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What it’s like to work at Google for 10 years!

Ever wonder what career you’ll have in 10 years? Take it from these Googlers: it could be very different to what you imagine!

We caught up with some of the cover stars of Careers with Technology of years past to find out what it’s like to work at Google for 10 years, why they still love STEM and some lessons they’ve learnt along the way.

Amy Lo, tech lead manager

Amy Lo. Image: Lauren Trompp

Graduating from UNSW in 2010 with a degree in bioinformatics (engineering), Amy realised the computing part of her job could open a lot of other doors, not just in biology. She started her full time career in a finance firm, a choice which led to her current career at Google.

In her role as tech lead manager, Amy says there are always new problems to solve and things to learn. “Most of these problems aren’t easy and I think what keeps me going is the satisfaction of being able to say: ‘I solved that one’,” Amy says.

During her almost 10 years at Google, Amy was surprised to find herself managing people.

“I see coding as one way to solve a problem. Over the years I’ve solved some by just talking to people. And now, understanding how people work and how to help them is simply a different type of problem to solve,” she says.

“I’ve come to get a lot of satisfaction from helping folks with their ‘aha’ moment that helps them to the next step in their career.”

Tech tip: “There are always new ideas and new trends that’ll come up, but it’s important to remember that all of these changes just mean more challenges for you to overcome and more interesting problems for you to solve!”

Dominick Ng, tech lead / manager

Dominick Ng. Image: Lauren Trompp

In 2015, Dominick finished a PhD at the University of Sydney, where he combined study with work as an analyst wrangling data on student recruitment. He decided to step away from academia and experience life in the tech sector, joining Google a month after submitting his thesis.

In his current gig, Dominick enjoys getting creative with problem-solving. “You usually can’t just recycle old ideas – instead, you have to take inspiration from them to come up with new ideas to address new problems,” he says.

And he was super pumped to travel to Google’s big annual developer conference to share his work.

“Engineers don’t often get to do these presentations, so it was awesome to get to see firsthand the impact our work has for so many people around the world,” Dominick says.

Tech tip: “The only constant is that change will happen, so you have to expect it and be ready for it.”

Gabie Palado, software engineer

Gabie Palado. Image: Lauren Trompp

In 2017, Gabie was in her second year of uni studying software engineering when she landed a coveted summer internship at Google. Now a full-time software engineer with the company, Gabie says she loves being able to build products that take into account people’s different needs and preferences.

“For example, I’ve loved working on bringing a handwriting app to ChromeOS for those that prefer writing over typing. It was something I always wished I had as a student, and now I get to be a part of making that possible.”

Gabie has also thrived from the support her managers provide. “They create an environment in which I feel safe to push myself out of my comfort zone and make mistakes,” she says. “Because of that, I was able to grow as an engineer a lot quicker than I expected.”

Tech tip: “Use your studies to learn how to learn skills in your area. This can be things like learning which questions to ask, or identifying high-level processes for problem solving.”

Sara Schaare-Weeks, senior software engineer

Sara Schaare-Weeks. Image: Lauren Trompp

In 2010, Sara was studying environmental science at uni when she took some elective units in computer science. She loved the electives so much she decided to switch her major to computing and mathematical science, and in her honours year she landed a gig working as a software engineer for Google Maps.

In her 10 years at Google, Sara says she has been constantly learning and growing from working with different technologies and different products. “I love that software engineering is highly technical, but also involves so much relationship building and working with people, which is a perfect match for my skills,” Sara says.

Sara says that while she has been surprised by how much change she’s seen in her work over the years, she’s “learned that embracing change and unknowns is a skill in itself and every time you have to do it again you do it a bit better than the last time”. 

Tech tip: “With how quickly tech changes things, it makes it especially important to invest in building your networks – when new opportunities come up, people in your network will think of you for those roles or positions.”

This profile was brought to you in partnership with Google and first appeared in Careers with STEM: Technology 2023.

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