Google Employment

In the old days, a programming job at Microsoft was the dream job for developers. Employees were rumored to work hard. But they were compensated with stock options that would make you a millionaire. It also helped that Microsoft made the desktop software that everybody knew about. I confess that I myself went to a local interview to work for Microsoft consulting.

Microsoft may have lost some of its shine during the dot com era. I think for a while Google had overtaken Microsoft as the premier employer for developers. Microsoft stock may have gone up over the long years. But Google stock rocketed up into the hundreds of dollars in a couple years. In addition, the unofficial motto at Google was to “do no evil”. So not only would you be potentially making millions from your Google stock options, you would not have to sell you soul to the Evil Empire.

This past quarter Google reported some softness in their earnings report. Yes they continue to grow. But maybe they are not growing at the old rocket-charged Google rate. A hint that things may be slowing down at Google is their new hire rate. This past quarter Google hired 448 new employees. This brings their total head count to 19,604. And compared to previous quarters, this accounts for a lot less new hires.

I imagine you have to be very good to get a job at Google these days. They have always been selective. But now, perhaps due to economic bad times, they are even more selective. So the smart thing to do may be to find out who the next Microsoft or Google would be. It would be easier to get in on the ground floor of the next great software development powerhouse. The million dollar question is what is the name of that company. MySpace? Facebook? Some little company that is just getting started?