Marc Grabanski

Interviewed by Google Part 2

April 18, 2008

As many of you know, I was interviewed by Google two more times. Once as a UI Engineer for Gmail and once for a web developer position at YouTube (Google owns YouTube). YouTube actually sent me out on a plane to San Francisco, but I was turned down for both positions. Let me explain how this played out…

UI Engineer at Gmail

The phone interview for UI Engineer was for a position on the gmail team. The person who interviewed me asked very heavy JavaScript questions. One question went like this, “How do you profile JavaScript”? So I told him about Firebug for Firefox and Drosera for Safari, that was fine. Then he asked me, “How do you profile JavaScript in Internet Explorer?” I had no idea so he responded with, “The JavaScript date object, outputting the date and time with each line of code executed”. Wow, manually profiling JavaScript with the date object? - I wouldn’t have thought of that, nor would I do that unless for some drastic situation. Aside from the heavy JavaScript questions, I think the interview went well and I gained more insight about Google.

Web Developer at YouTube

The phone interview for YouTube went great. I was interviewed by the lead web developer and was interested to find they have less than 300 people there at the moment. He asked me a lot of JavaScript and CSS questions. This all went fine, and I got along with him very well. So they sent me a plane ticket for an on-site interview. I took this opportunity to visit people I know at Google as well. The Googleplex is a pretty crazy place, seemed like Disney world for work. But, after being there for a few years the mystique of it all wears off and it is just an office to them. Free food and cafeterias made it seem a little reminiscent of college days. I even got a little jealous at one point. The on-site interview was enjoyable. What was interesting to find out is how everything is based on self-motivation. You set your goals, you set your time lines. This works with very motivated people, but wouldn’t work in the general working world for obvious reasons. In the end, the reason I was given for not given an offer was being, “library dependent” (aka jQuery). This got under my skin a bit, because I don’t think it is true. I understand how they thought this because I talked about jQuery a lot and am very involved in the community, but jQuery is used to get stuff done faster - not as a crutch. 4 of my 6 open source projects are without a library… but don’t need to go any further.

Wrapping Up My Experience

I’ll take free plane flights to Google any day. I was glad to meet the people I met, and to see the inside of Google was a good experience. Sounds like things aren’t over quite yet with Google, but once again I still have a great position at RMG. Cheers!

Marc Grabanski

Web Development, Business and Life Thoughts from Marc Grabanski – Founder, CEO & UI Developer of Frontend Masters

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