Legend has it that Google employees get 20% of their time to work on personal projects. This is 20% of your 40 hours week. Awesome. I always figured that Google engineers would be writing games, working on cool utilities, or doing computer science research.
Old Cringely shed some light on what Google people do with that 20%. You have to first understand the culture at Google. They peer review everything. And the result is very clean high quality code. Developers don't go to meetings. They let the managers do that.
Of course peer review has a cost. Many companies skip this step because of the time it takes to perform. Well get this. Google developers do the peer review during their 20% personal project time. Go figure. It does not take away from their normal duties. But it does steal from their creative development time. In the end it is for a good cause. They are working to improve the quality of their code.
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