Google Having Problems Recruiting?

Both Dave Cross and Slashdot have recently commented on Googles problems hiring engineers. I’ve been quite surprised at how much effort I’ve seen them expend on it recently. From a stall of overly enthusiastic people at FOSDEM, to speakers at UKUUG and the Vint Cerf recruitment tour they’re more than willing to throw resources at the problem.

Just before Christmas I got an email from Google recruitment asking if I’d be interested in going for an interview, and you know what? I wasn’t. I don’t know why, but a job at Google just doesn’t appeal to me. I have this, probably undeserved, image of them being very academic and elitist. It might just be the bits I’ve heard about their interviews and some of the questions but I can’t seem to shake that preconception. And I don’t fit that kind of environment. I’m self-taught, I’ve never had to learn the fastest way to reverse a string in place. If I ever needed to I can look it up. Ironically, I’d probably use Google.

Thinking about where not to work got me thinking about places I would like to work. In the IT industry there are very few big names that immediately leapt out, and the few that did were the obvious ones: IBM - they do everything. Microsoft - they are living in interesting times. Working with Don Box or Chris Sells would be amazing. Novell - but not in Netware or Groupwise, Yahoo! - in certain “exciting departments”. Amazon - the web services or infrastructure teams could be challenging.

My last few jobs have been financially stable, it might be time to work at another startup, I’ve had long enough away to recover from the last couple :)