Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Geek Gets Google Gig

Former Warrane resident David Claridge (2007-08) has landed a dream job in New York as Systems Engineer, Google.com. David is in his final year of Computer Science at UNSW. He recently returned from an exchange term at the University of Texas, Austin, and dropped by to talk about his new role…

So what is the most exciting thing about working for Google?

Basically that the software I write and systems I maintain will be used by tens if not hundreds of millions of people every day. You get to work with the best people in the field at the very cutting edge of web technology. All the while you get to enjoying living with all the perks of being a Googler: free meals every day, tech talks from industry experts, massages, on-site gym and laundry, etc.

Can you tell us a bit about the interview process…

The whole thing started off when a recruiter in the Google head office over in Mountain View, California contacted me because I’d been referred internally by one of their employees. We had a brief chat on the phone about my background and interests, and he asked me some pretty easy ‘screening’ technical questions.

After that he scheduled two phone interviews with different engineers in the New York and California offices. These interviews consisted entirely of technical questions, and for some of them I had to write code to answer the questions in a document we could both see (powered by Google Docs).

The next step was my on-site interview, which was held in the Sydney office, this went for a half day, included lunch, and consisted of 5 technical interviews. These were definitely the toughest interviews I’ve had to face out of all the companies I’ve interviewed for (Facebook & Microsoft being the others), but it was nice having a break in the middle to catch up with and be encouraged by one of my friends who works there.

What did you value most about living at Warrane?

It was having such a great group of guys to fall back on whenever the going gets tough; whether it’s a stressful exam coming up, a maths problem I couldn’t solve or not knowing what to wear to the Warrane Ball… the tutors and guys on my floor were always there to help each other along.