I had a fantastic time at Google and all of these amazing people have really grown to mean something to me over these three weeks. Here’s my poor attempt at a wrap-up. Sorry.
Friday, July 15th:
Right, so presentation day. Gasp. We were totally programming until the very last minute (in the room as we were about to go up) (or rather, Nico was programming. He was working on some XML RPC stuff to get rid of the need to refresh in order to see that your friends joined your desk). In any case, we presented and had a slight hiccup with the screen resolution and our nav bar, but it was still awesome.
Here’s the final version, without Nico’s XML stuff:
It’s a little glitchy, because during our presentation, people joined and created desks like crazy and I’m not sure if Dylan cleared the datastore after we left.
And then we had our Final Party, in a room that Jess, Kat, Jess, and Lauren (JKJL, our amazing coordinators) decked out in Google Colors. The mentors chose some prizes to give out to some of the groups and we got the award for the best Back-End programming. Yeah for putting in comments. I got a Google arm-band.
Finally, JKJL had more to give us! We got a neat $500 scholarship for books, a picture frame, and an awesome hoodie. We took tons of pictures, but it was a little sad to be leaving :(
Oh, and then we went to watch Harry Potter. After that crazy week, I fell asleep during the previews and missed the first five minutes of the movie. Whoops.
Monday, July 11th - Thursday, July 14th:
So the last week. I feel kind of awful compressing nearly a whole third of the program into one post, but I was just programming. Not much to say.
But here goes-
The idea behind our application was to take the concept of Google Docs and transport it into a more collaborative and easy-to-use environment. Users can login or register as new users, create or join “desks”, and then go about sharing documents easily. You have a whole lot of documents, you can open some of them up (ie, put them on the desk) where your friends who were at the desk could see any of those documents (if you let them). Your friend could “pull” over your document, edit it (if you let them), and you could see what they were editing. At the end of the session, everyone left the desk with what documents they had (or any documents they had made a copy of) and the desk disappears. The idea was to take the study group and virtualize it in a way that was more natural than Google Docs.
So yeah, we basically decided we were going to re-create Google Docs and do more in three days. Which lead to no sleep. It was self-inflicted but it was actually really great at the end of it. We all created this app which we were proud of, and meh, I had San Diego to sleep in.
I think the pictures above were from the first night, and it’s a progression through the night. You can’t tell in the third picture, but I think we’re still up.
At one point, Nico and I drew all over each other’s faces in dry-erase, but I’ll leave those pictures in its appropriate Facebook album :)
Saturday, July 9th:
Today, we went to Santa Cruz! I vaguely remembered it, but it was nice to go back to a place I hadn’t been since I was like five. We hung around on the beach all day, walked up and down the pier, looked at sea lions!, ate, blahblahblah. It was nice to just chill around after programming all week.
Sunday, July 10th:
I slept until 11, and then we hung around for a bit. We also watched two movies: Midnight in Paris (which EVERYONE should watch) and The Tree of Life (which only some people should watch). Kind of a chill day. Oh and we got almost lost walking back from the mall - aka adventure :)
Friday, July 8th:
More programming, yay! We did something more interactive with databases in the morning, and though I’m not sure what happened to my version of the app, no one overwrote the example:
In the afternoon, we had an awesome panel of five people from different paths in industries outside of Google. We had a Stanford professor, a programmer from EA games, a software manager from Intel, a programmer from Pixar (who worked on the fiery hair in the upcoming movie Brave), and a software manager from NASA Ames. It was really really awesome, and they were able to answer questions for us about career choices. What I found most interesting was how MBAs had factored into their respective careers, or rather not factored in. As I was making my college decision, people constantly asked me what I saw myself doing after college, and I don’t quite have an answer to that yet, which is a large reason why I chose MIT. I’m not sure if I want to be involved with new research directly and be hacking away at code myself or if I want to take a step back from the projects and adopt a more managerial role. I’m kind of waiting for college to help me figure that out, so I can really see how much I do love Computer Science. What I had planned out, given that my path after college could go either of these two ways, was grad school. If I were to stay directly involved with CS, I’d go for the big shebang, work crazy hard and get that PhD. If I were to take a step back from it, I was thinking about getting my MBA. The panel kind of changed my mind about that. Those who were in manager positions said they didn’t see the benefits in getting an MBA, and would only consider getting one if they were switching companies. The “Senior Product Marketing Engineer Manager” (how’s that for a title) at Intel went on to get her PhD and moved seamlessly into a management position, simply because she already had the technical know-how and was an effective communicator. So who know, maybe either path I take may lead me into that PhD tract. Sigh. That’s a lot of work.
