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Showing posts from January, 2014

Getting a job at Google for PhD Students

I happen to sit on one of the hiring committees at Google, which looks at interview packets and makes a recommendation about whether we should extend an offer or not. So I've read a lot of packets, and have seen some of the ways in which applicants succeed or fail to get an offer. Ph.D. students, in particular, tend to get tripped up by the Google interview process, so I thought I'd offer some advice.

While I can't be certain, I imagine this same advice would apply to other companies which have a similar interview process that focuses on coding and algorithms.

(Disclaimer: This is all my personal opinion, and nothing I'm saying here is sanctioned or recommended by Google in any way. In fact, it might be totally wrong. Take it with a grain of salt.)

Google's interview process

Google uses a fairly typical industry interview process: Candidates go through one or two phone screens (or possibly an on-campus interview), and if they do well they are brought on campus for …

Your Field Guide to Industrial Research Labs

There are a lot of different kinds of industrial research organizations out there. Identifying them can be tricky, so I've compiled this field guide to help you out.

The Patent Factory Research Lab

This is the classic model of research lab, and the main model that existed when I was a grad student in the late 1990s. Many of these labs no longer exist, or have transformed into one of the models below. Generally attached to a big company, this style of research lab primarily exists to bolster the parent company's patent portfolio. A secondary mission is to somehow inform the long-term product roadmap for the parent company, which may or may not be successful, depending on whether the research lab is located 50 miles or a mere 15 miles away from any buildings in which actual product teams work.

How you know you're visiting this style of lab: The main decoration in researcher's offices are the little paperweights they get for every 20 patents they file.

The Academic Departme…