Sidharth Bansal, Software Engineering, Class of 2020, shares his experience of interning at Google Office, Hyderabad through an on-campus opportunity.
When I joined Delhi Technological University, I didn't know much about Multinational Corporations and was aware of only a few companies. I also did not research much about companies other than the premier ones like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. These were hence my only priorities. Although, I was afraid initially because in the year of 2016, Google didn’t visit DTU. Most of the MNCs require production-level projects and this made me want to invest my time and efforts in such projects.
In order to fulfil my aim of getting into Google, I targeted the Google Summer of Code. My GSoC mentor, Mr. Jeffrey Warren, was highly impressed with my GSoC project and my administrative work at Google Code-In. He granted me some freelancing contracts at Public Lab. I became a mentor at Google Code-in, Outreachy and Google Summer Of Code. I also prepared rigorously for the technical interviews and fortunately got internship on-campus offers from Amazon and Google.
I joined Google India (Hyderabad Office) on 20 May 2019. I had to join the team just the day after my last theory exam of the sixth semester. Hence, I had to rush to the airport directly from the examination hall. But it was all worth it, I was heading to my dream place after all.
Everyone is curious about the food culture at Google. To my surprise, there were a wide variety of food items that could be made available whenever we wanted it. Google’s Hyderabad office has three cafeterias with a Sandwich Corner and Pop-up Snacks Corner. We had a food truck for exotic Chinese food.
We even had a micro-kitchen with two-three refrigerators at each floor full of coke, juices, cheese and much more. You could take chocolates and even protein bars (for health-conscious people) to your desk and code while you eat. Cafeteria included a live kitchen too. And, all of it was for free!
Google has a culture of celebrating Fridays. TGIF stands for ‘Thank God! It's Friday!’. We all become completely exhausted after working for five continuous days at the office and the solution to the tiredness was TGIF! If you ever think the above range of appetizers and snacks on weekdays is less alluring then you could always join 'TGIF'. TGIF holds weekly meetings where leaders and directors give motivational speeches. You can enjoy listening to them with fluffy cotton candies and piquant snacks. ‘Googlers’ love food! And, TGIF and snacks go hand in hand.
Although all interns were given Chromebooks and a desktop, you could work from anywhere. The office was full of amazing places. There were a variety of rooms to hold meetings in adventurous ways, such as the rooms made of Bamboos or even the 'Spider-Man' room for the Marvel fans. You could even conduct your meeting in a car:
Google planned a fun event for the interns of Hyderabad and Bangalore in Bangalore where we had loads of fun and even built a roller-coaster ride!
Intern Connect Event
Intern Connect Event was organised by Google interns in four cities - Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Bangalore. We kick-started with practice rounds assisted by Google Engineers, followed by some fun group activities organised by the Dance Company at Google.
There was not even a single day of Monday blues. You can soothe yourself withrelaxing music being played in different areas of the office.
You could visit the steam room or the spa to relieve your tiredness. Google has a wide variety of massage therapies within the office. It was just superb! All the interns got 60 spa points. If you would want to have a sound sleep to do away with the tire, you could use the facility of bunker beds.
During the entire summer internship, all the Hyderabad interns stayed at Hyatt Gachibowli. Complimentary services included Laundry, Gym, Pool, Steam and Sauna.
Google doesn’t differentiate between a full-time employee and an intern. I was given a full-fledged project which included database management, front-end and back-end. I worked with each part of the Google internal stack. Doubts are inevitable when working with such brilliant technology. We received a great deal of help at every step. Regular updates with the team were shared in stand-up meetings. We always had someone from Singapore to join us in the stand-ups.
Interns are usually anxious and often doubt if they are on the right track or not. To guide the interns and help them with their dilemmas, a meeting was organised with our manager weekly. I was lucky enough to get two mentors and two managers. It might daunt a newbie at first, but I was honestly very glad. We did a lot of design reviews together. Google has a collaborative structure and it focuses a lot upon Design Discussions. People often directly begin with the implementation and introduce refinements eventually. However, in the industries, it’s just the opposite.
You devote 60% of your time to software structure, planning and design while 20% to testing and maintenance. Rest is given to the actual code.
Google has an open work culture. You can walk around anywhere and talk to anyone without any prior appointment or formalities. I always had lunch with my manager and mentors. This clearly goes to show how Google fosters a close-knit, homelike environment. You can also contact any team around the world whenever you wish to. I remember those days when I went to the director to discuss some new ideas for Google Pay. He was more than happy to have me on his desk.
There was a balanced work-life culture. We were told to work for 40 hours a week! We had a gym inside the office too to burn the calories earned due to eating the delicious food at Google.
We had game rooms, dance society, and much more to explore our extra-curricular passions and interests. You could even take Chromebooks on the nearby treadmills and exercise while you code! We had Indian swings, rickshaws, and slides too in the office. The atmosphere was very nostalgic and warm.
Talking about the workload, I didn’t really feel any. I had a lot of fun while workingand yes, even while coding! We also had a poster session and a demonstration session to explain our design. It was just fun!