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Off topic. What's it like working as a minority at Google? I can't help but notice that the company, and those who represent the company at their public events all fall in the general demographic of Asian/Caucasian. You never really see anyone outside of that.

Programs like Microsoft Leap are aimed at diversifying the work force but lately with the #womencode movement their program basically translated from "diversity" to Asian/Caucasian females exclusively.

I bring this up because, as a self taught engineer I was lucky to have found some stability in the market. I didn't have the opportunity of education beyond high school or exposure to computers until very late in my life, but I'm a capable developer. I actually wasn't able to find work at a reasonable rate until a position opened that required bilingual capacity. My self taught colleagues seem to transition from job to job with relative ease.

So I wonder how much of my experiences getting hired are influence by sticking out like a sore thumb in a team of individuals or potential candidates. The numbers really don't lie. What's it like looking from the top?

 

Hola Sebastian! :D I don't have enough time to answer tonight and I'm going to go on a short trip with the family tomorrow. Be back on Monday and I hope I'll have time then :D Take care!

 

Hi Sebastian! I'm back! :D

Off topic. What's it like working as a minority at Google?

I'm a Spanish immigrant in Sweden. I've been living here for ~11 years. Even so, I was born and raised in a tiny village in the mountains of northern Spain for the first ~25 years of my life so I can't really say I understand how it feels to be part of a minority group in the sense that you are asking. Most of the people I grew up with were Spanish (Asturias geographically isolated as it is isn't a great example of diversity). I can say though that I've never worked at a company that puts so much energy in promoting inclusion and diversity inside (working environment) and outside (in the products that we develop).

I can't help but notice that the company, and those who represent the company at their public events all fall in the general demographic of Asian/Caucasian. You never really see anyone outside of that.

If that's your perception then we need to do better. I believe having role models of all backgrounds is paramount to create a more inclusive, encouraging and diverse culture.

In regards to your experience, I can only relate insofar I'm an immigrant and a minority in Sweden. When I came to Sweden with a MsC and ~1 year experience as a software developer I couldn't find a job. Over the space of ~7 months I sent about 200 cvs and cover letters and I finally got a job as a junior consultant. At the time I didn't know it, but my entry salary was about 15% less than the normal entry salary. It didn't matter to me though, the salary was about 3 times what I was making in Spain before moving and that job and the confidence of that employer really opened the doors of the Swedish market for me, at least it felt that way. Anyhow, after that I just kept pushing and improving until today. I never had Google as a goal in my head (it was a dream that I never, ever thought would come to pass), I just really enjoyed programming and it was natural to get better at it and find better companies as I got more experienced. I was very fortunate that my parents and family (mostly :D) always supported me, my girlfriend (now wife) has always had my back and paid for all our bills when my savings ran out while I was unemployed (she was a student back then, go Sweden student loans), and I've met a lot of wonderful colleagues over the years which have connected me to the right people and helped me many times.

Being called Jaime Gonzalez Garcia and not Peter Olofsson may have put off some employers consciously or unconsciously (who knows). But there's nothing I can do about that, better to focus my energy on the things that I can change, keep improving and kick some ass. :D

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