In 2013, I joined Google as a full-time Software Engineer on the AdWords team. The people were friendly and I performed well, but I found myself wanting to work on more engaging projects. A few months later, I left on good terms and joined Mozilla to work on Firefox OS.
For thousands of people, Google is a wonderful company to work for. For me, in 2013, having worked in startups, with rapid iteration and a passionate workplace, I felt I could make a bigger impact elsewhere.
AdWords moves deliberately, as it must, because it drives Google’s finances. It takes a long time for such an important project to adopt new features and technologies. This is understandable and reasonable; companies shouldn’t take unnecessary risks just because new technology sounds flashy. Other teams at Google pursued more challenging work; perhaps the Chrome team would have been a better fit at the time.
Most Google software and infrastructure is proprietary. Knowledge about proprietary software doesn’t transfer to other companies, both for intellectual property reasons as well as the fact that others don’t use Google software. Personally, I feared that I would lose touch with the web stack, technology that was important to me and evolving rapidly at the time.
Remote work is infeasible, and I had just bought a puppy. I wanted to move to San Francisco, and remaining at Google meant I would have to travel via bus every day.
Ultimately, I felt that Google just wasn’t for me at that stage of my life. At the time, Mozilla was swiftly advancing Firefox OS, a project that I would find much more engaging. →
Thanks for visiting. You can read more here. — @mcav