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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What most non-Google employees don't understand about Steve Yegge's post

Steve Yegge of Google accidentally posted a great rant on Google not forcing its product teams to encapsulate functionality and expose all data and actions as APIs...essentially that Google internally does not use a Service Oriented Architecture.

This is totally true and while I agree it would have actually been a heck of a lot easier to integrate products in Google if they did (something I know a thing or two about) - having one big codebase and database also had the benefit of allowing engineers to really understand what was going on in other parts of Google and forced them to work in a distributed environment across offices.

The web will make a big deal about his post, but I think what most people don't get about his post is that you see posts like this almost every day at Google.  At least once a week.  I enjoyed seeking out the engineers, PMs, and the occasional sales person, who would take the time to write a well thought out, lucid essay on something that could be changed, made better, or simply challenging a management decision like de-staffing certain projects.

Generally, the Google culture would hash this out, and at times, when appropriate, the exec team would address it.   Eric, Larry and Sergey were almost always aware of these things because they would get asked about them in TGIF (company wide weekly update meetings) and they'd usually have a reasonable response.

So enjoy reading this, as it will give you a peek into the Google culture from a freedom of expression point of view, but it's otherwise not a big deal.

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