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Working at Google vs. Your Own Startup

Disclosure: mabl, the ML-driven test automation service, has previously sponsored Hacker Noon.

David Smooke: You ended up staying with Google for almost three years after they acquired your startup StackDriver, so it seems like it was a pretty successful next phase. But compared to working at your own startup, how did you like and not like working at Google?

mabl Co-Founder & CEO Dan Belcher: I thought that Google was an extraordinary place, it’s definitely the best job I’ve ever had where it wasn’t my company. They do such an amazing job of creating a culture where people want to collaborate, where there’s just general positivity. Throughout Google there’s a willingness to take on big risks and try to solve hard problems. There were also some downsides for me. For example, given that Google Stackdriver works across lots of other Google products, there were lots of people to coordinate with to make decisions, which meant that I spent most of my time in meetings. And given that I was based in a remote office, most of those discussions were via Google Hangout, so it was more challenging to brainstorm and be creative. Nonetheless, it was definitely a highlight for me to be able to see Google in action, if only for a few years.

“It’s definitely the best job I’ve ever had where it wasn’t my company.”

mabl also has some advantages. I like that we can make decisions very quickly, execute fast, and iterate on products very quickly in a way that is very difficult to do when you’re part of a big company like Google. I also like the fact that we’re all working in the same office face-to-face, so it’s easy to grab people and have ad-hoc conversations when we need to.

So, I see advantages and disadvantages to each. I’d say my experience with Google is about as good as it gets in terms of a place to work, if it’s not at my new startup.

Read the rest of the interview: The Entrepreneurial Journey of mabl Co-Founder Dan Belcher & mabl Uses AI to Bring Software Testing into the DevOps Era.
Visit mabl.com to learn more about eliminating flaky QA tests.

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