Oh yeah, then we had the rest of day to chill, we were going to go laser tag, but that fell through. We played soccer on a field next to Google. It was sooo hot, I remembered why we normally play during the night :(
Thursday, July 7th:
Why the random swirl of green and orange, you ask? We took the True Colors personality test today (http://www.true-colors.com/index.html). I’ve taken the Meyers-Briggs test in the past, but the True Colors test was simpler. We ranked how closely we identified with groups of words and then found out our true color: green, orange, gold, or blue. This was also the day people began to realize how not blue I am, I’ll leave you to figure out what that means. I was pretty strong in both green and orange, but in the spirit of Google and learning and whatnot, I decided I’m more green at Google, orange maybe outside of Google.
Oh yeah, and more programming. Here’s a sample of what we did with databases (yay, I didn’t overwrite this one!):
I don’t know how much sense that will make, but it’s cool, okay!?
Wednesday, July 6th:
More Python and AppEngine. I’m finding this difficult to blog about because the technical nuances of learning a new language are not quite the most scintillating details to read about. I got back into recursion again, which I’ve somehow managed to avoid in nearly all of the programs I’ve written since sophomore year, but writing Fibonacci without recursion seems like a cop-out. We had a lot of extra time today, so while people were figuring out Python, I watched Facebook’s announcement live. New video chat with skype, huh. I want to test it out, but until it gets rolled out to me, I’ll stick with my Hangouts on Google+ :)
In the afternoon, we had lunch with college interns who are at Google. I talked with a girl from CalPoly Slo, and it was pretty cool hearing about actual work they were doing for Google. After we had lunch with them, we were given these puzzles that Google takes around to college campuses. They were hard, and puzzles frustrate me, as seen in this picture.
Then back to coding. I’ve programmed here more than I’ve programmed all year in Advanced Programming, sorry Mr. Partridge.
Tuesday, July 5th:
We were alone at Google today. They had a nice four-day weekend, which didn’t influence too much, except we had Costco pizza instead of awesome Google food. This picture is the room we were in the entire day in the Youtube building (West Campus). It was an intro day, intro to Python (which I love now) and intro to AppEngine. Basic stuff, strings, ints, bleh. We did the HelloWorld speal, which was kind of cool, because my HelloWorld had an associated URL on the interwebs, so everyone could see the magnificence of my print statement :) I’d paste the link but I long ago overwrote that app. My bad.
Monday, July 4th:
Woke up late, went to a Giants game. They were playing the Padres, of all people, who actually managed to win a game. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned how much fun angry baseball fans are. The “GO USA” chanting was pretty funny as well.
We went to dinner at In-n-Out, for all the non-California folks. We had a conversation to remember at this table, but those are details I’m not going to divulge :)
We then headed over to Google and waited for fireworks. I’ve never seen such an intense game of ERS, and we also played Taboo, it was fun. And then fireworks! They weren’t quite anything like the fireworks over the Esplanade last year, but nice nonetheless. I really hope the Boston fireworks haven’t ruined fireworks for me forever.
Sunday, July 3rd:
Nothing much happened, considering that the entire time we’ve been here, it’s been gogogo. They have no activities planned for any Sundays here, so we can sleep the entire day if we want. I didn’t do that, though maybe I should have. Instead, we walked like two miles to a mall to watch a movie, which was really good.
I highly recommend it.
We then went to the Lego Store, which was fun. We then headed back to the dorms and watched three movies in a row and then played Capture the Flag. Good day, but much more low-key.