people around the world. At the beginning of 2020, I started a new job as a management consultant at a local management consulting firm. Just before I transitioned to this new role, a recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn about an open Associate Product Marketing Manager role at Google. After a quick call with her, I immediately began the application and interview process, which all took place virtually. And I was lucky enough to get the role! I joined Google in April 2020, soon after the world was thrust into a global pandemic. Despite not seeing a Google office yet, it’s been an incredible experience working with so many talented people.

What surprised you about the interview process?

I was surprised by the rounds of interviews and the amount of communication from my recruiter throughout the whole process. It was reassuring to have someone to reach out to with questions, and who would proactively keep me updated. Everyone throughout the interview process was so lovely and made an effort to help me feel comfortable. It was a really human experience, and I could get a sense of the company culture from everyone I met.

What gets you most excited in your role?

What excites me most about my role is the breadth of work available, my amazing colleagues, and the tangible and positive impact we are making in the region. I’ve contributed to projects like the Economic Recovery campaign, which helps small businesses, jobseekers, educators and students find their feet and recover during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts gave me a sense of purpose during a challenging time, and showed me that I can make a difference in my job. It was inspiring to see how some of the small businesses we worked with not only recovered, but thrived under very difficult circumstances. And working alongside a team dedicated to helping as many people as possible has been one of the proudest moments of my career.

And what excites you outside of your role?

My guilty pleasure is reality TV! I love watching the Real Housewives franchise. I’m also a huge foodie, and I like finding new places to try new food and hang out. To keep level headed, I enjoy Pilates, yoga, and hiking, and recently discovered the benefits of meditation. I’m also an advocate for sustainability and environmental preservation. In fact, I’ve taken up beekeeping to support the declining population of bees around the world.

Any tips for anyone hoping to join Google in Africa?

Have confidence in your ability. Don’t doubt the amazing things that you can do, and the impact you can make across the continent.

How 15 years in IT brought Subhasish to Google Maps

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s story is all about Subhasish Roy from our Hyderabad office. Subhasish shares how he brings the lessons he’s learned from over 15 years in IT to his current role as a Program Manager on the Google Maps team.

What’s your current role at Google?

I am a Program Manager on the Google Maps data moderation team, where I lead multiple projects to review the helpful content our users submit to Google Maps — like whether a business is still open, and if their hours, business name and other information are still accurate. What I love most about my role is working with a diverse team that is passionate about giving users the best experience possible.

Describe your typical workday.

I’m working from home like many others around the world. I generally start by planning and prioritizing my day with to-do lists and action items. Then, I usually have several video meetings with teams based in six offices across four time zones, including India, Ireland and the United States. Googlers are always collaborating using Google Docs, so I spend a good amount of my days working with my colleagues on strategy documents or reviewing proposals.

What made you decide to apply to Google?

I dreamed of working at Google ever since I learned more about the internet and its potential to impact millions of lives. Google continuously innovates to make people's lives easier, which inspired me to think big and want to work here.

How did you get to your current role?

I’ve had many roles during my 15+ year IT career. I started out as a software engineer and, from there, took on different positions — including team lead, project manager, development manager, and technical program manager. Along the way, I developed many skills, like managing teams, communicating and negotiating with customers, and eventually leading a large-scale enterprise application development team across multiple time zones and languages.

Despite all of this experience, I was still anxious about applying to Google because I didn’t study at one of the top-tier universities in India. I also wasn’t sure if I would be a good match for the culture or how my experience would fit into Google, since I hadn’t coded for 10 years at that point. However, once I got to Google, I was able to channel all of my experience and the skills I’ve developed throughout my career into leading teams, experimenting, and building products. I have access to world-class technology and talent, and the impact of my work has reached new heights.

What inspires you to log on every day?

More than a billion users every month use Google Maps for their daily commutes. I am inspired knowing that the work I’m doing is helping people. It's also a great feeling to work with so many smart people. It provides incredible learning and growth opportunities, and drives my daily energy.

Can you share any of the resources you used to prepare for the interview?

