Monday, June 08, 2009

I'm a Googler now

By James Whittaker

Here I am. Thanks for all the inquiries.

Why the change to Google? I’ve been asked that over and over again. As I reflect on the whole process, I have to admit that I like change. I like the challenge it brings, the creativity it sparks and the potential that I might fail at some new endeavor is simply intoxicating. Change, I think, is good. After all, if Robert Plant and Jimmy Page had never ventured beyond their comfortable British borders, they would have never written Kashmir and the planet is far better off for having that song.

My first week at Google has been a whirlwind of activity. I had the distinction of being (at a ripe of old age of 43) the oldest person at new employee orientation. I passed a billionaire in the hallway. I sat in a room with some of the best testing minds in Silicon Valley and walked across campus with a young engineer whose biggest problem is that she can’t learn enough fast enough. I’ve signed dozens of books.

There’s much to learn and much to do. I’ll catalog the results here if anyone is interested in following it. Coming from a company like Microsoft, I am used to mind-bogglingly complex problems and comfortable with partial solutions that point toward a better but still imperfect future. My role at Google will be to continue to thwart the impossible. Innovation as a main course is what brought me here. I hope to continue my work on testing tours and envisioning the future, but I am even more excited about the things I can’t yet see. Given the team that I am working with here, I think it is safe to expect big things.

In case you are interested, I am located in the Kirkland WA office and not yet assigned to a project. If I am lucky I will manage to get my hands into everything. I’ll try and be careful not to spill the secret sauce over my nicest shirt…


  1. In the topic of change, understanding this model ( has been very useful to me. In your case, the people in your new/previous teams are also going through a change process of their own.

    I look forward to continue learning from you through this blog, James. Congratulations and good luck on your new challenges!

  2. Congratulations!!!

    I am 49 and would love the challenge of working with Google.

    Enjoy every day!

  3. Yes like me.
    I am a googler now;)
    My Blog
    Forever Google, forever googler ;)

  4. I've just started getting into this blog, and even though I'm a continent away, I'm pretty interested in what's unfolding here. Looking forward to learning some new things from you guys. ;)

  5. Dave you should apply! And to nongolos ... testing strategy is the same regardless of language and location. It just has a different accent ...

  6. Thanks to Google. It helps a lot to my studies. I hope to hear more upcoming services from GOOGLE.

  7. James,

    Have a good time there at Google and maybe you can come to us (Sogeti Netherlands) in the future to talk about the innovative things you startup by google

    Andreas Prins

  8. Quote "I am used to mind-bogglingly complex problems and comfortable with partial solutions that point toward a better but still imperfect future. "

    As a Test Manager the quote above rounds up most testing for me.

    It's about involving the developers in a journey of process improvement and working towards perfection while knowing that it may never be achieved.

  9. It's good to see the oldies like us (I am 56) are still valued by the best places to work. I was hired at 54 by Dell to add some good old common sense to these fast bright young guys who can't learn fast enough. BTW, I'd like to suggest you talk about test infrastructure, a topic often forgotten.

  10. Hi James,

    Looks like you've got your work cut out for you at Google. Very interesting times ahead.

    We had been corrorsponding when you were at your previous place. It would be great to re-open that dialouge again about New Zealand and Australia.

    Look forward to hearing from you,

    Iain Jenkins
    Software Education (

    p.s. Can only agree with your stand on Kashmir.

  11. What's the difference between Googler and Googlian? I just saw some people call themselves Googlian and some call themselves Googler.


The comments you read and contribute here belong only to the person who posted them. We reserve the right to remove off-topic comments.