For months, a post by Tom Hespos and a related post has rolled around in my head. In my mind, having a someone doing engineering communication (reading blogs, participating in forums, answering questions at conferences or online) has helped Google to get good feedback, and hopefully I’ve been able to help people in return.
But I can’t always keep up with everything going on outside Google, especially when I’ve got a traditional set of duties in the quality group and webspam. In normal Google tradition, when you have too much work for one CPU to do, you shard it across multiple computers. So I asked my manager if I could shard myself, and my manager said yes. After that, I kept my eyes open for people that I’d seen around the web and respected. I wanted someone with knowledge of search and who was intelligent, nice, patient, and well-spoken. When I saw that Adam was available, I invited him down to lunch, and I liked him a lot.
So a couple of months ago, he went through the interview process and Adam joined Google. We look a little bit similar, but we have different backgrounds. I’m a computer science guy; he’s got an MBA and a law degree. I know a ton about search, but not as much about Adwords these days. Adam had more experience with AdWords when he joined Google, but in the last couple months he’s been ramping up fast on websearch.
My hope is that Adam will help Google listen more, and will also grow into answering webmaster questions. We sent him to WMW Boston to soak up what Pubcons are like, and he’ll be at SES London as well. Sure, it will take time for him to ramp up, but he’s already been helping me a lot. For example, he’s been going through the WMW Boston emails and replying to them. He’s been handling outside email to me that I wouldn’t get a chance to respond to. Over the next couple months, we’re also going to throw Adam into our intensive training to become a webspam warrior. Plus he’s got my RSS feed list, and we’ve been practicing the fine art of spotting reports of good bug reports, and deciding who at Google to harass about them.
Please welcome Adam, and be gentle. He’s ramping up quickly, and I’m excited that he’s at Google.