I used sites like LinkedIn Learning, online videos and training classes, and sessions from the Life at Google YouTube channel.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Show your willingness to think outside of the box. It sounds cliché, I know, but the way you think can take you far. That expertise that you might think doesn’t apply to the role you want at Google may be exactly what gets you the job!

Dragonscale: a beautiful approach to solar

Earlier this year, we shared our plans for ‘dragonscale’ solar skin — a first-of-its kind design made up of 90,000 silver solar panels with the capacity to generate nearly 7 megawatts of energy.

To hit our goal to operate on entirely carbon-free energy by 2030, we need to prioritize alternate sources of energy, like solar, and maximize the amount of solar energy our buildings can capture. So when the designs for our newest additions to our Silicon Valley campus evolved into a large, canopy structure, we knew we’d have to think beyond traditional rectangular solar panels to create something that balanced form and function. Today, the two main buildings that have this solar roof, Bay View and Charleston East, are nearly complete.

Enter the ‘dragonscale’ solar roof

As the person responsible for looking at sustainable systems design for our real estate developments, I helped lead the efforts to engineer this new solar panel design for Charleston East and Bay View. Over the course of this project, I’ve watched these designs turn from an idea into reality.

The dragonscale solar roof that will adorn both these buildings is the result of years of product development, collaboration with a handful of partners, and examining prototypes from manufacturers all over Europe. It wasn’t easy. At one point my 7-year-old son even jumped in to help with his own design concept.

Two diagrams show Asim Tahir’s son’s take on how to solve the solar panel challenge.

Design suggestion from Asim Tahir’s son.

Eventually, our partners at SunStyle came to us with a highly textured prismatic glass shingle with a unique coating technology. The prismatic nature of the glass ‘trapped’ light that would normally escape from traditional flat solar panels and reduced reflective glare that can be a problem for drivers and pilots. That same texture that provides all that function, also gives the overlapping panels a unique sparkle that earned it its name ‘dragonscale’.

These panels coupled with the pavilion-like rooflines let us capture the power of the sun from multiple angles. Unlike a flat roof, which generates peak power at the same time of the day, our dragonscale solar skin will generate power during an extended amount of daylight hours. This will limit our contribution to California’s notorious duck curve — which tracks the difference between energy demand and the available solar energy throughout the day. When up-and-running, Charleston East and Bay View will have about 7 megawatts of installed renewable power—generating roughly 40% of their energy needs.

Shortly after construction began, we couldn’t help but think about how we might make this form-and-function approach to building design more scalable. After all, we can’t custom design and develop a new solar solution for every project.

Four construction team members install BIPV at Google’s Bay View office development.

The construction team installs BIPV at Google’s Bay View office development. Photo by Christopher Mcanneny, Heatherwick Studio.

Going mainstream with learnings from dragonscale

Solar panels that are integrated into the design of the building, rather than added later, are known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Integrating solar panels into a roof, like we did with dragonscale, is one approach to using BIPV. Another is incorporating them into the skin of the building. But again, the challenge is to do it in a way that looks good.

The constraints of traditional manufacturing processes also make BIPV projects more difficult. Currently, buildings featuring integrated solar panels require custom designed and manufactured panels, which only niche producers using flexible manufacturing processes with limited output can produce. For our newer buildings, we chose to use a standard solar panel size (3 feet by 5 feet) with standard panel mounts in our designs. This allowed us to use more prevalent, high-volume manufacturing processes so that production and installation could ramp up quickly and at scale.

In a relatively short amount of time, we were able to work with different manufacturers, experiment with a range of facade aesthetics, land on a few designs and share them with our construction teams. Today, two of our newer projects in the Bay Area are implementing these facade photovoltaic panels.

Two examples at our R+D Lab  of exploring how to add photovoltaics on facades: rearranging standard solar panels into more visually interesting mosaics (left) and integrating solar into standard window framing (right).

Two examples at our R+D Lab of exploring how to add photovoltaics on facades: rearranging standard solar panels into more visually interesting mosaics (left) and integrating solar into standard window framing (right).

Investing in sustainable energy innovations will not only get us closer to our goal to be carbon free by 2030, but it will also help our partners and others get there. We hope that sharing our approach to blending design, aesthetics and manufacturing will inspire more projects like it.