Then and now

First in a series of "An update on David" retrospectives, looking back on the last 11 years at Google.

When I started at Google NYC we only had the 4th & 6th floors of 111 8th/76 9th. Hemi's wasn't even open yet! We only got lunch; after a month or so we got bagels for breakfast in 5BB on Fridays. Sometime later we got dinner but I can count on one hand the number of times I've eaten dinner in the NYC office.

When I started we used gconfig and make-dbg (or mach), both of which were slow and cumbersome. We didn't have Blaze, Forge, SrcFS, CITC, Cider or Critique. The Intelli/J vs Eclipse vs Emacs vs vi(m) debate was in full force (the more things change...) You still had to "build the world" to build anything. (The more things change...)

When I started there were about 10k FTEs worldwide. Now we have 9K in NYC alone (unclear how many are FTEs and how many are TVCs), and 82K FTEs worldwide.

When I started Eric was CEO and Larry and Sergey were (?) Presidents of things. I miss Eric. And Alan. But I digress. In fall of '06 we had just bought YouTube. Everyone thought $1.6 billion for cat videos was insane - how are we going to ever make money off this thing? Now Alphabet is..., well, Alphabet.

When I interviewed there were posters saying "Dogfood is coming!" This meant "stop using SMTP/POP3 for email and Oracle Calendar and use GMail and Google Calendar". Can you imagine? GMail has gone through several revisions since (anyone remember the Kennedy brouhaha?) and Calendar is finally world-class.

When I started, we used Java, GWT and GXPs. (Go look them up if you've never heard of those TLAs). Now, I don't think anyone uses Java for their UI.

That's all I can think of for now. Feel free to AMA regarding then-and-now.


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