Last night, Google, the Ann Arbor Computer Society and the Michigan Python User Group met at Google Ann Arbor for a Tech Talk. About 60 people showed up for the talk by Russell
Whittaker Whitaker (Google Software Engineer) on Test Driven Development, and were also treated to appetizers and beer and wine. Demand was high for the free event, with registration filling up quickly and those who weren't able to sign up ahead of time were active in their attempts to figure out how to get in (showing up at the door didn't work, trying to take someone else's place didn't work either; Google checks photo ids).
I'll write more about the talk itself later, but I have some ideas about what was happening here that I want to express. I want to talk about what Google's plans are for an engineering office in Ann Arbor. Isn't that really what all of us want to know? Are they going to do one, and when?
First of all, Google is an engineering-driven company. In many cases, they have set up satellite sales offices only to follow with engineering offices later. Google Ann Arbor is the AdWords headquarters, so there is a lot of speculation and hope that an engineering office will follow. But, in order to set up an engineering office, they need to know that they can attract talent in the area and to the area. The first step toward that, in my opinion, is to see who's here.
Last night's meeting was a good indication that we have a vibrant tech community, full of people who are passionate about software development, people who would make great Google employees. There's another meeting on Tuesday, August 7 at the Google Ann Arbor office. That meeting is on end-to-end clustering. Not only is that an interesting topic, it's also an opportunity for the Ann Arbor tech community to get together and to demonstrate our passion for software, both to one another and to Google.
So, if you want a Google engineering office in Ann Arbor, let Google know that you're here. If the Ann Arbor community sends resumes of highly qualified people, I think that they will come. Work with Susan Loh (sloh AT google DOT com), who is a UM grad and is in town for the talks all week. Get her your resume.
In the meantime, see you Tuesday? Registration for that event is at http://services.google.com/events/annarbor_techtalk07_2. Seating is limited and preregistration is required. Don't miss out.
P.S. Even the local community needs to know "who's here". I know that I met new people last night: people from Zattoo, a tv-to-internet startup here in Ann Arbor, and people from the Ruby user group, as well as some guys starting up a local Ubuntu LoCo team. I hope that I can encourage everyone in the local community to go to user group meetings and become involved. Jay Wren, the Ann Arbor Computer Society program chair, has been soliciting talks from the different groups in order to expose the diversity that we have in our user groups. We need to learn from one another, and we need to know who's here.